Thursday, Dec. 30
Review by Dave Lake
Paul Di'Anno is a rock-&-roll lifer. At 52, the original frontman for>"/>
Review by Dave Lake
Paul Di'Anno is a rock-&-roll lifer. At 52, the original frontman for Iron Maiden has pretty much done it all. He's sold millions of records, battled drug addiction, spent time in jail, and penned a gritty tell-all memoir filled with stories that rival anything in the books by Ozzy, Marilyn Manson, or Motley Crue. There's one thing Di'Anno hadn't done in his 30-year career, however, at least until his current tour: performed the first Iron Maiden LP in its entirety, which is what he did at El Corazon on Thursday. "It was basically a way to say thank you," Di'Anno said of the origins of the tour in a phone call before the show. "Because there's a lot of kids out here in the States that are too young to have seen me, so we just thought we'd do it."
But it wasn't just kids who came to see the man who helped usher metal to the masses. The crowd was multigenerational, with fans dressed in standard metal garb: black band Ts, jeans, and leather jackets. Di'Anno, who shaves his head and has put on a few pounds since his Maiden days, was animated if stationary onstage. He told the crowd he has trouble walking thanks to some rowdy fans who tore up his knee during a gig a few years ago. He was also missing a bottom front tooth--a casualty of a recent show and an unruly microphone. Who knew being a metal singer was such a dangerous job?
Though Di'Anno didn't play the songs from Maiden's self-titled 1980 debut consecutively--which could have been cool--each of the album's nine tracks appeared in his 90-minute set, which also included songs from his bands Battlezone and Killers, a band (not to be confused with the one featuring Brandon Flowers) named for the other famous Iron Maiden album he sang on. "I still think the first album is far superior songwriting," he said about the choice to play the band's debut instead of Killers. "The second one started getting too heavy metal."
Supporting act Icarus Witch a Maiden-sounding metal act from Pittsburgh, did double duty Thursday, also serving as Di'Anno's backing band, giving the early Maiden tracks a slightly heavier element, which fans pumped their fists and metal signs along to. This was Di'Anno's first time in Seattle since an early-'90s stop with Killers, but after a sweat-soaked, fist-pumping performance to a packed crowd, hopefully it won't be another decade before he returns.
Overheard at the show: The enthusiastic wasted guy who yelled out the name of every band played on the P.A. between sets: "Slaaaaaaaaaaayerrrrr!"
BTW: This was one of those rare shows where the line for the men's restroom was way longer than the one for the women's. A fellow line-waiter explained why: "This isn't a Def Leppard show, this is fucking Maiden!" 'Nuff said.