Blaze Bayley Defies The Critics In Swindon
Everyone has at least one era of Iron Maiden that they love right? And seemingly everyone has an era of Iron Maiden they hate too. Alot of people feel the need to hate on the days when former Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley replaced longtime singer Bruce Dickinson. The same people, more often than not, have never actually bothered to listen to the albums Iron Maiden recorded with him. If they had, they'd find a great selection of songs that rock just as hard as "The Trooper" and "Fear Of The Dark."
But Iron Maiden aside, Blaze Bayley is an outstanding singer and a true heavy rocker who doesn't feel the need to act as though he's better than the people who's payed to see him. He proved to all his detractors why they should appreciate him last week when he delivered a blistering performance in the English town of Swindon, Wiltshire.
I missed the two support bands unfortunately but was there with plenty of time to catch the man of the hour. As soon as he took the stage there was a truely awesome connection between him and the crowd. "Hello. My name is Blaze Bayley. This is the Blaze Bayley band. And we play... metal," he said in a calm voice before tearing into the title track from his latest studio album, "The Man Who Would Not Die." While it took the audience a little time to get into the flow of things, before long the whole the room was roaring with cheers, flowing with beer and heads banging as hard as they could as more great songs like "Tenth Dimension" and "Samurai" were being blasted with full force.
He continued to play a mix of his excellent solo material along with Iron Maiden songs throughout the night, interacting the crowd perfectly with no pretention and without patronizing the audience in any way. Some of the biggest hits of the night came from the likes of "Futureal," "The Clansman" and show-closer, "Man On The Edge" which got everybody singing along. After the show, he made a point of heading down to the merchandise stall immediately to talk with fans, sign autographs and take pictures in a genuine sign of appreciation. Blaze Bayley is a man who doesn't take things for granted and that's one of the factors which makes him such a likable person. One of the others being that he will blow your ears away with his live set. If you ever get the chance to see him, don't pass him up because you'll be missing out on alot!
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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