U.D.O. : Live in Bulgaria 2020 – Pandemic Survival Show

It’s painfully obvious a live show of any caliber in 2020 was a special event. Whether the show was on an international platform or a streamed and stripped downed local gig, it didn’t matter. It was a live music event. Those that were able to experience any level of live music in 2020 should consider themselves very fortunate.

One such special event occurred on a Friday night in September 2020, the 18th to be exact. U.D.O., the German metal band fronted by the legendary Udo Dirkschneider, the original voice of Accept pulled off this event.

The show followed the strict guidelines and full compliance of the Coronus Virus Hygiene Regimen. The show itself was one of the largest to be executed last year. It was the band’s first and only appearance in 2020. Bulgarian metalheads were the chosen souls who were able take part in this historic, pandemic musical event.

For metal enthusiasts and traditionalists, an event of such stature should be properly documented and that’s what U.D.O. have done.

The band will release Live in Bulgaria 2020 – Pandemic Survival Show through AFM Records in Europe and North America on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Formats for the release include a two disc CD, DVD and triple vinyl, 25 tracks in all.  The setting for the night was at the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv along with 2500 actively engaged fans.

Even though U.D.O. members were apart from each other for nine months, their separation did hamper the band’s performance. U.D.O. relied on their Steelfactory Tour set list as well as a handful of Accept songs.

Their execution of the 25 song set under the circumstances was flawless and spot on. The tracking for the three formats of the release are consistent and identical with each other. 

To truly appreciate the release, one must experience the DVD from start to finish in a single sitting. The multi camera angles allow the viewer to take in the architecture of the amphitheater.

Three tiered levels and the columns served as the band’s backdrop. Rich colorful lights illuminated on the amphitheatre back wall and columns make the architecture even more magnificent.

Following the intro, Udo emerges from stage left with open arms to an eruption of a live music, starved crowd.

Immediately, U.D.O. launches into “Tongue Reaper” and “Make the Move,” the first two tracks from the Steelfactory album.

Prior to the third track, Dirkschneider greets the crowd and expresses his appreciation to be playing such a nice venue. It wouldn’t be until later in the set when U.D.O. goes back to Dirkschneider’s previous band.

With 16 studio albums under the U.D.O. belt, the band had plenty of material for the two hour plus set. The band pulled from Animal House, the band’s 1987 debut, Steelhammer, Solid, Mastercutor, Rev-Raptor and Time Bomb. This was in addition to the band’s 2018 Steelfactory Tour set list. As anticipated, several standard Accept songs like “Balls to the Wall” and “Fast as a Shark” are represented.

Photo Courtesy of AFM Records

Dirkschneider was personable and gracious with the audience throughout the night. There were plenty of times the crowd sang lyrics or instrumental passages in unison with the band. 

Even drummer Sven Dirkschneider’s solo followed by Tilen Hudrap’s bass solo engaged the audience late in the set.

Many people would like to rid their hands of 2020 and look forward. The release of Live in Bulgaria 2020 – Pandemic Survival Show fortunately is one of the happier times of 2020. It provides fans of metal music something positive to reflect on when negatives of 2020 resurface. 

For all the legalities and logistics needed for a show of this caliber, U.D.O. pulled it off. The evidence is in the audio, the DVD visuals just solidifies everything leaving no room for dispute.

Man and Machine from Live in Bulgaria 2020 – Pandemic Survival Show.

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