U.D.O. (Live)

at Rock In, Oslo, Norway, October 15 and 16, 2004

In Norway, all dogs have to be leashed during this time of the year, and usually it’s not at all allowed to walk your dog without a leash in Oslo’s city center. Still, this prime example of the German silver-haired Bulldog breed was allowed to walk on his own, and even so for two nights in a row … and By The Gods he barked, as both Udo and his companions were in great form both nights, making for some very entertaining hours of thundering, doggy-style (got it?) Heavy Metal.

The band played about the same set both nights, with plenty of songs from both Accept and the solo albums. Obviously there were highlights, enough to more than exceed the Metal Express review length guidelines, but opening with “Thunderball,” “Bullet and the Bomb,” and “Metal Heart” has to be mentioned, as does “Man and Machine,” “Balls to the Wall,” “Restless and Wild,” “Fast As A Shark,” “Pull the Trigger,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Holy,” “Independence Day,” “Son of a Bitch,” and a doghouseful of others.

Maybe “Breaker” could have been included instead of “Neon Nights,” and “Land of the Midnight Sun” or “Magic Mirror” would also have been very cool to hear live, but there’s really no reason to complain as this was a very strong overall set indeed. The band played with an intensity and feeling rarely seen in today’s popular music scene, and it’s pretty darn amazing to watch how Udo still closes his eyes and gets into the spirit of the music after some thirty years of playing these very same songs. Did someone mention the word dedication?

The observant spectator would notice that neither bassist Fitty Weinhold nor drummer Lorenzo Milani were present, but the replacement musicians both did a very good job. Although he wasn’t much of a crowd entertainer, the bassist, whose name is unknown, was as steady as a bottle of Jack Daniel’s inside Lemmy Kilminster’s mouth, and drummer Francesco Jovino played with the flair and punch of someone like Lars Ulrich (or Lorenzo himself). He looked a bit tired in the beginning of the second gig, though, but from the point of his incredible solo he was back up to par. Guitarist Igor Gianola also was impressive, as he managed to let more loose than in the studio, where his solos at times sound a bit uninspired. Live, there was technique aplenty mixed with a real kick-ass attitude, and during his extended solo spot on Saturday, when he moved out and around in the crowd, he definitely scored some coolness points.

The man responsible for the before-mentioned contravention regarding the dog-leashing regulations, Stefan Kaufmann, was great both nights too as he, as well as playing as solid as ever, brought an element of humor into it all when he several times attempted to start the dog-version of a cat fight (got it?) with an unknowing Udo by suddenly bumping him from behind in the middle of a song. Concerning Mr. Dirkschneider himself, he delivered like he always does, and there’s no need to say more.

Overall there’s not very many negative things to say, as both gigs (although neither were supernatural experiences or anything) were great, with plenty of awesome tracks presented by to men who have become an institution in the Metal world with a great band to back them up. Maybe the vocals were a bit low in the mix, but this was no big deal. The only major concern was that the electricity went out halfway into “Balls to the Wall” on Friday, forcing the band to end the gig three songs early. Still this just proves the Power of UDO – this man and his band requires more power than the entire electricity circuit of a medium-sized pub! Barf for that!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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