There are certain things in life that cannot be changed. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it karma…you can call it whatever you want. Here in Greece, we call it ACCEPT! You see, one has to live in Greece to understand the difficult times that this proud nation is having and how painful it is for the vast majority of the population that is trying to make ends meet. So, when ACCEPT announced the two shows in Athens and Thessaloniki, I had absolutely no doubt that the Greek fans would found a way to purchase a ticket and get lost in the magical world of ACCEPT and quite possibly forget their worries and troubles just for a while. When I arrived at the club, I knew that my initial gut feeling was right. Hundreds of people were waiting impatiently outside the venue in order to find their way onto the club. More than 1000 people packed the venue and the vibe was similar to the monumental 2010 show that the band had put on for us.
At exactly 10:00 the lights went out and the first notes of “Hang Drawn and Quartered” rushed from the speakers upon a frenzied crowd who welcomed ACCEPT like some short of a rock n’ roll saviors! Without any delay, the band continued with “Hellfire” and the crowd was singing along to the new songs from the excellent “Stalingrad” record like there were released decades ago. It was plain clear that at least 4-5 songs from the last couple of records can be easily considered classics!
Wolf Hoffmann was the undeniable key figure; the leader, the mastermind behind the sonic attack! As I told him before the show, I am amazed at how he remains so fit during those tiring road tours. Right next to him, Peter Baltes was giving his own show making all those orchestrated stage moves together with Wolf and Herman who was steadily accurate as the rhythm guitarist. Stefan Schwarzmann was as thunderous as ever behind his gigantic white drum set while the band’s frontman Mark Tornillo -now on his second world tour with the band- proved once again why he is a catalytic element to ACCEPT’s resurrection (both for his voice and his stage presence).
Apart for the aforementioned two new songs from “Stalingrad”, the band chose to perform the title track and “Shadow Soldiers” from the latest record while they pull out 4 songs from the superb “Blood of the Nations” (Teutonic Terror”, “Pandemic”, “No Shelter”, “Bucket Full of Hate”). As for the rest of the gems from the vbacka catalogue, well how can anyone complain when he is treated with such timeless hits as “Restless and Wild”, “Neon Nights”, “Fast As A Shark”, “Breaker”, “Balls To The Wall”, “Up To The Limit”, “Metal Heart”, “Monsterman”, “Losers and Winners”, “Aiming High”, “Bulletproof”?
All in all, it was a night to remember and…don’t forget! Remember that ACCEPT will always be a much beloved band in Greece and definitely the ultimate heavy metal ambassadors from Germany. Remember that this is a band that will never fail to deliver a great show for us all. As for what we forgot that night…we forgot all our problems for a couple of hours and took home some of the most precious memories that will forever follow us! This is the power of heavy metal; this is the power of ACCEPT! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, guys!