Many undoubtedly remember that fateful Friday night at Alcatraz 2017 when the Swamp was bursting at the seams and Dirkschneider brought the joint to the boil with a best-of Accept set. Were you among the metal hordes that night? As far as we’re concerned, this show is inscribed in Alcatraz history as one of our most memorable gigs.
Udo and his bandmates didn’t pull their punches and regaled a packed Swamp with a string of classics that die-hard Accept fans had been waiting to hear for a long time. Of course, he’s entitled to do so because his signature sandpaper voice is one of the main reasons why the band has been so successful. The ‘Back to the Roots – Farewell to Accept Tour’ lasted for close to three years but this huge endeavour has meanwhile been concluded. High time to retire then? Not for Solingen’s 67-year-old man of steel! There’s no rest for the wicked because last year he released his 16th full-length effort with U.D.O.’s ‘Steelfactory’. The new album features a collection of tracks more akin to early Accept than to recent U.D.O. albums but what did you expect after playing nothing but Accept hits for three years straight? Of course, a new album also means a new tour and Udo is no stranger to Alcatraz. He has not only played Alcatraz Metal Fest on several occasions but we’ve also hosted several Alcatraz club concerts at De Kreun, Kortrijk. Udo is a pleasure to work with: an affable, modest guy with a legion of loyal fans who never go home disappointed. Over the years he has always worked with excellent musicians and Udo himself loves to go balls to the wall in an epic display of no-holds-barred old-school heavy metal. By the way, this isn’t Mr. Dirkschneider’s swansong because he’s already indicated it’s back to the studio right after this year’s tour. With the Dirkschneider era well and truly over (?) it’s anyone’s guess whether the track list will still include the Accept classics ‘Metal Heart’, ‘Balls to the Wall’ and ‘Fast as a Shark’... But doesn’t the diminutive general owe that much to his loyal fans? We’ll see come August!