Wacken Festival is the biggest and loudest of all Heavy Metal festivals and this year the main reason I went was to see two acts who rarely visit the UK and are amongst the finest exporters of Teutonic rock.
One was the Scorpions, who you can also read about here on MetalTalk, and the other was the German Heavy Metal legend and former screamer of Accept, Udo Dirkschneider, who was doing a special show to not only celebrate the 25th anniversary as a solo artist with his band UDO but was also celebrating his 60th birthday with some very special guests.
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Before UDO came on stage there were birthday messages played on the big screen to the great man from Motorhead and Dee Snider with the Twisted Sister motor mouth joking: "For your birthday, I'm not going to sue you for stealing my name. Only kidding man."
UDO opened up with the title track from his latest album 'Rev-Raptor' and this was soon followed by the solid sounds of 'Thunderball' and 'Leatherhead'.
The man was dressed in Army combat camouflage trousers and he has every right as he was the first to do so back in 1983 and the look has since been adopted by thousands of Metallers worldwide. He was in fine fettle, snarling away with his unique voice sounding like the rumble and clanking of an oncoming Panzer tank.
Former Accept cohort Stefan Kaufmann is a major player in UDO and has progressed from the drums to became the master of the riff on the six string.
'Screaming For A Love Bite' was the first of the Accept classics and 'Princess Of The Dawn' was a glorified epic which raised voices from the Wacken faithful.
The first surprise came when Udo invited Doro Pesch onto the stage to sing the duet they've recorded, 'Dancing With An Angel', where the beauty and the beast changed the pace of the set in a very pleasing manner.
After a Dirkschneider favourite in 'Head Over Heels', Udo was joined by former band mates from his early nineties career with Andy Seusemihl, Mathias Dieth, Thomas Smuszynsky and also young Dirkschneider junior Sven joining in on the drums. Together they tore through early UDO classics with a fresh gusto such as 'Animal House', 'Heart Of Gold' and 'They Want War' but the most surreal sight of the weekend came when Eurovision winner Mr Lordi joined them, completely dressed in his scary monster costume and towering over Udo for a menacing 'Break The Rules'. It was a joy to witness.
Surprisingly the speed classic 'Fast As A Shark' was not part of the encores but I was more than pleased with a heads down, no nonsense attack of 'The Bogeyman' from 'Dominator' and a bone shaking head crunching riff of 'Balls To The Wall' where UDO the band were joined by the former members and Doro Pesch and Mr Lordi to provide a very Metal chorus.
Udo Dirkscneider sang his Metal heart out and made this London Leatherboy one very happy rocker. The celebrator of all celebrations.
Screaming For A Love Bite
Princess Of The Dawn
Dancing With An Angel
Head Over Heels
Heart Of Gold
They Want War
Break The Rules
Man And Machine