So I had no expectations at all going into the show in James Rockbar, Halmstad, a show that would not have happened if not the HFL festival in Motala canceled out. No matter what, I was ready for a night with some old school Maiden tunes, probably the last time he would ever perform these gems. But first, the opening act.
Opening act: Revelations
Opening up for Paul is the Stockholm band Revelations, who plays classic 70's heavy metal, of course heavily inspired by such bands as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden (huh, what a coincidence).
They played around 6 or 7 songs during the 40 minutes they were on stage, and it was a fairly solid set that may have started out a little cautious, but improved more as the show went on. Since I have not heard of the band before, it was also the first time I heard the songs, and it was the darker, heavier songs that got to me the most. Especially Sun of Morning and Grip of Darkness impressed me a lot with their dark atmosphere and hypnotizing musicality. Definitely got me interested in what else the band could do.
The band itself did a great job, squeezing the most out of the few that dared to step towards the stage (est. 30 people). I especially liked the singer, Lasse Gudmundsson, who not only did look like a rock star, but sang as one as well. His voice is kind of a mix between Joacim Cans and Rob Halford, which for me spells instant success.
The band did an overall nice job, but since they were opening up the night, they did not play for such a big audience, which is a shame since they deserved more. Oh well, the band is working on their debut record, which should be out soon enough, and you can be sure that I will listen to it whenever it comes. If all of the songs performed this night is in that album, then I am sure it will be a nice listen.
Best: "Grip of Darkness" and "Sun of Morning"
Worst: The band deserved a bigger crowd
Set list (not necessarily in this order):
Grip of Darkness
Sun of Morning
Time Bomb (think it was called that, idk)
+ 1 or 2 more songs
Main act: Paul Di'Anno
Let me first tell you about the beginning of this night, the 25th of July 2015. Some time before Revelations even started, I was at the bar, having a beer when this peculiar short, sort of fat and bald fellow came into the building, walking on crutches slowly across the floor. I was just thinking "who is that guy? How is he gonna get through the night?" when it suddenly occurred to me. That short, sort of fat and bald dude was Paul Di'Anno himself! Yep, you read that correctly.
And if it was not obvious that he was hurt before, it got crystal clear when he entered the stage, barely making it over 3 steps of stairs, and slowly walking to a chair that was placed in the center. Apparently, he was suffering from a bad knee or something and was waiting for surgery back in England, but instead of sitting home and, in his own words, watch TV and scratch his balls, he might as well be out touring. Should once again be noted that this was the last stop of a 4 day, 4 show tour. That is freaking nuts, the man was in serious pain and he still got up there, ready to deliver a show. Respect!
|The beast arises... slowly|
The only song that was left out was, a little surprisingly, "Iron Maiden". The excellent punk attack would have been the perfect way to finish the show, but instead, the ending of the show was more or less a cover medley. Starting with the Ramones classic "Blitzkrieg Bop" and some Sex Pistols song I did not recognize (it was definitely not "Anarchy In The U.K."), it really started to go down hill from there, but the ending was saved with two Judas Priest classics, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" and "Breaking The Law". The crowd seemed okay with it and sang loudly together with Paul. Still, feels dumb to make other musicians songs as your grand finale.
But how did Paul perform? Well, I hate to say this, but it is obvious that he is on the final stretch of his career. I barely heard his voice throughout the concert, and the few times I did hear him, he did not sing all too well. It was obvious that he was exhausted and tired, but I still want to give him kudos for sticking it all the way through, wanting to give the people a show. His small talk was great, not giving any fucks over dicks on the dance floor or about whiny pop stars that cancel shows for a common cold.
|Who said you have to stand up to rock?|
Best: "Phantom of The Opera"
Worst: What's with that big cover medley as the big finale?
Set list (all Iron Maiden songs except noted):
The Ides of March
Murders In The Rue Morgue
The Beast Arises (Killers song)
Children of Madness (Paul Di'Anno's Battlezone song)
Phantom of The Opera
Charlotte The Harlot
Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
some Sex Pistols song
You've Got Another Thing Coming (Judas Priest cover)
Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)