I admit it. ACCEPT was a band that for one reason or another I ignored during the metal heyday of the 80's, and continued to dismiss over the next 25+ years. Sure, I enjoyed "Balls to the Wall" when it was inevitably played over the PA system prior to every rock concert in the 80s, but I never owned a single album. Then, in 2010, with new vocalist Mark Tornillo at the mic and on the pen, the band released a shockingly stellar metal assault called "Blood of the Nations". It was not only a comeback album of epic proportions, but arguably the best metal album of the year. In 2012, they equaled the previous effort with the remarkable "Stalingrad" release. Both albums deliver song after song that drive hard with a rare combination of intensity, aggression, top-shelf musicianship, killer guitar tone, massive melody, and perfectly matched lyrics & vocals.
On Sept 25, ACCEPT rolled into San Francisco's Regency Ballroom amidst their extensive North American Teutonic Terror Attack 2012 tour (co-headlining with Kreator). I anticipated that it was going to be a great show featuring a setlist showcasing a majority of the new songs (how many times has anyone said that?), but I was unprepared for just how compelling the performance would be. Accept were stunning. The songs surpassed the studio versions in intensity, Tornillo is a beast on the mic, and the musicians delivered with supreme showmanship, crowd interaction, and sonic precision. Each member, despite their exhaustive touring schedule over the past several years, were clearly enjoying themselves on stage (or doing a damn fine job of faking it).