Blaze Bayley

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
Dio would have blown them off the stage on that tour.
Ehhh...I was at a show in Chicago in '98, way up front. Rewind a year or two and I worked security at a signing Dio did and he was an incredibly nice guy, incredible pipes, but his music overall I could take or leave.

He put on a good show, crowd was appreciative, and...that was about it.

Maiden comes on with Futureal, and swear to god, most batshit concert I've been to as far as crowds went (and Maiden is FAR from the heaviest band I've seen in concert). As I said, I was up front, but not quite against the barricade. I was fighting to hold my spot with my then-girlfriend for damn near the whole show (usually pretty easy, since I'm 6'3" and was probably 230lbs at the time), a couple big guys ahead of me passed out and had to be carried off by security, my then-GF left with bruised ribs 'cause some guy thought he was punching me and ended up repeatedly punching her, I chokeslammed a crowd surfer who was up there kicking as many people in the head he could--it was a shitshow.

So...performance-wise, sure you could argue Dio out-sang Blaze handily. I don't think even Blaze would question that. But the crowd went ballistic for Maiden FAAAAR more than Dio. Of course they were there to see the headliner, but still.
 

Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
Ehhh...I was at a show in Chicago in '98, way up front. Rewind a year or two and I worked security at a signing Dio did and he was an incredibly nice guy, incredible pipes, but his music overall I could take or leave.

He put on a good show, crowd was appreciative, and...that was about it.

Maiden comes on with Futureal, and swear to god, most batshit concert I've been to as far as crowds went (and Maiden is FAR from the heaviest band I've seen in concert). As I said, I was up front, but not quite against the barricade. I was fighting to hold my spot with my then-girlfriend for damn near the whole show (usually pretty easy, since I'm 6'3" and was probably 230lbs at the time), a couple big guys ahead of me passed out and had to be carried off by security, my then-GF left with bruised ribs 'cause some guy thought he was punching me and ended up repeatedly punching her, I chokeslammed a crowd surfer who was up there kicking as many people in the head he could--it was a shitshow.

So...performance-wise, sure you could argue Dio out-sang Blaze handily. I don't think even Blaze would question that. But the crowd went ballistic for Maiden FAAAAR more than Dio. Of course they were there to see the headliner, but still.
My first ever Maiden show was the VXI tour at the Glasgow Barrowlands and it was a great set (with a riotous crowd). Unfortunately Dio wasn't the support on that leg of the tour.

Still, that tour was Maiden at their lowest point and as much as I am fond of Blaze, Dio outclassed him as a performer and singer on every level.

This is why I believe that Maiden would have struggled to follow him.
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
Dio still did rather well in Europe so he didn't need to support Maiden there, he could tour on his own. I really like this bootleg btw:

One of Blaze's really good nights on the Virtual XI tour and the greek c*nts were really into the new material as well!
 
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Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
I wasn't meaning in terms of popularity or record sales. More in stage show and talent.
I'm not sure about popularity since Dio were the support band for that tour (Helloween too). It's true that the sales of the VXI album were not good enough for Maiden, but they still were a popular band/brand. The sales of Dio's latest album at the time were disappointing. In stage show - Maiden is the winner (even in 1998, the big Eddie was still wow), while the great stage shows of Dio were in 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1990. In talent - Ronnie is a much better vocalist than Blaze, but the rest of the band, no. Ronnie's vocals were better in the 80's and early 90's than in 1998, while in Maiden Blaze again had some vocal issues, but his singing was better than during TXF tour and the whole band was on fire live in 1998 - their playing was really fast and the VXI songs have a lot of energy. The show was still very good. Neither Maiden nor Dio were at their best back then though.

I've always preferred Ronnie's singing in the studio versions, but his live performances from 1976 through the early 90's were just amazing. I think his solo albums after 1990 are not that good.

Let's get back to the topic. Great news that Blaze is working on a new solo album. The last one was good. It's curious if he will write more long songs since he now has 2 guitarists. I hope so. That's Steve's legacy. :p
 

Boroking

In the mire of an ancient swamp
Blaze is touring Greece currently and the Greek cunts are in fine voice in these videos. Must be great to play gig like these especially as some audiences have a tendency to just stare at a band that are giving their all.

Sign of the Cross

Futureal
 

Samantas5855

Ancient Mariner
I’d be delighted to read it
Ok so, when the Blaze Bayley Greek tour I was stoked cause I was really listening to his two albums with Maiden at them time, plus he played Chania Rock Festival, Crete this summer on the Iron Maiden 25th Anniversary tour so he had to play Athens. The support band for this and other tours is Absolva, in case you don't know Absolva is Blaze's band without Blaze. I believe X Factor to be the better of the two; Virtual XI doesn't have any bad songs but it's less dark and complex, love 'em both. Blaze is running two tours at the same time, the War Within Me one (his website calls it full Metal) and the Iron Maiden 25th Anniversary one (his website calls it full Maiden) the Greek dates belong to the latter which is positive for me since I haven't delved into his new album much and the organizer promised us a set with only Maiden songs. The tickets started at 16€ then rose to 18€ and then to 20€ for some of the cities he played at, sadly I couldn't book it online so I bought a physical one from the venue for 25€ (quite the price gap heh?). Excluding Chania, the Greek cities he played at were Xanthi, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Athens and Patras (I believe he played more places in 2019), I went to the Athens show at Gagarin 205. I've been to this venue quite a few times this year and my only issue with it is the fact that the arena isn't flat, it's like a wide stair, this is a problem because a lot of people trip and fall.

But let me get into the day of the live now. I arrived at the venue around 19:30 (Doors opening 20:15 or 20:30) in order to secure a ticket since most of his Greek shows nearly sold out, including this one. There was a huge line of people waiting to get in, I'd say about 100 meters, and people were constantly coming. Thankfully I was able to skip them and get my ticket, I got ticket Number 8 and there were only a few physical tickets left.
1668375322775.png
Due to the big amount of people waiting the doors opened at around 20:00 and was able to be near front row, the venue was jam-packed until 21:00 and Absolva started playing around 21:15. They were really good, the singer too. The only song I knew was Code Red cause I checked it on YouTube before the gig. Here is the setlist. They played until around 22:00 and BLAZE came out around 22;20. First things first, the stage felt really poor due to the minuscule backdrop and the lack of a lighting show (it was just static white light) was also big negative for me, here is a photo
smol.jpg
also the "backdrop" was from the War Within Me album (same for the merch btw) and didn't really fit with the Maiden tour vibe. Blaze now has two guitarists again (and they are brothers too) which was a concern for me since he only had one until recently. The sound was full even tho it did seem thin on some videos I saw from other venues. The two axemen harmonized parts from pretty much every song which the crowd really seemed to enjoy and sang over and they nailed the solos as well. One big issue however was the volume; it wasn't very loud when Absolva played but that's ok since they were the support act but it didn't seem louder when BLAZE played either. I've been to this place before and it was much much louder in the front row the other nights unlike yesterday. But lets get to the songs.

The energy of the fans and they band was through the roof, they went nuts, there were pits on every Maiden song, they sang every lyric and harmony. The first song was Lord of the Flies (why not futureal or man on the edge?) and blaze did the skit where he stops the song and asks the crowd to shout, and shout they did, this was a very loud Saints and Sinners let me tell you. Due to the low volume the crowd was so loud it overshadowed BLAZE. The next song was Sign of the Cross, such a song so early made the crowd even more energetic than on Lord of the Flies, we were moshing, jumping, headbanging, singing and after it ended shouting BLAZE BLAZE BLAZE. The third song was a deeper cut, Judgement of Heaven, I really appreciated this one, it was very emotional, people around me knew the words, BLAZE is good at emotional stuff.

After the first three Maiden songs they played three songs from War Within Me; Title Track, Pull Yourself Up, Warrior (and speech before that), the first one went well (it's a nice song too), the other two probably not so much. I wish we would have replaced them with Maiden songs or at least some of his classics like Silicon Messiah but it's ok.

Moving on, the rest of the setlist which consisted of eight Maiden songs. Fortunes of War followed, again a more emotional song with an instrumental break that people sang over and the guitarists harmonized, much appreciated deep cut. The next song was the Virus which went REAAALLYYY well, especially when it kicked in. Following was When Two Worlds Collide which he prologued saying it was the only song he got to write with Dave Murray, a very welcome which I didn't expect it to make the crowd so energetic. The Clansman was probably the peak of the night in terms of energy, people went fucking ballistic over it, here's the Freeeedooooooom part, hear and see for yourself
Como estais amigos was another one that the crowd really loved and I didn't expect, it's a great song and I don't know why it gets so much hate. Man on the Edge was an expected hit with the Falling Down chorus, BLAZE also got us to scream many times before moving on to the next song and we were mute by this point. He said about Athens 1998 and how loud they screams were, asked how many people were there and said that our screams were good but not Greek 1998 good and that he wanted to exceed the loudness of that night, a very nice moment.
The next one was Futureal, one of the highest peaks in terms of energy, moshing, pushing etc but an expected one. After it ended people were shouting BLAZE, BAYLEY, The bald man is crazy and stuff like that really loud and I believe BLAZE really liked it, I think he misted over at some point but not sure.

The encore was a modified version of the angel and the gambler, I can describe it with one word FUN. I don't know if it's because it's a good (it is a good song) song or because it has become a meme but it doesn't matter, it was great.

I expected Lightning Strikes Twice and Doctor Doctor since he had played them in other venues on this tour or perhaps some more Maiden songs but I left the club fulfilled.

Blaze said that there will be a free meet and greet for everyone for photos, signing, etc. and the problem with that is the structure of this venue. So basically Gagarin has an upper part with three gradations and staircases on left and right to go up and down. When you leave the arena you enter a small hall/buffer where the merch shop resides before you can exit the building. So we had people from the arena trying to exit the space, people from the upper seats trying to go down and exit too and people who waited to buy merch or see Blaze vertical to people trying to leave.

Anyways, I was able to meet Blaze and the Absolva singer/guitarist and get my Angel and the Gambler singe signed as well as my Introduction to Virtual XI cd. I also bought a set of 5 Absolva picks for 5€ to support them. There were families taking photos with Blaze and people who brought their entire vinyl,cd and tape collection for Blaze to sign
 

Boroking

In the mire of an ancient swamp
Ok so, when the Blaze Bayley Greek tour I was stoked cause I was really listening to his two albums with Maiden at them time, plus he played Chania Rock Festival, Crete this summer on the Iron Maiden 25th Anniversary tour so he had to play Athens. The support band for this and other tours is Absolva, in case you don't know Absolva is Blaze's band without Blaze. I believe X Factor to be the better of the two; Virtual XI doesn't have any bad songs but it's less dark and complex, love 'em both. Blaze is running two tours at the same time, the War Within Me one (his website calls it full Metal) and the Iron Maiden 25th Anniversary one (his website calls it full Maiden) the Greek dates belong to the latter which is positive for me since I haven't delved into his new album much and the organizer promised us a set with only Maiden songs. The tickets started at 16€ then rose to 18€ and then to 20€ for some of the cities he played at, sadly I couldn't book it online so I bought a physical one from the venue for 25€ (quite the price gap heh?). Excluding Chania, the Greek cities he played at were Xanthi, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Athens and Patras (I believe he played more places in 2019), I went to the Athens show at Gagarin 205. I've been to this venue quite a few times this year and my only issue with it is the fact that the arena isn't flat, it's like a wide stair, this is a problem because a lot of people trip and fall.

But let me get into the day of the live now. I arrived at the venue around 19:30 (Doors opening 20:15 or 20:30) in order to secure a ticket since most of his Greek shows nearly sold out, including this one. There was a huge line of people waiting to get in, I'd say about 100 meters, and people were constantly coming. Thankfully I was able to skip them and get my ticket, I got ticket Number 8 and there were only a few physical tickets left.
Due to the big amount of people waiting the doors opened at around 20:00 and was able to be near front row, the venue was jam-packed until 21:00 and Absolva started playing around 21:15. They were really good, the singer too. The only song I knew was Code Red cause I checked it on YouTube before the gig. Here is the setlist. They played until around 22:00 and BLAZE came out around 22;20. First things first, the stage felt really poor due to the minuscule backdrop and the lack of a lighting show (it was just static white light) was also big negative for me, here is a photo
smol.jpg
also the "backdrop" was from the War Within Me album (same for the merch btw) and didn't really fit with the Maiden tour vibe. Blaze now has two guitarists again (and they are brothers too) which was a concern for me since he only had one until recently. The sound was full even tho it did seem thin on some videos I saw from other venues. The two axemen harmonized parts from pretty much every song which the crowd really seemed to enjoy and sang over and they nailed the solos as well. One big issue however was the volume; it wasn't very loud when Absolva played but that's ok since they were the support act but it didn't seem louder when BLAZE played either. I've been to this place before and it was much much louder in the front row the other nights unlike yesterday. But lets get to the songs.

The energy of the fans and they band was through the roof, they went nuts, there were pits on every Maiden song, they sang every lyric and harmony. The first song was Lord of the Flies (why not futureal or man on the edge?) and blaze did the skit where he stops the song and asks the crowd to shout, and shout they did, this was a very loud Saints and Sinners let me tell you. Due to the low volume the crowd was so loud it overshadowed BLAZE. The next song was Sign of the Cross, such a song so early made the crowd even more energetic than on Lord of the Flies, we were moshing, jumping, headbanging, singing and after it ended shouting BLAZE BLAZE BLAZE. The third song was a deeper cut, Judgement of Heaven, I really appreciated this one, it was very emotional, people around me knew the words, BLAZE is good at emotional stuff.

After the first three Maiden songs they played three songs from War Within Me; Title Track, Pull Yourself Up, Warrior (and speech before that), the first one went well (it's a nice song too), the other two probably not so much. I wish we would have replaced them with Maiden songs or at least some of his classics like Silicon Messiah but it's ok.

Moving on, the rest of the setlist which consisted of eight Maiden songs. Fortunes of War followed, again a more emotional song with an instrumental break that people sang over and the guitarists harmonized, much appreciated deep cut. The next song was the Virus which went REAAALLYYY well, especially when it kicked in. Following was When Two Worlds Collide which he prologued saying it was the only song he got to write with Dave Murray, a very welcome which I didn't expect it to make the crowd so energetic. The Clansman was probably the peak of the night in terms of energy, people went fucking ballistic over it, here's the Freeeedooooooom part, hear and see for yourself
Como estais amigos was another one that the crowd really loved and I didn't expect, it's a great song and I don't know why it gets so much hate. Man on the Edge was an expected hit with the Falling Down chorus, BLAZE also got us to scream many times before moving on to the next song and we were mute by this point. He said about Athens 1998 and how loud they screams were, asked how many people were there and said that our screams were good but not Greek 1998 good and that he wanted to exceed the loudness of that night, a very nice moment.
The next one was Futureal, one of the highest peaks in terms of energy, moshing, pushing etc but an expected one. After it ended people were shouting BLAZE, BAYLEY, The bald man is crazy and stuff like that really loud and I believe BLAZE really liked it, I think he misted over at some point but not sure.

The encore was a modified version of the angel and the gambler, I can describe it with one word FUN. I don't know if it's because it's a good (it is a good song) song or because it has become a meme but it doesn't matter, it was great.

I expected Lightning Strikes Twice and Doctor Doctor since he had played them in other venues on this tour or perhaps some more Maiden songs but I left the club fulfilled.

Blaze said that there will be a free meet and greet for everyone for photos, signing, etc. and the problem with that is the structure of this venue. So basically Gagarin has an upper part with three gradations and staircases on left and right to go up and down. When you leave the arena you enter a small hall/buffer where the merch shop resides before you can exit the building. So we had people from the arena trying to exit the space, people from the upper seats trying to go down and exit too and people who waited to buy merch or see Blaze vertical to people trying to leave.

Anyways, I was able to meet Blaze and the Absolva singer/guitarist and get my Angel and the Gambler singe signed as well as my Introduction to Virtual XI cd. I also bought a set of 5 Absolva picks for 5€ to support them. There were families taking photos with Blaze and people who brought their entire vinyl,cd and tape collection for Blaze to sign

That’s a fantastic review thank you. Interesting he played a few War Within Me songs in the mix.
 

rideon77

Nomad
Dio still did rather well in Europe so he didn't need to support Maiden there, he could tour on his own. I really like this bootleg btw:

One of Blaze's really good nights on the Virtual XI tour and the greek c*nts were really into the new material as well!
The 1998 concert is Just great. Imagine Bruce's reaction for these pyros LOL. The level of Energy in the whole concert is out of this world
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Why Maiden didn't play ''Judgement Of Heaven'' live with Blaze is a mystery. It sounds great live (chorus and especially instrumental section):


Of the other ''never played live songs'' from TXF album, ''Look For The Truth'' sounds even better than the studio version (live in 2007), while ''2 A.M.'' is really powerful live. He never played ''The Unbeliever'', unfortunately (and ''Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger'').

''Como Estais Amigos'' also sounds really good live:



Btw, I would love to hear the 3 bonus songs for TXF live too - ''Justice Of The Peace'', ''Judgement Day'' and ''I Live My Way''.
 

rideon77

Nomad
Why Maiden didn't play ''Judgement Of Heaven'' live with Blaze is a mystery. It sounds great live (chorus and especially instrumental section):



Of the other ''never played live songs'' from TXF album, ''Look For The Truth'' sounds even better than the studio version (live in 2007), while ''2 A.M.'' is really powerful live. He never played ''The Unbeliever'', unfortunately (and ''Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger'').

''Como Estais Amigos'' also sounds really good live:




Btw, I would love to hear the 3 bonus songs for TXF live too - ''Justice Of The Peace'', ''Judgement Day'' and ''I Live My Way''.
They should have kept Judgment Day and Justice of the peace for Virtual XI or release TXT as double album. Those songs are are incredible. He performed live "The Unbeliever" as Intro , Just the instrumental in the middle of the Song.

I think it's a pretty difficult track to sing live,especially the chorus
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
They should have kept Judgment Day and Justice of the peace for Virtual XI or release TXT as double album. Those songs are are incredible. He performed live "The Unbeliever" as Intro , Just the instrumental in the middle of the Song.

I think it's a pretty difficult track to sing live,especially the chorus
The instrumental section of ''The Unbeliever'' is pure gold! Great song. I agree about the chorus.

I don't think these songs will improve VXI album (it's great as it is), while TXF album is perfect (it has a potential for a double album - ''Judgement Day'' is a great song with brutal solos but it's similar to ''Man On The Edge'', ''I Live My Way'' is good for a B-side and as much I want a Dave song in the album, ''Justice Of Peace'' is a cool song).

''Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger''? Why not play it? It's a great live song:

^ those melodies! :wub:

-> most of the songs from TXF & VXI albums are great live songs: ''Sign Of The Cross'', ''Lord Of The Flies'', ''Man On The Edge'', ''Look For The Truth'', ''Judgement Of Heaven'', ''The Edge Of Darkness'', ''2 A.M.'', ''Futureal'', ''The Angel And The Gambler'', ''The Clansman'', ''When Two Worlds Collide'' (yep, it's awesome) and the aforementioned song.

Btw, which are your favorite songs from the Blaze era? Mine are: Sign, Lord, Judgement, Edge Of Darkness, Futureal, Clansman, Two Worlds and Eyes Of A Stranger.
 
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