Two former vocalists of Iron Maiden – Paul “The Beast” Di’Anno and Blaze Bayley on stage together for one night of old school Iron Maiden classics. I could not miss this gig at the Hi Fi Bar in Melbourne!
Paul Di’Anno sang on the Iron Maiden debut and second album “Iron Maiden” (1980) & “Killers” (1981) and was with the band from 1978-1981. Blaze Bayley sang on “The X Factor” (1995) and “Virtual XI” (1998) albums and was with the band from 1994-1999. They have joined forces for this world tour and are singing exclusively the applicable songs from their individual eras at Iron Maiden.
Following the two support acts Hazmat and Nothing Sacred (Aussie acts), Blaze Bayley kicked off the headlining show (Blaze and Di’Anno are dual headlining). He was at Iron Maiden when they had a downturn in popularity after Bruce Dickinson left the band (vocalist from 1981-1993 and 1999 to the present) and the Blaze albums have been underrated but they have some great vocals and he has a really soaring voice that crossed over well during his live set that included “Futureal” (my favourite), “Lord of the Flies“, “When Two Worlds Collide“, “Lightning Strikes Twice“, “Sign of the Cross“, “Como Estais Amigos” (a tribute to those that have fought for their country) and “The Clansman” (another personal favourite).
This was the first time in Australia for Blaze Bayley and he had us totally fired up! A funny highlight was the video he took of the crowd to show to his wife back in the UK – I am in the crowd to the left on the video.
Paul Di’Anno’s set list included classics such as “Wrathchild“, “Prowler“, “Phantom of the Opera“, “Charlotte the Harlot“, “Killers” and the big crowd sing along favourite “Running Free“. Due to problems with his knees he can’t move much on stage, but that doesn’t stop him belting out the hits.
Paul Di’Anno has toured here a number of times (I saw his “Beast Down Under Tour” in 2009 where he sang his solo material) and he has a loyal following who were not disappointed by his performance (plus his jokes on drugs, alcohol, family in Australia who never see his shows and his times in prison!). The band that played all night was made up of Australian muso’s who performed a very tight set. All in all a great night of metal!
Blaze joined Di’Anno on stage following his set and they finished the show with a joint big finale of “Iron Maiden“. This was a big crowd sing along too!
In 2008 I met Bruce Dickinson the current and longest term singer of Iron Maiden. I had hoped to meet both Di’Anno and Blaze at this gig to complete the trifecta. I am pleased to say that I did get a chance to talk to Blaze after his set. Great guy! Unfortunately the gig ended late at night and given they had to set off early in the morning for another show in Tasmania I did not get to meet Paul Di’Anno. Oh well, something for next time!