Live report U.D.O. & EXISTANCE, Gruenspan, Hamburg – September 13th, 2022

A few weeks ago Udo Dirkschneider, as Dirkschneider, played at the Wacken Open Air in Germany’s northernmost Bundesland. This time, the legendary singer comes back to the north, this time to Hamburg and as U.D.O.. While the focus at the W:O:A was on the classics from Accept days, tonight the U.D.O. hits are on the agenda.

Before songs like ‘Animal House’ rock the Gruenspan it’s up to Existance from France to get the crowd in the right mood. I didn’t know the guys before and therefore there is a curiosity. The band from Clermont starts a heavy metal firework lasting about 30 minutes, which immediately puts the crowd in the right mood. Traditional metal together with super dynamic stage acting and great poses, that’s what the guys have to offer. Of course, such a band is the ideal opener for an evening that is all about hard riffs. With ‘Wolf Attack’, the title track of the latest album, the quartet has a good starter for their very energetic set and when the band rings in the final chord of ‘From Hell’ after half an hour, they have certainly gained the one or other new fan and it is exciting to follow the further development of the band.

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U.D.O. live, that means pure heavy metal. All in all the fans will get to listen to a sixteen song setlist covering all phases of Udo Dirkschneider‘s solo career. For the most known, but still surprising for some, is the bass player of the band. At the beginning of September U.D.O. guitarist Tilen Hudrap completely unexpectedly had to go to the hospital. At the beginning of a tour this is a nightmare, but not for a experienced veteran like Dirkschneider with his wide network. None other than Peter Baltes, like Dirkschneider a founding member of Accept, took over the bass and is on stage with the band tonight. Together with Udo’s son Sven, Baltes forms a hard-hitting groove engine this evening and thus the basis for a kick-ass concert.

Andrey Smirnov and Dee Dammers are the two guitarists who are delivering thrilling duels and have room to show their talent during the one and a half hours. But of course everyone comes for the band’s name giver – Udo Dirkschneider. Under thunderous applause the metal icon enters the stage and starts with ‘Prophecy’ directly into a brilliant show. ‘Holy Invaders’ and ‘Go Back to Hell’ follow. It quickly becomes obvious that a real metalfest is about to start. With ‘Princess of the Dawn’ it is an Accept classic that has sneaked onto the setlist and of course the song is enthusiastically celebrated by clapping along.

Udo Dirkschneider is 70 years in the meantime and you don’t notice it on him. Full of power the bandleader guides through the set and is also vocally on the top of the game. In addition, the metal veteran delivers an authentic show without much frills, but with full commitment. Before with ‘Metal Never Dies ‘ the last song of the regular set is announced it could be that one or the other fan takes his breath away. After the euphoric fans confirm the question if they are in a good mood with a lot of applause Dirkschneider replies that this was the positive part. When then the negative part beginning with “everything has an end” it became quiet in the hall. But luckily it was only the announcement of the last song in the set and the party is back in full swing.

‘Man and Machine’, Animal House’ and the Accept anthem ‘Balls to the Wall’ are the last three songs and form the encore part together with ‘I Give as Good as I Can’.
U.D.O. deliver again a great performance. Experience meets youthful vigor here. This is exactly the mix that fans expect and everyone who found their way to the Gruenspan tonight will surely be happy to be there again for the next U.D.O. show, whenever this will be in the hopefully near future..

Setlist:

Existance

  1. Wolf Attack
  2. Heavy Metal Fury
  3. Legends Never Dies
  4. Dead or Alive
  5. Power of the Gods
  6. Breaking the Rock
  7. From Hell

U.D.O.

  1. Prophecy
  2. Holy Invaders
  3. Go Back to Hell
  4. Never Cross My Way
  5. 24/7
  6. Independence Day
  7. King of Mean
  8. Rose in the Desert
  9. Kids and Guns
  10. Princess oft he Dawn
  11. Blind Eyes
  12. The Bogeyman
  13. Like a Beast
  14. Metal Never Dies
  15. I Give as Good as I Get (encore)
  16. Man and Machine (encore)
  17. Animal House (encore)
  18. Balls to the Wall (encore)

Location: Guenspan, Hamburg, Germany

Date: September 13th, 2022

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