Friday, April 29, 2011

Restless & Wild

The Regency, San Francisco
April 28, 2011

Accept's early albums Breaker and Restless and Wild are still Umlaut favorites, but I haven't followed the band since literally 1984.

Balls To The Wall Tour
(From the Umlaut Archives)

At this point in time, I kind of don't care that Accept are now 2/5 of the classic lineup; at least the twin white Flying-V attack lives on with of Hermann Franks and the inimitable Wolf Hoffmann. Also, the new album Blood Of The Nations is good with American Mark Tornillo taking over the vocal legacy of the Teutonic Hobbit Udo Dirkschneider that still haunts the band.

It was an epiphany seeing an Old Metal show like this after having just seen an EPIC Old Metal show last weekend at The Big 4. It's been weird how so many Old Metalheads have asked me how The Big 4 show was and expecting me to be negative about it, when in reality it was one of the most amazing Metal days I've ever experienced. The Big 4 drew around 50,000 Metal fans while Accept pre-sold around 500 tickets in the 1,400 capacity Regency.. and the crowd was decidedly older versus the inspiring cross generational mosh pit in Indio.

Given the "older" demographic of the audience (guilty!) I guess it was to be expected, but the energy level of the crowd felt like I was in a Doobie Brothers audience at times. Seriously. There were more dudes air guitaring than drinking tonight and it was just one of those shows that made me feel old in some ways. The vibe of the show was more Old Fart nostalgia (guilty!) whereas seeing The Big 4 bands last weekend was a celebration and a validation that Old Metal can still be viable to a mass audience. Sorry, just being honest.

That being said, the band was good and Wolf Hoffman's Teutonic posing and playing were worth the price of admission alone. Wolf was one of my favorite guitarists back in my Salad Days and his Guitar God status is still intact here in the 21st Century. Udo's London Leather Boy has been replaced by Tornillio's Jersey Shore Leather Boy.. but the latter pulled off the old Accept songs admirably despite me wanting to call him Brian Johnson. Although 'Balls To The Wall' sadly doesn't have as much of a homoerotic undertone anymore without Udo singing it.

(Photo courtesy of Photo Ray)

The new songs came off nicely live.. and the selection of old songs was a good cross section of what I wanted to hear.. with the 'Restless and Wild' > 'Son Of A Bitch' combination being my favorite. I was impressed that Tornillo admirably delivered the "CocksuckingmotherfuckerIwasraped!" lyric of the latter in a way that didn't make me think of prison rape. Unfortunately, there was ZERO crowd action during 'Fast As A Shark'! NONE. In 1984 at the San Jose Civic I was against the stage and got pummeled by the crowd action during the song... but it was that kind of show tonight. Also, the inflatable toy shark that Tornillo brought onstage as the song started sort of sent the wrong message too IMO. The night ended with the obligatory 'Balls To The Wall' which I always think of as the beginning of the end for Accept... but judging by all the dudes air guitaring to it I know I'm in the minority. At least no dudes lined themselves up against the wall to recreate the song's video...

If you bought one of every Accept merch item you would have paid around $200. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Man, typing this rant suddenly made hungry for a meal at Schmidt's or Walzwerk...