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ConcertsKreator, Accept, and Swallow the Sun at Best Buy Theater NYC 9/7/2012

Posted on Sunday, September 16 2012 @ 08:12:11 CDT by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

Two veteran bands from the German metal scene, Kreator and Accept, and Finland's Swallow the Sun, are trailblazing across the US right now on a hot package tour that saw them stop in New York City's Best Buy Theater in Times Square on Friday, September 7th. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo was on hand for all the metal mania in what turned out to be one of the strongest shows in a while, and brings this full concert report.

Yes, I've been slagging lately, admittedly not attending too many live events for one reason or another (something else always seems to come up), but I knew that this was a show I had to go to. For one, I've not seen Accept since the Balls to the Wall tour way back in the early '80s when they opened up here for Judas Priest (yeah, that's a LONG time ago!), and it's also been a few years since I've caught the mighty Kreator. Throw in the always engaging Swallow the Sun, and you have a metal triple bill that required a mandatory attendance on my part.

Seeing Swallow the Sun numerous times live I pretty much knew what to expect. Their blend of doom and dark, gothic imagery usually goes over well on the right bill, but on this night, when the fans were primed for some supercharged thrash and kick ass classic metal, Swallow the Sun just didn't seem to fit. Sure, they delivered those crushing riffs and moaning growls, but the few who made their way in to catch the openers seemed to be more ready for something a bit more upbeat. That didn't stop the metal faithful of giving the band their respect and applause after each song in their 30 minute set, which was well deserved, but I'm sure most appreciated their performance yet wished a different type of act were picked to open this show, myself included. Their long, ponderous, dramatic songs are more suitable for a night where the vibe of the crowd is expecting material of that sort for the duration, but on this night, after 2 songs, everyone was starting to fill into the venue in anticipation of the legendary Accept.

Once the Germans took the stage and ripped into new track "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" the now full Best Buy Theater went wild, and with singer Mike Tornillo (ex-TT Quick) now firmly in place for two albums and tours, all thoughts of Udo have disappeared. Tornillo fits in fine with Accept, as he unleashed that raw delivery that is somewhat Udo-like, giving classics like "Breaker", "Losers and Winners", "Up to the Limit", and "Restless and Wild" exactly the type of vocal energy they deserve. The rest of the band, Wolf Hoffman, Peter Baltes, Herrman Frank, and Stefan Schwarzmann, were firing on all cylinders this night as well, with Hoffman and Frank just crushing in on guitars. In fact, the band had one of the best overall guitar sounds I've heard in a live setting in some time-absolutely crushing! New tracks "Stalingrad", "Shadow Soldiers", "Bucket Full of Hate", and "Pandemic" just killed and went over so well with the crowd, and what a surprise to hear the mid '80s classic "Metal Heart" played as well. Of course, the crowd went beserk at the final 1-2 punch of "Fast as a Shark" and "Balls to the Wall", as the mosh pit was swirling with flying bodies and crowd surfers launching into the photo area in front of the stage. Every song was expertly played, the sound was perfect (Hoffman's leads and riffs were mindblowing) and the crowd ate up every bit of it. As it turned out, Accept were going to be a hard act to follow.

Give Kreator plenty of credit for going on after that monstrous set by Accept and delivering quite a good performance. You could tell early on that some of the energy had been drained out of the crowd, and it didn't help that Kreator's first batch of songs were drenched in a muddy mix that didn't help matters. That didn't stop the thrash titans though, as they got stronger as the set got deeper, pumping out some of their more recent gems like "Enemy of God", the title track of the new album "Phantom Antichrist", "Hordes of Chaos", and the smokin' "Death to the World". Eventually their 17 song set climaxed with the classics "Flag of Hate" and "Tormentor", with founding vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza urging the crowd to create a violent circle pit, which they were ready to oblige.

A great night of metal indeed. Accept were easily the band of the night, and no disrespect to Kreator, but they should have headlined and been the ones to close out the evening. Regardless, not one person went home unhappy, and that's what it's really about in the end.

Pete Pardo
Accept Setlist
1. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
2. Hellfire
3. Restless and Wild
4. Losers and Winners
5. Stalingrad
6. Shadow Soldiers
7. Pandemic
8. Breaker
9. Bucket Full of Hate
10. Princess of the Dawn
11. Up to the Limit
12. Teutonic Terror
13. Metal Heart
14. Fast as a Shark
15. Balls to the Wall

Kreator Setlist
1. Mars Mantra
2. Phantom Antichrist
3. From Flood Into Fire
4. Enemy of God
5. Phobia
6. Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)
7. Civilization Collapse
8. Voices of the Dead
9. Extreme Aggression
10. People of the Lie
11. Death to the World
12. Endless Pain
13. Pleasure to Kill
14. Violent Revolution
15. Betrayer
16. Flag of Hate
17. Tormentor

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