Originally scheduled somewhen yesteryear, the Too Mean To Die Tour finally came to be at the beginning of 2023, arriving at the Helsinki Kulttuuritalo on February 4th, 2023, to a crowded, but not completely full venue. On this tour were the German metal legends of ACCEPT and the one and only all-female IRON MAIDEN cover band, aptly named THE IRON MAIDENS.
It must be scientifically impossible, if you are a heavy metal fan, to not like listening to IRON MAIDEN, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the opening show was pretty successful in warming up the audience. Following UFO‘s “Doctor Doctor” – working as an intro to the show and following suit from what IRON MAIDEN has been doing for years – the vocalist made her entrance on stage on the notes of “The Trooper” while wearing an English soldier uniform and waving the Union Jack, just like good old Bruce Dickinson would (and repeating the same soon after with the Finnish flag).
These energetic ladies brought with them a really good vibe, and it was clear they enjoy what they do as much as the fans enjoyed watching their performance while headbanging and singing along to classics such as “Wasted Years,” “Fear Of The Dark,” “Run To The Hills,” and concluding with Satan’s number, i.e. “The Number Of The Beast.”
When it was ACCEPT‘s turn, the fans welcomed the band with even more enthusiasm and louder cheers, despite the first two songs being from their latest record and, as such, felt less popular, but “Restless And Wild” quickly set things straight and the gig settled in the typical rhythm and band dynamic in which Wolf Hoffmann, together with varying other bandmates, often takes the center of the stage, inciting the audience with his killer riffs. Mark Tornillo, of course, does his honest job as well and he reaffirmed his qualities as a frontman once again (as if there was a need to). There is, however, always – obviously with the older material – the lingering afterthought of “what if, you know, Udo would be singing?” But ACCEPT, in its current iteration, are still doing an okay job after all, if one considers the enthusiasm of the crowd and how they react to every single gesture coming from stage, as the band constantly tries to keep the audience involved, without losing it at any time.
After a long 90 minute set, including the final encore (composed by the trio “Hung, Drawn and Quartered,” “Balls To The Wall,” and “I’m A Rebel”), the show came to an end and the happy fans could continue the evening elsewhere. Hopefully not outdoors because damn, there was some freezing wind out there!