21/9 – 2022
Live review and pictures by Anders Sandvall
Another tour that was postponed because of the pandemic was U.D.O., whose latest studio album came out in October last year titled GAME OVER (which also is the name of the tour). The metal legend turned 70 this year and also released a cover album called MY WAY which to be honest maybe isn’t that great. The tour kicked off in Germany at the beginning of September and the show in Copenhagen was the first stop in Scandinavia. Along with U.D.O. the French new metal act Existance followed a band that has released three albums with the latest release WOLF ATTACK last year. The place of the show this night was the very nice club Amager Bio and the doors opened promptly at 6.30 with Existance entering the stage one hour later.
Tim Hudrap bass player in U.D.O went into hospital in September and in stepped original bass player of Accept in Peter Baltes to replace Hudrap. A swap I didn’t mind at all to be frank. About 30 minutes before the doors opened, myself and 6 other fans stood in line outside the club. Not a massive set of people to begin with but the Danish fans have a tendency of arriving to the club in time for the headline act to begin. Even though the band was only halfway through the tour, a lot of merchandise was already sold out and a lot of the t-shirts were missing. The stage in the club is very wide and long and pretty low close to the floor but that probably depends on the fact that it used to be a cinema theater located there before. The balconies inside the club were closed this night which meant the show wasn’t sold out.
The band made their entrance to the stage during the intro music and kicked off the show with “Wolf Attack” which was followed straight away by “Heavy Metal Fury”. The three front men ran across the stage during the show keeping the momentum going and stood besides each other playing and waving guitars in the poses made so popular by Iron Maiden and Accept. Even though there weren’t many people in the crowd yet the ones there made their best to support the band that continued the show with “Legends Never Die”. Izard thanked the crowd for the support saying “it was great to be in Copenhagen are you ready for some heavy metal, well here comes “Stay Alive”” and Izard was right, their music was straight up heavy metal with some possible melodic influences. The four piece French metal act Existance is made up by:
Julian Izard – lead vocals, guitar
Antonine Poiret – guitar
Julien Robilliard – bass
Géry Carbonnelle – drums
The band music sounded a bit messier live compared with on album and Izard couldn’t speak English. He did his best but it was clear that he comes from France if you know what I mean. “Thank you so much Copenhagen do you want to hear some more metal music”, he asked and before it was time for “Road Of The Gods” he had the crowd to shout hey hey.
Both the sound system as well as the lights left more to wish for but the band did the best from the circumstances they were given and I thought the guys felt quite solid on stage. “We come from France” Izard said, “and it’s the first time we’re in Copenhagen. It’s really nice to be on the road in Europe thanks for coming to see us this early during the evening. The next song is taken from out album WOLF ATTACK and is called “Power Of The Gods”.”
Then it was time to head back and do a song from the previous album in “We Are Restless” followed “Breaking The Rock” in which the three frontmen stood besides each other doing the Accept guitar swaying thing. “Now it’s time for our last song”, Izard said, “are you ready for U.D.O! Let me hear you scream hey hey for U.D.O!”
“From Hell” ended the show and after the song was over Izard brought out a Danish flag to wave with. That fired up the small crowd but unfortunately the minute show was now over and the band left the stage after saying good bye.
Existance brought some well played heavy metal music to Copenhagen this night and it was overall a solid performance. As I mentioned earlier, both the sound system and the lights wasn’t even near perfect, but the guys did what they could and they did a great job. If Izard improves his English then the guys have even more potential to go real far in the future.
Set list (not in order)
Heavy Metal Fury
Legends Never Die
Road Or Alive
Power Of The Gods
We Are Restless
Breaking The Rock
It went pretty fast for the crew to change gear and soon U.D.O.’s stuff showed up with a huge backdrop portraying the cover art of the new album as well as the name of the album GAME OVER. A huge drumset was also placed at the back and on each side of the drums there were letters placed showing the name UDO. It was a very nice looking backline that was coming up and as people started to arrive to the club the anticipation began to rise. As intro music the band had chose the Udo Dirkschneider cover of the Motörhead song “No Class” taken from his new cover album. I have followed Dirkschneider and Accept since 1982 and for me it all started with the epic album RESTLESS AND WILD which had the coolest cover art work ever around that time.
Everyone but Dirkschneider walked out on stage and kicked off “Prophecy” and as soon as the intro was over the man, the myth, the legend, entered the stage, Udo was in the house. “Holy Invaders” followed straight away and the crowd gave the legendary German singer a warm welcome. It’s hard not to like Dirkschneider – after all the man has been struggling hard through the years keeping on delivering his same ole patented heavy metal music, never compromising one bit with his sound. One can debate if everything he’s delivered has been good, but there’s no doubt that he has stayed true to his beliefs never resigning one bit on his music. Two songs from GAME OVER opened the show after which he thanked the fans for being there and finally it was time for an older tune in “Go Back To Hell”. The line up in the band is:
Udo Dirkschneider – lead vocals
Andrey Smirnov – guitar
Sven Dirkschneider – drums
Dee Dammers – guitar
Peter Baltes – bass (live/session member)
“Never Cross My Way” followed after which Dirkschneider once again thanked the fans saying here’s “24/7” which made the fans scream at the top of their lungs. “King Of Mean” and “Independence Day” followed and the song kept on firing up the crowd and the song is taken from the SOLID album from 1997. Dirkschneider isn’t a man of many words and as always he let the music do the talking rather than himself and the show moved on with “Rose In Desert” in which Smirnov kicked off with a guitar solo. The song is one of the more boring tunes that U.D.O. have released and the speed and momentum the band had built up started to slow down with the song.
He then introduced Peter Baltes on bass which woke up the crowd, here comes another song from our latest album GAME OVER he continued, here’s “Kids And Guns”. It felt like the spirit amongst the crowd faded when the band played songs from the new album and that many hadn’t listened to the album yet because there were no sing a long going on during the new songs. It felt like the music had been given more groove and edge with the arrival of Baltes in the band. The songs felt heavier and more aggressive with him on bass and I think that Baltes should be standing beside Dirkschneider in U.D.O. in the future. It felt like the fans had been given a unique opportunity to see two members from the original Accept formation standing together on stage again. I don’t think that is going to happen again in the future.
It was now Dammers turn to show off on guitar and he was the one that kicked off the next song with a guitar solo that led into a duel with Smirnov. The solo became the beginning of “Princess Of The Dawn” which needless to say sparked the flame amongst the fans. Of course sing a long took place and the fans took care of the chorus. It was a real treat to hear the song with both Dirkschneider and Baltes together on stage. The song became extended but I didn’t mind that, after all it’s one of my favorite songs with Accept. “Blind Eyes” followed and as always when Dirkschneider doesn’t sing he took a step back and let the rest of the band shine. When the fans heard the intro to “The Boogeyman” it was pure bliss and the song taken from the 2009 year album DOMINATOR took the show up a notch. Another song taken from the new album in “Like A Beast” continued on the show and the fans lost a bit of interest, and I have to admit that maybe the band chose to play a bit too many new songs.
The band was solid as a rock together and put on a really great show for the fans, and the arrival of Baltes added some extra flavor and depth to the music. It’s hard to understand that Dirkschneider just turned 70 years because his vocals sounded as great as ever. His trademark hoarse razor voice was intact. Do you have a good time he asked the fans that shouted YES back at him, well great than this wasn’t wasted time after all he said and laughed. Sadly it’s now time for our last song in the new song “Metal Never Dies”. The band took off their instruments thanked the fans and that marked the end of the show and 75 minutes of raw German metal was over.
Of course the fans began to shout for encores as soon as the band left the stage and after a shorter while the guys came back and fired off the first encore in “I Give As Good As I Get” taken from the REV-RAPTOR album. The song is a semi-ballad and is quite boring and I can’t understand why they chose to pick it as the first encore. There’s question marks when it comes to the choice of songs this night but I guess U.D.O. feels like they have nothing to prove and that the loyal fans like what they delivers anyway.
The band once again left the stage and an intro was heard through the PA, it was the music to “Man And Machine” that we heard and that brought back the happiness amongst the fans. The song brought down the loudest sing a long this night so far and both fans as well as the band members looked really happy. “Animal House” followed instantly and the epic classical Accept song “Balls To the Wall” ended the show. Since that song is a huge personal favorite of mine I was so glad to hear it again and with Baltes on bass. It doesn’t get much better than that! That amazing song closed the evening and the clock had now turned 10.
Besides the set list, that in my opinion included too many new songs taken from the GAME OVER album, and the somewhat poor lighting the band had to put up with, it was an amazing night. Why they included the slow and boring “Rose In Desert” and “I Give As Good As I Get” is beyond my understanding, and why they chose to play six new songs one can also question…but I guess the band and Dirkschneider was eager to play some new material. It would have been nice if the guys had aired some older U.D.O. material. It wouldn’t have hurt with some more songs added because usually the band plays for over 2 hours but not this night. It was only like 1 hour and 40 mins this evening.
If we forget those things, and focus on the more positive things that ruled the show was the return of Baltes on bass. He added stamina and routine to the show and I would have liked to see him as a permanent member in the band in the future, it’s not going to happen I know but let a guy dream. It was overall an amazing evening with the best thing that Germany ever produced – Udo Dirkschneider! He doesn’t let anyone decide what he should do, he always moves on in his own path and I have to admire his passion for his music that sure stands the test of time.