U.D.O. – Live In Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show [Blu-Ray/DVD]

U.D.O. - Live In Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show [Blu-Ray/DVD]
  • 8.5/10
    U.D.O. - Live In Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show [Blu-Ray/DVD] - 8.5/10


AFM Records
Release date: March 19, 2021

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Backstory

2020 was the quietest year for musicians and bands around the world. German Metal act U.D.O. set out to give fans hope for the future with their performance at the stunning Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in the summer of 2020. Only a sampling of U.D.O. fans, capped at 2500, were allowed to attend. Live in Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show is U.D.O. 5th live release.

The Video

The setting for this special concert cannot be ignored. The ancient architecture with the modern stage lighting makes for a unique and stunning visual experience. The crowd of 2500 is just as enthusiastic as if it were a full amphitheater or stadium. The audio and video are top notch as the U.D.O. band plays two hours of their best songs with a few Accept classics thrown in for good measure.

Udo may have made claims in the past that his band would not be playing any more Accept songs, but he can be forgiven under the Covid lockdown circumstances. The veteran vocalist shows even at 68 years old, he can still hang with his youthful backing band. Sure, he may not bounce around on stage like he used to, but he doesn’t have to. His distinctive voice commands the stage more than anything else.

It’s not easy to fit 15 albums of U.D.O. material into a 2 hour set, but the band does its best to include songs from key albums. U.D.O.’s last studio album Steelfactory is heavily represented here, which makes sense since the band never got to properly finish that tour. The songs from that album sound great live. There are five Accept songs that sound just as good live in 2020 then when Dirkschneider first performed them live. Songs from Mastercutor, Steelhammer, Solid, Animal House, Rev-Raptor, Time Bomb, Man and Machine, and Dominator make up the rest of the set.

The Verdict

Yes, Live in Bulgaria is U.D.O.’s 5th live release (6th if you count his Dirkschneider release). BUT if you take the time to give each of those released your attention, you will see that they are all unique in their own ways. The venues where they were recorded, the set lists, the addition of an orchestra, and other elements give a distinct character to each release. It’s not just one legacy set repeated over and over again.

Live in Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show represents an U.D.O. live show today. It’s heavy on songs from his latest release with a sprinkling of classics. There aren’t too many bands playing 6 songs from their latest album, are there? It bears repeating how wonderful the visuals of this show are. It’s also pretty amazing that everyone involved from the band to the crew to the crowd were able to pull this off in the middle of a pandemic. While this show makes you crave for a live show, it also shows you what is possible if live performances have to be altered going forward.


1. Intro
2. Tongue Reaper
3. Make The Move
4. Midnight Mover
5. Wrong Side Of Midnight
6. Metal Machine
7. Independence Day
8. Rose In The Desert
9. Vendetta
10. Rising High
11. Prologue: The Great Unknown
12. In The Darkness
13. I Give As Good As I Get
14. Princess Of The Dawn
15. Timebomb
16. Drum Solo
17. Bass Solo
18. Hungry And Angry
19. One Heart One Soul
20. Man And Machine
21. Animal House
22. They Want War
23. Metal Heart
24. Fast As Shark
25. Balls To The Wall
26. Outro (Stillness Of Time)

U.D.O. is

Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Andrey Smirnov – Guitar
Sven Dirkschneider – Drums
Fabian Dee Danners – Guitar
Tilen Hudrap – Bass


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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