Artist: Paul DiAnno
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Icarus Witch, Shitkill
Label: Independent Artist
Considering I had only seen him perform at the beginning of the year, I was debating whether or not I should go out to see Paul DiAnno in concert once again because how much different was it going to be from the last time right? The show in January was a good enough time for those of the Metal Republic who came out to support the one time Iron Maiden singer and it had been a long time since he had been able to come and do that. The decision was easy once the venue announced how the singer was planning on delivering the full “Iron Maiden” album along with selections from their second album “Killers” on their show posters. That was a good thing since the last time around a common complaint from those I spoke with was that he did too much “other stuff” and should have kept it strictly Maiden.
The openers for the show would be some young Metallers that went by the name Shitkill and I would miss them entirely. Some friends in the realm have high hopes for them but I do fear for their success rate across the board with a name like that. I guess as I get older that I am getting a little wary of some things in the music scene. I hope to hear them sometime and I do wish anyone who wishes to make their sound known in Metal all the best. Following this very short set would once again be Icarus Witch who I last caught as the openers for Y&T over the summer. At that gig they really impressed me and I think that the bands new singer really upgrades the bands game. They are a traditional based Metal band and pretty solid as a live act. I would give them a listen if you are only just now hearing their name. Their latest album is called “Draw Down The Moon” and its on Cleopatra Records should you like to investigate further. They sounded great tonight but I didn’t make note of the set list being performed. A lot of it sounded like what we get on the album which makes it an even sounder recommendation. Now for the return once again of Mr. Paul DiAnno.
After a relatively decent break between bands the musicians took to the stage but I had to say that the delay actually surprised me a little since Icarus Witch would once more be Paul’s backing band and executing all of the material for the singer as they had done at that last show. Be that as it may, the melodies of “The Ides Of March” began and as any Iron Maiden fan knows will lead us right into “Wrathchild” which would be when Paul took to the stage. It was interesting to find him starting off with material from “Killers” but surely not a bad thing. He would flip back to the bands debut with “Prowler” and as I listened it appeared that he was in stronger voice than he was that last time around. Paul’s voice was always rougher than that of his successor so I was not expecting a soaring register so many years later in the first place. The singer spoke to the crowd briefly and depending on where your standing his thick British accent can be a little tricky to make out since he does speak quickly. “Marshall Lockjaw” followed so it seemed he was going to deliver some of his tenure with Battlezone, but this time around I was hoping for less of that for more of the Maiden classics we were promised. “Murders In The Rue Morgue” was a great one this evening and was setting the room afire and it should be noted that the venue appeared to have a larger crowd for this go round than the first time he performed. The mood would slow down a little bit with “Strange World” which is a lot of long time Maiden fans favorite. A couple of more Battlezone tunes came up and it was interesting to observe the way in which the audience reacted when these songs were performed as opposed to the Maiden ones. They would actually just react with some level of indifference and then go berserk when the Irons were brought back into the mix. He did “Genghis Khan” once again but followed with “Remember Tomorrow” which went over like gangbusters. This was actually one of my own first favorite Maiden tunes so it was great to experience it live with the voice that originally brought it to life.
Paul did a song by Alex Harvey called “The Faith Healer” which I don’t really relate to this kind of performance and I am not too sure why he does it. Perhaps its just his own personal favorite and one more of his originals came after. From this point on it would be all about Maiden it would seem as he called upon “Charlotte The Harlot” to entertain us. The place was rousing when “Killers” began but this is when things got a little out of sorts for the singer. There was some light moshing about during the show and even some crowd surfing which I didn’t really feel was smart for this kind of gig but during the middle section of the tune, one of the surfers made it to the stage and knocked into Paul. It was one of those stupid fluke things but it really pissed the singer off and he stepped aside for a few moments only to return to berate the guilty party with some serious venom. Paul did seem to have a little trouble walking when he came to the stage so perhaps this was what set him off and no one likes to get knocked into in any circumstance. Of course, in the crowd surfer’s defense, I would have to say that this is one of the things that come with the territory if you are a performer. That’s why you have guys watching your back from the sidelines. For this particular show the venue had not found it necessary to set up the barriers that keep the audience from touching the stage and band. Sometimes they are there and other times they are not. Some expected standards came up with “Phantom Of The Opera” and “Running Free” which led into “Transylvania”, a great instrumental. It seemed like the night was over when he said it was time to do the one that started this whole mess in the first place before a very energetic and fast paced “Iron Maiden” was delivered. I was so hoping for someone to come running out with an Eddie mask on during this one but that didn’t happen. Oh well, perhaps next time unless his vow to never do this again rings true.
He had “Sanctuary” listed on the stage set but he would bypass that one and instead do ACDC’s “Highway To Hell”. Now, don’t get me wrong because that is a great song, but one that is so out of left field for a show that was focusing on mostly vintage Iron Maiden numbers. Oh well. The last time around he closed with “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones and that really left me scratching my head. To be honest I really miss these classic numbers since we don’t hear a majority of them at Iron Maiden shows these days and while Paul might not have the exact pipes he once did, he manages to put on a decent show. I would have circumvented the Battlezone stuff this time around entirely and left “Sanctuary” in place and maybe even add “Women In Uniform” which I was dying to hear. That and perhaps their long ago cover of the Montrose tune “I’ve Got The Fire”. Play that stuff early on, and then finish the night with the entire Maiden debut. Send ‘em home dying for more instead of just hopeful for another return.
This would be my last official concert to attend for 2010 and I had to say that it was an interesting year. I am very hopeful about what 2011 will bring us. Only time will tell.
Dianno Set List:
1. The Ides Of March
4. Marshall Lockjaw
5. Murders In The Rue Morgue
6. Strange World
7. The Beast Arises
8. Children Of Madness
9. Genghis Khan
10. Remember Tomorrow
11. The Faith Healer
12. A Song For You
13. Charlotte The Harlot
15. Phantom Of The Opera
16. Running Free
18. Iron Maiden
19. Sanctuary (omitted)
20. Highway To Hell
Given that the ole’ chap was once again in the Big Apple we decided to help celebrate a little more by adding his name up in the bright lights to the blog posting.
Wandering the streets of New York with nothing to do? Well, get yourself inside the venue since its too cold for that and the cure is molten hot Metal.
Just inside the entrance to the venue is where all the merchandise gets sold. It’s sometimes wise to get your stash of preferred goodies before the show is over or risk not getting anything should they sell out.
I didn’t take too many behind the scenes moments from the show, but here is one of Mr. Paul DiAnno at the venue banner which hangs for such purposes backstage.
So he said that this was it, and who knows if that is the truth or not in terms of his performing Iron Maiden classics. I’m sure he isn’t retiring any time soon because neither Ozzy or KISS has done that so why should he. He does have a book to promote which I have linked for your observation below. I am hoping to get a copy so I can review it. Stay tuned.