Reece – special guest
Red Partizan – support act
13/3 – 2019
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
It’s time for the venerable Udo Dirkschneider to take another trip around Europe with his German panzer metal battalion. He’s stopped being Dirkschneider performing old Accept songs and is back to being U.D.O., focusing on delivering his own solo work, old and new. At the end of last year the new album STEELFACTORY came out and the first video from it, “One Heart One Soul” came out in July last year. The line up has changed over the past few years with the departure of both guitarist Bill Hudson as well as long term bass player Fitty Wienhold. Personally I was really sad that Wienhold said goodbye since he’s been in the band since 1996. After a bit of searching Udo found guitarist Dee Dammers and bass player Tilen Hudrop to fill their shoes, however the new members aren’t featured on the new album which is recorded with Wienhold and guitarist Andrey Smirnov.
The band’s long extended European tour began in Russia at the end of October last year and after a break over the holidays they continued the tour at the end of January 2019. The band took a detour to perform at the Monsters Of Rock Cruise in USA before heading back to Europe again and now it’s Scandinavia which is the priority. A few bands have been support through Europe. For Sweden it was former Accept singer David Reece that was special guest with Red Partizan opening the night. The first stop on Swedish soil was the show in Malmo, which I attended. I was really eager to see U.D.O live again; he is one of my childhood heroes since I started listening to heavier music and I have always had a soft spot for the metal man. Unfortunately U.D.O jumped on the meet and greet wagon and a date with him and the band cost 1000 SEK which is quite steep.
The show wasn’t sold out on this Wednesday night and when I arrived to the club I managed to get inside quickly. As always I took a peek at what merchandise the bands brought with them and especially U.D.O had a ton of various item with him. The time went pretty fast and suddenly it was time for the night to start with Red Partizan.
Immediately noticeable was the fact that the band consisted of a lot of members, meaning they didn’t have much space to move around on stage. As the singer thanked for the applause, he introduced the band and got ready for the first song. The songs followed one after another without much talking. “Here comes “The End”, the singer said and the small crowd did their best to support the opening act. The band’s strange mix of power metal mashed with industrial influences didn’t appeal to me and I thought it all sounded a bit odd. Add to that a hit of opera vocals and you understand I was confused. The singer said it was the first time the six piece act was performing in Sweden and they thought Sweden is a beautiful country. “Here comes “Rebels and Partizans”. The bands singer tried to get the crowd to sing along with him in the chorus which didn’t go so well. The woman on opera vocals did her best to get the crowd going. One person in the crowd handed the singer a beer and the singer said cheers and asked if the crowd liked the “Rebels and Partizans”. “How many rebels and partizans do we have in the club tonight?”, he asked and the crowd clapped their hands politely.
“Russian Roulette” followed and to be honest it was just another song that didn’t really catch my attention. The singer thanked everyone for the support saying the band was selling their album at the merchandise stand after the show and the album was only available to purchase at their shows as a special gift for the fans and is not featured on Spotify. He also said the band was coming out after the show to meet with the fans and then he fired off the last song for the night in “Wanted Dead or Alive”.
The 40 minutes the show lasted felt like twice that and as you already probably figured out, Red Partizans wasn’t a band for me. I thought their music felt awkward and I was really glad when it all was over. The only positive thing with the show and the band was the singer who did a good job connecting with the fans when the rest of the band stood solid on their spots.
Now it was time for the crew to prepare the stage for special guest act David Reece who is probably best known for his vocals on the Accept EAT THE HEAT album from 1989. After that he’s guested on a few albums and has been the lead vocalist in bands like Bangalore Choir, Tango Down, and Wicked Sensation. He also sang with German act Bonfire with which he released two albums and with Sainted Sinners with whom he also released another two albums. In 2009 he released a solo album and in 2018 his newest, RESILIENT HEART came out. He’s currently signed with the Danish record label Mighty Music.
The band entered the stage to the sound of the intro music and made themselves ready to kick off the first song for the night in “D-Train”. When the intro to the song was over Reece rushed out on stage to really kick the show into gear. He moved across stage and the fans barely had time to catch their breath before it was time for the next song, “Any Time At All”. The song is taken from the new album and made the fans happy as they continued clapping their hands throughout it and the next song, “Karma”. The crowd felt more pumped to see Reece rather than Red Partizans and the band sounded really tight. They had a lot better lights and sound going on compared to what the first band had. The line up in the band is:
David Reece – lead vocals
Marco Angioni – guitar
Malte Frederik Burkert – bass
Martin Jepsen Andersen – guitar
Andrea Gianangeli – drums
Just like the previous band, Reece didn’t have much space to move around on but the guys did their best and let the lead singer have the most space because, of course, he was the focus. Reece said he wanted to see the fans’ hands in the air in “Two Coins and a Dead Man”. The tempo was high and Reece didn’t do much talking in between the songs, he mostly asked how the fans was doing asking if they wanted to have a party with him this night.
The next song was taken from EAT THE HEAT and he wanted the fans to sing a long in the lyrics to “Generation Clash”. The fans woke up and really aired their lungs in the old Accept song. He also urged the fans to sing the chorus with him which went OK. It felt like the younger part of the crowd didn’t really know the song. He wanted the fans to sing with him once again saying he wanted to see some energy, “If you show me some energy, I’m only gonna deliver a better show to you all”. Again the band felt solid and unfortunately it felt like Reece was the weakest link this night, his voice felt tired and even though he tried to put on a show it felt like something was missing.
“Welcome to the Steelfactory World Tour”, he said, “we have been out on the roads for 3 weeks now and it has been a blast”. He then introduced his band and thanked the fans. He said he had come down with a cold and said he was sorry for that. “The show must go on”, he continued and said it was time to sing “Perfect Apocalypse”. “X-T-C” from EAT THE HEAT followed as well as “Live Before You Die”, after which he said the band was going to come out after the show to meet the fans and sign autographs.
I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a Wednesday, the cold Reece had come down with or what, but the crowd felt really laid back and lazy and I think Reece felt it was hard to create atmosphere in the club. He had a hard time igniting the spark that makes a show great and the fans mostly stood still clapping their hands politely after each song.
“I have come full circle with U.D.O. now and I want you all to scream for him! I have got a new album out and this song is dedicated to my cool crew and everyone that helped me out with the album, here is “What About Yesterday”. After finishing song Reece fired off the Accept song “Hellhammer” which actually a few of the fans seemed to have heard. Reece stopped in the middle of the song and said he wanted the fans to say “Hi” to Blacksmith Legacy which was standing on the side; he had performed with them last year when he played in Sweden. “Thank you all for tonight Malmo, it’s been great being here”. The last thing he and the band did was to take a picture of themselves with the crowd in the background.
Again, the weakest link in this equation was Reece and his vocals. The rest of the band members were solid. The show was OK but I had wished to hear fewer songs from EAT THE HEAT and more from his other acts.
Any Time At All
Two Coins And A Dead Man
Live Before You Die
What About Yesterday
Once again the crew came out to change the gear as waited for the main attraction. Beneath the drum podium the title of the album STEELFACTORY was placed and on the huge backdrop sat the band’s name. The back line had similarities with a factory and I guess that was what the band wanted it to look like.
It’s really sad not to see Fitty Wienhold and Stefan Kaufmann on stage with U.D.O., last time I saw Kaufmann together with the guys it was at Wacken Open Air last summer when he made a guest appearance. However, I was looking forward to see the new members on stage and see their contribution to the show. Apparently Udo’s got a knee problem and uses a crutch to lean on when he’s performing. You’ve got to give him credit for being 60+ years and, instead of cancelling shows he decides to use a crutch! It took the crew about 30 minutes make the stage ready and right after 9 o clock it was time for the mighty metal machine in U.D.O. to make entrance.
After a while the intro music stopped and all of the members but one entered the stage and first song out “Tongue Reaper” started the show. The man the myth the legend with the razor blade vocals entered the stage after the other and was warmly greeted by the fans. He walked out to the center of the stage where he pretty much stood positioned after that throughout the show, when the applauds silenced he asked if the fans was doing fine and fired off “Make The Move” taken from the new album. Line up in the band is:
Udo Dirkschneider – lead vocals
Andrey Smirnov – guitar
Dee Dammers – guitar
Tilen Hudrap – bass
Sven Dirkschneider – drums
The stage filled up with so much smoke that some of the members almost disappeared. Dirkschneider said it was time for the band to play a song they hadn’t performed live for a while, it was time for “24/7” and the song really lit up the crowd. It was great to hear such an old song this early in the show. The band pulled off a great version of the song and Dirkschneider walked off the stage and let the rest of the band finish it off.
Everyone who has seen U.D.O. live before knows that when this intro comes in the PA it’s time for “Mastercutor” and the song really set the fans on fire. He thanked the crowd saying it now was time for “A Cry of a Nation” and Dirkschneider seemed really happy with the response he got from the fans. The great “Metal Machine” followed which meant the band had performed two songs after each other taken from the 2013 album STEELHAMMER. Even though Dirkschneider probably had pain from his knee he seemed happy and joked around with his fellow band members. Smirnov put on an excellent guitar play and impressed just like he always does. He had some great co-operation with Dammers and it felt like they both had equally fun. As for Hudrap, it felt like the bass player hadn’t found his place in the band yet as he didn’t have the same strength and power in his play as Wienhold, which sometimes made the music lack a bit of depth and power.
As you all probably already now Dirkschneider isn’t keen on doing much talking between songs and he now asked how the fans were doing and if they were ready for another song in the 23-year old “Independence Day”. He had the audience to sing the first part of the verse and in the middle the fans was accompanied by the drumming of Sven Dirkschneider. “In The Heat of the Night” followed as the stage was bathed in blue lights. “Vendetta”, taken from the 2007’s MASTERCUTOR was next, followed instantly by “Rising High” from STEELFACTORY. The current songs from STEELFACTORY went over well with the fans and even though the crowd was a bit lazy, the hardcore fans did their best to enliven the show.
It was time for Dammers to show off and as the stage turned blue, he did some solo stuff and had the fans cheer for him. When it was over it was time for a guitar intro that led into “In the Darkness”. While Dammers played the intro, Smirnov walked up to Sven behind the drums and played on his cymbals. Again, the band seemed to be having a lot of fun together; I have never seen a boring by these guys. The stage filled up with smoke yet again and it was time for “I Give as Good as I Get”. Another ballad; it was quite bold to fire off two slow songs after each other.
“Timebomb” followed, after which Dirkschneider and Dammers joked around together before it was time for Sven’s drum solo. He took the mic saying, “Hello Malmo, I can’t hear you! I know its Wednesday but let’s party like its’ Friday!” The fans all shouted “hey, hey” after which Sven said “OK, let’s pretend its Saturday and scream even louder for me! Say hello to Tilen Hudrap”, he said and together they played for a little while. “I see that there aren’t so many phones up in the air tonight, good, that means we have got an old school crowd tonight which is not strange since we are amongst Vikings tonight! OK let me hear the ladies scream for me now, and then I want to hear all the Vikings scream! Come on you can do better”, he said and urged the fans to scream louder for him. “OK, now I want to hear everyone shout together. Great now we’re going to do a new song which went really well on the charts in Sweden, it’s time for “Hungry and Angry”.
“Heart of Gold”, which is one of my personal favorites was next, followed by “One Heart One Soul”. “Thanks everyone”, Dirkschneider said, “See you another time Malmo!” 90 minutes flew by but the fans weren’t satisfied and shouted for encores. The band quickly came back firing off “Holy” as well as the epic “Animal House”. After releasing 16 studio albums, 6 live albums, and 3 compilations he has a lot of songs to choose from, luckily he chose many of my favorite songs to perform this night. The fans all shouted from the top of their lungs when they heard the encores and everyone exploded when it was time for the last songs which were “Man and Machine” and “They Want War”. Those songs ended the show and Dirkschneider thanked Malmo for an amazing night.
The almost 2 hour show was just another brilliant showing in how proper heavy metal should be executed. Despite his condition Dirkschneider managed to pull off almost 2 hours of amazing music and fun. On the other hand has he never been known as a vigorous and bendy front man so even though he was leaning on a crutch we knew what we could expect from him, the rest of the band also pulled off a solid show and especially Smirnov and Sven is worth a special recognition. The only thing that bothered me this evening was the vast amount of smoke that blocked the view as well as the blue and red lights which made it hard to take pictures. The lazy crowd also left more to wish for, it was only the hardcore fans at the front of the stage that did their job properly, the rest of the crowd stood solid on their spot and didn’t seem to commit fully to the show.
Otherwise it was an amazing night jammed with some great music and great songs, and it was good to hear that U.D.O honor his promise to not incorporate anymore Accept songs in his set list when he flies solo. This show was the first one for 2019 for me and what a great way to begin a new concert year.
Make the Move
A Cry of a Nation
In the Heat of the Night
In the Darkness
I Give As Good As I Get
Hungry and Angry
Heart of Gold
One Heart One Soul
Man and Machine
They Want War
Thanks to Totte Lundgren, head of Kulturbolaget, for help with press/photo pass to the show, and thank you Kulturbolaget for taking U.D.O to Malmo!!
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.