[PICTURE: Do you really have to be a dinosaur to appreciate these guys..???]
The past week I had to admit to myself that I am one of the last survivors of an endangered species called Headbangus Metallus...
U.D.O was coming to town - former ACCEPT-frontman Udo Dirkschneider (and Stefan Kaufmann on guitar, also ex-Accept-member). Now, if this had been 1984 or even 1989, I would NEVER have had a problem finding somebody who'd go to the gig with me, but the past week I've been calling more or less EVERYBODY all over town, even people I've barely spoken to for more than a year, to ask if they wanted to see U.D.O. The answers I got were: "No" or "Can't afford it" or "Who??".
[PICTURE: Stefan Kaufmann playing hot heavy metal guitar..! :-) ]
It's scary! The only one who'd probably go is Ozzie, and she's in Stockholm at the moment! Gaaah!!
JUST when I decided to go by myself, I came to think of David, Ozzie's friend. So I called him, and when he answered, it sounded like he was at Madison Square Garden attending some Judas Priest concert!
- Hey! We're having an 80´s party here! We´re drinking wine and listening to old metal! It's UDO-evening tonight!! he said (or rather yelled, cause the music was so loud!)
- I know! I've been calling people to ask if they are going to see him, and nobody's going! I said.
- Well, come over! he said, and as I was already in the hall, ready to leave with or without company, I drove over to David's place.
I stayed for 30 minutes - an hour, but I didn't have a ticket for the show, and I didn't wanna miss it, so I went down to the venue pretty early. David and Jon said they were gonna be down later.
KB (Kulturbolaget, the club where U.D.O was gonna play) was...well... Pretty much empty when I arrived!
But I bought a Coke and found a table where I spent the rest of the evening (except for when U.D.O went onstage). Fortunately, I met many people this evening! Most of them are people I always meet at concerts, people like me, who can't resist going whenever a metal-band comes to town..! The drum-tech guy for one of the opening acts (Lion's Share - see my guestbook) is a friend of a very good friend of mine. But it was so embarrassing... He came over to my table with a BIG smile and his arms wide open, as he was gonna give me a hug and went:
I looked at him, looked at the laminate around his neck, looked at the "Last Mohikan"hairdo and wondered WHO on earth he WAS! He stopped when he saw my puzzled face.
- You don't recognize me, do you?
- Uhm... I'm not suuure...? I said with a very confused expression on my face.
- And yet we spoke on the phone for EIGHT HOURS once! he said.
- Eight hours?? Are you SURE?
Turned out it was Uffe's friend, and we were even out partying once in Stockholm when the Skids were playing there, the very same weekend.. Well, anyway..!
People came and went, if someone had had a camera on my table, they would have wondered who I was since I knew so many different kinds of people - some of them seemed to know me more than I knew them...! :-(
It didn't take long before the first band went on stage, Venize (I'm not sure about the spelling, they had a funny way to spell it...) with Udo's little brother Peter Dirkschneider as the frontman. There were only about 50 people in the club, and I felt embarrassed witnessing this fiasco. Well, the BAND was good, and Peter not only SOUNDED exactly like Udo (you just can't tell the difference!) he even LOOKS exactly like him! Only a little bit younger, it was like taking a big step back to 1984, cause Udo looked JUST like Peter back then. Or the other way around... Ah, whatever! You know what I mean!
They delivered some traditional aggressive, heavy and partially fast heavy metal, I thought they were good, but then again, I LIKE that sort of stuff! :-)
A few minutes later it was time for Lion's Share, a very 80´s Stryper/Queenryche mixed with late Sabbath kind of band, with a singer who was very good, but maybe a little bit too good... There were PLENTY of high notes and screams á la TNT or Steelheart in his singing, and it became annoying in the long run. He was very talented but should have tried to sing in his low register a little bit more...
Other than that, the guys around me were really into Lion's Share, liked the sound etc, so...
But when it was time for U.D.O I left the table and secured my spot right there in the front- as usual! And by the way - this was an evening where there wasn't exactly a long line outside the ladies' room if you know what I mean... I could only spot three other girls in the entire club, except me, and they were all somebody's girlfriend, none of them looked like a big U.D.O-fan.
Anyway, Udo and co walked up on stage, and the crowd finally showed that it was ALIVE! The front row consisted of a whole bunch of teenage headbanging Beavis' and Buttheads'..! There were fists in the air, hair flying around in every single direction (still ON somebody's head though..! :-)) V-signs, applauses, jumping - all the ingredients that characterize a good show!
We got to hear old classics like Metal Heart, Rebel and my all time favorite BALLS TO THE WALL!! I went totally wild when I heard it! YES! YES!YES!! :-)
They even did Judas Priest's Metal Gods in one of the encores, and, of course, Fast as a shark!
But I liked many of U.D.O's own songs too, Independence Day was one of them.
Alright, so Udo might not be a David Coverdale or anything, but he's just cool! He's basically standing still on stage, screaming his guts out, and that's exactly what we want him to do! Metal! Metal!! :-)
[PICTURE: Jon got his Udo- autograph first...!]
Afterwards, people proved once again that they weren't gonna contribute to saving the noble artform heavy metal - they left directly after the show. Well, except for a few young guys who first waited a few minutes but then gave up and went home.
David, Jon and me stood outside in the snow and waited. And waited... It was one of those quiet, cold winter-nights that you see in Christmas-cartoons and movies. Snow falling quietly from the sky, not as much as a breeze, covering the steets with a white fluffy blanket. And not a single soul. Except a poor roadie who went back and forth carrying stuff to the tour bus.
David asked him if Udo was still there.
- Yes, but he usually takes a long time to get ready after a show. He showers, relaxes, has a cup of tea, sits with the band and chats a little...
[PICTURE: ...then David got his...]
So we decided to wait. But when the roadie came out again I asked him if he could just ask Udo to come down before he got too comfortable up there, so we could just have our autographs and go home. It was past midnight and some of us are getting up pretty early in the morning..! He promised to do his best.
And it didn't take long actually - the roadie-guy came down and said:
- He's coming now!
- He IS? Thanks! I said and picked up my marker and my camera.
And out came the little man with his blue suitcase on wheels and a scarf around his neck!
He was nice, signed everything, and answered our questions.
- We're going to Stockholm tomorrow, and after that Finland and a few other countries, and THEN we go to Greece! Summertime! he said and looked up to the sky as if to say "I'm sick of this weather..!" Good thing they planned in Greece on this tour then!
[PICTURE: ...and then finally, he signed my jacket..! Oh, and by the way, that's not dandruff or dust on the lens, it's SNOWING..!]
He had to get up on the bus, cause it was getting really cold, and we ran to the car, happy to have achieved what we had set out to achieve, and now - it's another regular working day again...! But it was a good evening - the kind of entertainment that us DINOSAURS enjoy....!! :-) A trip back in time, to the land of Marshall-amps!
And the next nostalgia trip is coming up soon - Dee Snider! Playing Twister Sister-songs! That is... COOL!! Stay tuned for more!
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