Udo Dirkschneider is most widely recognized as the original frontman for the German heavy metal unit Accept, where he helped pen a number of anthemic staples including “Balls to the Wall,” “Metal Heart” and “Screaming For a Love Bite.”
After originally leaving Accept in 1997, Dirkschneider has formed his own band U.D.O., which to date has released fifteen studio albums and a number of live efforts. While there is still certainly demand for Dirkschneider to perform songs from his career in Accept, the frontman has largely refrained from doing so in recent years; at most, one or two Accept songs have been included in the recent U.D.O. set lists.
For those dedicated Accept fans who want to hear the band’s founding voice perform “Princess of the Dawn,” you will only have one last opportunity to do so and that will be during Dirkschneider’s upcoming solo tour in 2016. In what he has advertised as an Accept “farewell” tour, this tour will be Dirkschneider’s way of saying goodbye to the music of Accept.
The 62-year-old vocalist delivered his announcement at a press conference in the VIP tent of this weekend’s Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany. “I still love singing these songs live,” Dirkschneider said. “The songs still are an important part of my catalog and still suit my voice very well. But at some point in your life, it’s just time to close the chapter.”
He continues: “There has been so much talk and speculation about Accept, so I just want to give my last definitive musical statement about it and give my fans a chance to see me perform a complete concert of these songs one last time on stage.”
Of course, Dirkschneider hasn’t refrained from addressing his former Accept bandmates in recent months. Just this past January, the frontman revealed that he had purchased a ticket to watch the current lineup of Accept – which features lead vocalist Mark Tornillo – play a show in Hamburg, Germany during their 2014 in support of their new album ‘Blind Rage.’
“I wanted to see it once live, you know, what they’re doing on stage,” Dirkschneider told The Rock Online. “And let’s say it in this way: I was… I cannot really explain it. It was like something like… It was, for me, nothing… like there was no band on stage, you know. For me, it was like they were playing everything without emotion. They [didn’t] look [at] each other. It was something, you know, it was like just, ‘Okay, here we go… Be finished and go!'”
Dirkschneider would then turn his attention towards his replacement in the band by saying: “Let’s say, the most reaction was when they did the old songs. Of course. So, but, you know, and the singer [Mark Tornillo]… In a way, he’s a good singer, but when he has to sing all the old Accept stuff, I feel very sorry for him. This is a nightmare.”
This upcoming Accept remembrance tour will not be under the U.D.O. name, and will instead be an Udo Dirkschneider tour. There is currently no word as to whether the members of U.D.O. will accompany Dirkschneider as his supporting lineup during next year’s run.