Accepts Too Mean To Die tour rolled into Toronto, ON. on 16 October for their only Canadian date on this tour. A line of metalheads formed in front of the Phoenix Concert Hall on a dreary Sunday; Accept shirts, leather and battle jackets clad the excited crowd. Fans had travelled in from different parts of Ontario to catch the Heavy Metal legends, and it wasn’t hard to tell that the Canadian Metal fans were ready to rock.
Accept – Too Mean To Die – Phoenix Concert Hall, Toronto – 16 October 2022
Words and Photography: Taylor Cameron
As the lights went down and Accept stepped onto the stage, it was definite that someone was missing. Wolf Hoffmann, who has played guitar in the band since 1976, took the mic to announce the news no band wants to make. Mark Tornillo, the vox of Accept, had unfortunately been told by a doctor that if he were to sing, permanent damage could be done.
Not wanting to leave the crowd disappointed, Hoffmann announced that if the audience were up for helping on the vocals, the band would still happily put on a rock show worth watching. And that is exactly what they did.
Christopher Williams (Drums) and Martin Motnik (Bass) took charge of the lead vocals, with Phillip Shouse (Guitar), Uwe Lulis (Guitar) and, of course, the enthusiastic crowd helping on backup. It was a unique situation, but the members of Accept handled it like professionals and delivered a kick-ass Heavy Metal performance.
The energy inside the room was at 110%, everyone singing along loudly to tracks such as Midnight Mover, Metal Heart, and Teutonic Terror with their horns raised high in the air. The band’s top-notch musicianship compensated for the missing member, creating an atmosphere just as engaging as one of their regular shows would be.
The set was shortened to an hour. However, everyone wanted more. When the iconic opening riff to Balls To The Walls rang through the PA system, every fan in the audience erupted into loud cheers. The band and audience became one during that track, everyone singing so loudly it was hard to decipher who was singing lead vocals.
Once the set ended, the band jumped down into the photo pit, thanking the fans for sticking around for the show, signing autographs, and taking pictures with the lucky fans at the front, including myself.
Although the night turned out different than expected, I think it’s easy to say that everyone left the venue that night thoroughly impressed. Cancelling their set could’ve easily been the decision. However, the members of Accept decided against it and worked around the obstacle brilliantly. They did not miss a beat the entire night, the musicianship not wavering for a second.
A unique situation turned into something cool.
“Our singer Mark had developed severe vocal strain over the last week due to a virus infection (not Covid!),” a statement from the band reads. “Being the trooper that he is, he pushed through three shows in a row, but the doctors now insist he take a break. Otherwise, the entire rest of the tour would be in jeopardy, as would his voice and health.
“This morning, with the heaviest of hearts, we had to make the difficult decision to call off the concert on Oct. 18th in Vineland, NJ.
“This is so Mark has time to rest and recover, and we can make sure we can finish the rest of the tour in full force.
“We understand the disappointment for our fans in Vineland, and we share this too. We apologise from the bottom of our hearts.
“We strive to put on the best show possible for every show and want to give you all we can.
“Thank you for understanding, and we’ll see you soon at a later date!
Before it was time for Accept, their touring partners, Narcotic Wasteland, took the stage. A heavy guitar riff started the set before Dallas Toler-Wade’s gruff vocals loudly filled the room.
Their stage presence was captivating and held the audience’s attention throughout the entire set, which features tracks off their 2017 release Delirium Tremens, as well as their newest single, The Best Times Have Passed. They kept the crowd’s energy high, setting everything up for Accept perfectly.
Kicking off a night of Heavy Metal were local bands Jugular, Rustik and Korrosive, who delivered energetic performances, pumping up the crowd for the main event, Accept.
Although the audience was unfamiliar with the bands, the energy in the room was high and loud cheers were heard repeatedly throughout the bands’ performances.