The Grand Ballroom – SAN FRANCISCO, CA 09/25/2012 (Review by Jeff Cross)

Alright, I’m up. What a night!

I took BART into the city so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassles of traffic. Went to the venue and found Wolf signing autographs and Stephen carrying on a never-ending conversation with some crazy woman (though I don’t know which one of them is crazier). I couldn’t even introduce myself they kept going back and forth. Then Mark came out of the bus and I asked him if he recognized me and he did. He signed stuff for some fans and we chatted. He had to go so I headed to Tommy’s Joynt for the best turkey sandwich ever.
After that I hung out in the merchandise area. I went down front and stayed there for the first half. Every song was spot-on. Super tight showmanship and because of the limited time, Mark did not really talk between songs. This means it was one lashing after another until they had the audience bleeding. I love these kinds of shows! I will add Shadow Soldiers started with a different vibe and I wasn’t sure about it being in this set until they sang the choruses- they were so strong! One of the highlights indeed. In fact, the new songs were really the highlights. It was also great that BttW was stripped down to it’s core (finally!).
So as mentioned, I was standing next to Frank at the soundboard for the second half and during BttW, Frank waves his hand high in the air as a challenge to Peter. Next thing something hits me on the chest and on the ground is Peter’s pick! A 30 yard shot all the way to the back of the hall!
So I said hi to Frank and said I would see him out back. I hung around with the simple intention of saying hello to everyone and not even bothering with autographs. Then Frank opens the bus door and calls me over to invite me aboard! I step in and Peter’s waiting for me. I took a seat on the couch and we talked about San Francisco (I went to culinary school a block away), politics, the state of the music industry as well as the state of our youth. Wolf popped in and it finally clicked who I was once I asked about the thank you posters we made last year. His is hanging in his studio. Mark then came in and joined the conversation. Then Morgan and her husband came in to do an interview consisting of fan submitted questions. She had some good ones until she dared ask “The Question!” I warned “Don’t go there” just as Peter and Wolf refused to answer. After she was done I added a couple of my own- ones that I keep meaning to ask:
To Wolf, who were your influences growing up? He answered Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Queen, Michael Shenker, AC/DC, Status Quo, Uriah Heep and a few others.
To Peter, do you still go to concerts anymore? Short answer is no and we all discussed why. They both put it that as professional musicians, they get bored very quickly watching other bands. Wolf said he can mabye watch 2 songs at a festival and then feels the need to move on. I guess watching your contempories just is not the same as the fan-musician relationship.
So after an hour and a half we called it a night. I will say that Accept and crew are still very appreciative of all their fans. We are all fortunate for having each other. They are very hard working men. I did not put this together until I realized, when they are not doing Accept, which in the last 3 years was nearly impossible, they are very  busy doing all kinds of things! As for me, I would like to express my deepest thanks for their hospitality. Your music has been the soundtrack of my life for 28 years and it makes me very happy to call you friends.