There are certain events that put bands into the spotlight, even experienced musicians who have been in the business for over 40 years. This is one of those events, and happened on September 18, 2020 with U.D.O.
U.D.O., the band featuring German rock icon Udo Dirkschneider (the original voice of Accept who had rock hits like ‘Balls to Wall,’ ‘Metal Heart’ and many more) played a concert in the stunning Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in front of 2500 fans – in the middle of a year that is one of the quietest ever for musicians and bands, both at home and internationally.
The show, which happened in full compliance with the corona virus hygiene regimen, is by far one of the largest to happen worldwide during the current pandemic. It not only gives you goose bumps from start to finish but, in these trying times, is a truly historic music event. The concert will be released on a live DVD on March 19, 2021 – and is already one of the most extraordinary music releases ever.
The mood and emotions captured on the live DVD can barely be put into words. It is the only concert that U.D.O. played in 2020 and is an impressive example of what, with a huge amount of effort and planning, can actually be done during the pandemic. For decades, U.D.O. was renown for playing up to 200 shows worldwide every year but in 2020, they too have been brought to a standstill.
Up until a few days before the concert in Plovdiv, it was not clear whether it could take place at all. Could the necessary hygiene regime be implemented? Could the band, whose musicians live in four different countries, even enter Germany?
What would it be like, after more than nine months since the musicians had seen each other (by far the longest time since the band’s existence) to be back on stage together?
“It felt more than strange not seeing my fellow musicians for so long and not playing with them,” describes Udo Dirkschneider. “Normal is exactly the largest part of my life. It was suddenly switched off. The interpersonal relationships, sitting together, everything that you share with your colleagues away from the stage, suddenly disappeared. ”
When, after all the trials and tribulations in Plovdiv, the band finally takes the stage, a never-ending wave of euphoria from the audience swells towards them, leading everything to feel a little unreal. “We just felt goose bumps,” describes Udo. “You could tell by the people that they could hardly believe they were finally going to see a concert again. The mood that emanated from each one of them and us gave us all an incredible boost. None of us have ever experienced anything like this before. ”
It is an evening that lets everyone, even just for a few hours, feel what only music can convey: to feel that they belong together and to let themselves be carried away from everyday life and its worries. An evening on which, especially in 2020, will become clear the importance that music and culture fulfills, and the indescribable void it leaves behind when it’s not there.
The setlist this evening is also unique. In addition to the tour set of the Steelfactory’ shows, there are a number of songs that have rarely been played live, and because the situation is extra special, U.D.O. delighted the audience with some Accept hits on top of that. Truly an evening to remember.
Read our review here.