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Accept @ Gramercy Theater/Debaser Slussen (US/SWE)

ACCEPT
in Saturday, 8 May 2010 at Gramercy Theater/Debaser Slussen
by Erika Wallberg

In the time of the great reunions ACCEPT announced they were back, with TT QUICK singer Mark Tornillo behind the microphone. Could there really be ACCEPT without Udo Dirkschneider? I really want to give band a chance before I judge but I admit being skeptic about this. The clips of classic songs posted with Mark weren’t all convincing and we all have seen it before. Classic bands big comebacks fall flatter than a pancake. What about ACCEPT then? The atmosphere at the Gramercy Theater was amazing. The spirits were high on the way in already and it wasn’t getting lower the longer the evening went. Absolutely the opposite! The venue got hot really fast so the cold beer went down a little too easy, everyone seemed to be very excited to be here for the premiere, excited to see ACCEPT again. It’s not often you see a dad with his son in homemade band shirts nowadays. The sound was perfect and lights great so the setup was really perfect. The Stockholm gig, Debaser Slussen is a nice venue for a small band. Putting a band in ACCEPT’s caliber on that stage will create mass hysteria. The strange thing though, most of the people I was talking to prior to the show didn’t have too high thoughts about what was coming, yet it turned hysteric, completely boiling the second the show had started.

Mark had it easier in New York compared to Stockholm though. There were a lot of people with TT QUICK shirts there, New York also being Mark’s home town so at least he had his local support. In Stockholm everyone said they’ll give him one chance at least before they were going to dismiss him completely. The first thing that struck me with the shows was how damn good Mark is on stage. He is a very charming front man, he took just enough space and he was a pure joy to watch. He took on a tough job but after seeing these two gigs there’s no doubt about it, he is the right man for the job. It didn’t take long for him to convince the Stockholm crowd that he is in the right place. Neither of the two places is really huge, Gramercy Theater takes 750 people and that feels ok for an intimate gig with ACCEPT. Debaser Slussen only takes about 400 and when that place is packed it’s impossible to move in there. The stage is very small and if you’re not extremely tall or in the first few rows it’s almost impossible to see anything so talk about lights and sound on a place like that feels a little over worked. It wasn’t a disaster but compared to New York… That sure was miles apart.

But of course it was good. Even with a half as good a performance these concerts would have been amazing. First to get to see a totally charged ACCEPT on stages like these is very special. Also they served two great and very generous sets, with cool songs which haven’t been played a lot before like “Losers & Winners” and “Demon’s Night”. But also the two new tracks “The Abyss” where Mark really get a chance to shine and show the world he can do more that barf like Brian Johnson and super heavy “Teutonic Terror” from the forthcoming “Blood Of The Nations”. There’s no way they can get out of playing the classic hits and sure, all those songs caused the biggest cheers. “Balls To The Wall” or “Princess Of The Dawn” isn’t the most innovative songs in the Metal world but they are immortal pieces that still holds today. 2½ hours worth of Metal in one night is rare today, but that’s what we got. It never felt long, never boring. Hell, in the end it felt it was over too soon. Mark won the skeptics over in no time. ACCEPT has always been an amazing live act and now both Wolf Hoffman and Peter Baltes seems overexcited to be on stage again. The energy they sent out over the crowd couldn’t result in anything but chaos. Of course people are gentler in America compared to Sweden but the pressure in the front was immense for both shows. I came out with two blue knees and a few bumps on the head in Stockholm since there’s no photo pit at that venue.

One of my thoughts prior to this was that at least this version of ACCEPT will be a cool “cover band” but even thinking something like that should result in some sort of punishment. This version felt like a complete band that’s having fun and enjoying their time on stage. All the classic poses with the V-guitars (oh well, at least guitars) felt real, it felt natural. Not like a put on show because the fans expect it to look a certain way. ACCEPT are back because they want to, not because have to. All of that was shown through in the performance. So hell yeah, ACCEPT are back again. How far this will go? If they continue like this, all the way to the top!

New York setlist:

  1. "Metal Heart"
  2. "Midnight Mover"
  3. "Living For Tonite"
  4. "Restless And Wild"
  5. "Son Of A Bitch"
  6. "Losers And Winners"
  7. "London Leatherboys"
  8. "The Abyss"
  9. "Run If You Can"
  10. "Teutonic Terror"
  11. "Breaker"
  12. "Bulletproof"
  13. "Neon Nights"
  14. "Flash Rockin' Man"
  15. "Up to Limit"
  16. "Demon's Night"
  17. "Turn Me On"
  18. "Starlight"
  19. "Burning"
  20. "Princess Of The Dawn"
  21. "I'm A Rebel"
  22. "Fast As A Shark"
  23. "Balls To The Wall"

Stockholm setlist:

  1. "Metal Heart"
  2. "Midnight Mover"
  3. "Living For Tonight"
  4. "Restless And Wild"
  5. "Son Of A Bitch"
  6. "Losers And Winners"
  7. "London Leatherboys"
  8. "The Abyss"
  9. "Run If You Can"
  10. "Teutonic Terror"
  11. "Breaker"
  12. "Bulletproof"
  13. "Neon Nights"
  14. "Winter Dreams"
  15. "Flash Rockin' Man"
  16. "Up To The Limit"
  17. "Demon's Night"
  18. "Turn Me On"
  19. "Monster Man"
  20. "Burning"
  21. "Princess Of The Dawn"
  22. "I'm A Rebel"
  23. "Fast As A Shark"
  24. "Balls To The Wall"
(photos by leathergirl Erika)

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