UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER And PETER BALTES To Celebrate 40th Anniversary Of ACCEPT's 'Balls To The Wall' On 2025 European Tour

May 13, 2024

German heavy metal act U.D.O. has just completed a European tour in support of its latest album, "Touchdown" (released in August 2023),which saw the band perform at a number of sold-out venues. The group is now preparing for this year's festival season as well as the North American leg of its ongoing world tour. Two of the summer dates will actually revive the name DIRKSCHNEIDER.

DIRKSCHNEIDER is a name that stands for far more than a simple second incarnation of U.D.O., the band with Udo Dirkschneider. In this form, the quintet pays tribute to the history of its legendary singer as the songwriter and founder of the influential German metal act ACCEPT. Bass player Peter Baltes, the newest member of the U.D.O. and DIRKSCHNEIDER family, also contributed a lot to ACCEPT's scene-defining works, and during their common time in Udo's former band, a certain album titled "Balls To The Wall" came to be.

DIRKSCHNEIDER, which is completed by the drummer Sven Dirkschneider (Udo's son) and the talented guitar duo of Andrey Smirnov and Fabian "Dee" Dammers, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Balls To The Wall", which was originally released in late 1983 and is the most commercially successful and best-known album by ACCEPT, by embarking on a full European tour in the spring of 2025.

Udo comments: "I really can't wait to revisit the ultimate success album of my band ACCEPT. Topped by sharing the stage with Peter Baltes, performing 'Balls To The Wall' in full for all of you out there will be one of my biggest career highlights for sure!"

As if 45 minutes of "Balls To The Wall" — delivering cult tracks such as its title track, "London Leatherboys", "Love Child" and the album closing ballad "Winterdreams" — aren't enough to celebrate, DIRKSCHNEIDER will also add additional musical surprises to the set list and even return with a fresh stage production. Everything is set to commemorate the 40th anniversary of this undeniable ACCEPT milestone and to ensure that these nights will be unforgettable celebrations for every metalhead.

Tickets for the German shows are exclusively available at Eventim now; the general pre-sale for all 25 dates is set to be launched on Wednesday, May 15 at 12 p.m. (noon) CEST.

2025 "Balls To The Wall" 40th-anniversary tour dates:

Feb. 26 - AT Vienna - SiMM City
Feb. 27 - DE Munich - Backstage
Feb. 28 - DE Leipzig - Haus Auensee
Mar. 01 - CZ Prague - SaSaZu
Mar. 02 - HU Budapest - Barba Negra
Mar. 04 - RO Bucharest - Quantic Club
Mar. 06 - PL Kraków - Klub Studio
Mar. 07 - PL Warsaw - Progresja
Mar. 08 - LT Vilnius - Kablys
Mar. 10 - FI Helsinki - Kulttuuritalo
Mar. 11 - FI Tampere - Tavara-asema
Mar. 13 - NO Oslo - Rockefeller
Mar. 14 - SE Gothenburg - Trädgår'n
Mar. 16 - DE Berlin - Huxleys Neue Welt
Mar. 17 - DE Frankfurt - Batschkapp
Mar. 18 - BE Antwerp - Trix
Mar. 19 - FR Paris - Le Trabendo
Mar. 21 - ES Pamplona - Sala Totem
Mar. 22 - ES Murcia - SaLa Gamma
Mar. 23 - ES Barcelona - Razzmatazz 2
Mar. 25 - CH Pratteln - Konzertfabrik Z7
Mar. 26 - DE Stuttgart - LKA Longhorn
Mar. 27 - DE Oberhausen - Turbinenhalle
Mar. 28 - DE Hamburg - Große Freiheit 36
Mar. 29 - DE Geiselwind - Eventhalle

Nine years ago — in 2015 — Udo announced that he would embark on a special tour during which he would perform ACCEPT songs one last time under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner before closing that chapter for good. Since then, the former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider has continued to play ACCEPT material at select shows, including at the September 18, 2020 U.D.O. concert in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray. Asked in a 2021 interview with Canada's The Metal Voice why the ACCEPT tracks are still finding their way into the U.D.O. setlist, Udo said: "In the beginning, I said, 'With U.D.O., I don't play any ACCEPT songs.' But for this concert [in Plovdiv], the promoter was really begging: 'Is it possible to play some ACCEPT songs?' And we said, 'Okay.' And in the end, we did five songs — the classic stuff, of course. It's the same with the [U.D.O.] tour in America. The promoter in America, he said, 'You don't play any ACCEPT songs with U.D.O.?' And I said, 'Yeah, normally we don't do it.' [And he said] 'But you cannot do a tour in America and Canada without [playing] 'Balls To The Wall'.' I said, 'Yes, I can do that. No problem.' He said, 'Why not? It's not a big deal. People wanna hear that.' I mean, I don't have a problem to play 'Balls' and maybe two more other ACCEPT songs.

"After three years of DIRKSCHNEIDER, playing every night only ACCEPT stuff, and on the other side, I have [nearly 20] U.D.O. albums," he explained. "So that was the point to say the people heard enough now of ACCEPT, it's done, and now I concentrate on U.D.O. and I don't need to play any ACCEPT songs; there's another band that can play ACCEPT songs.

"I was just talking also in another interview today, and they said, 'Who gives a fuck about this? The people wanna [some ACCEPT songs].' Not 50 percent of the setlist, but they wanna hear the classic stuff, like 'Metal Heart', 'Balls', 'Fast As A Shark' — stuff like that. And I said, 'Yeah. We will see. I don't know yet.'"

When he first announced the original DIRKSCHNEIDER tour in 2015, Udo said that had "to make a clear break for myself — close the book and this is it. And I have the problem that people come to me and ask me to play more ACCEPT songs," he explained. "Other people ask me why I play ACCEPT songs at all, because there are [more than] fifteen U.D.O. records. I want to avoid such things and avoid the repeating questions concerning ACCEPT. I just can't stand that anymore. There is nothing more to be said. U.D.O. exists longer than ACCEPT. We have more records than ACCEPT."

While acknowledging that some ACCEPT fans want to hear the band's classic songs performed by the group's original singer, Dirkschneider explained that "you always have these comparisons [between how these songs are played by ACCEPT and U.D.O.]. I don't want this anymore either. [The current lineup of ACCEPT] also play 'Metal Heart', they play 'Balls To The Wall' and 'Princess Of The Dawn'. And then some people tell me, 'Oh, [current ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo] is doing it better than you.' And I go, 'That's fine. Enjoy yourself.' But I don't want this anymore. And to avoid all of this in the future, I said, 'We are doing this one more time.'"

Dirkschneider said that his vow to never play ACCEPT material again came with one caveat. "If the band ACCEPT dissolves one day in the near future and I am still around with U.D.O., then there is a chance that I put ACCEPT songs back in the setlist," he said. "But currently there is ACCEPT, so go see them [if you want to see those songs performed live]. They are playing these songs."

Udo previously said the original plan was for DIRKSCHNEIDER to only "a few shows," and "then [the tour] got bigger and bigger [due to demand]." But, he added, "I don't want to complain about that."

Back in 2018, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann declined to comment on Dirkschneider's decision to embark on one final tour during which the singer would perform nothing but ACCEPT songs. "I have lots of thoughts about that, but I'm not gonna share 'em with you," he told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". "I'd rather not comment on that, because that seems so much 'back and forth,' and I think I should stay away from it… You can draw your own conclusions all day long, but I'm not gonna get into it; it's just not worth it.

"I get asked [about Udo] so many times, and, man, it's been so many years — it's such an old story by now," Wolf continued. "We've moved on way past that, and we've had [15] brilliant years [with Mark Tornillo], we're making cool albums; I think we're doing fine. So I don't spend any time thinking about it.

"I'm very proud of the history we have together and all that, but I'm just not gonna get into the current 'he said, she said' whatever — it's not worth it," Hoffmann concluded.

Photo courtesy of Reigning Phoenix Music

Find more on Accept
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).