Paul Di'Anno

Rockharz - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Having been indoctrinated with the Iron Maiden gospel since before I can even remember, there was no way in hell that I was going to miss Paul Di’Anno’s show, even though it was the late night closing show of Rockharz for the day, and on one of the summers busiest festival days. I just prayed the band and he would be worth the wait…

“Sorry about the rain, it fucks my hair up.”
- Paul Di’Anno (vocals)

First on the Rock Stage was the band, and they began firing up for the show by playing the semi intro song off of the Killers album, The Ides Of March, and we all guessed what was coming next; strutting in from the side of the stage, seemingly full of energy, came the man himself and we were soon enough hurdling through the classic song Wrathchild, to which everyone was more than willing to sing along.
Without letting up on the energy, Di’Anno and the band moved quickly over to Prowler, and so we had both of the album openers from his time in Iron Maiden in the bag.
It wasn’t just Di’Anno who was at the top of his game though, the whole band was actually full of energy, especially so the bassist and the drummer of the evening (sorry, but I have been completely unable to locate the names of the musicians), but both of the guitarists were going at it in a big way as well. Of course, it is hard to get rid of the Iron Maiden cover band feeling when you see something like this, but damn they were having the time of their lives up there, and the good mood was definitely contagious!
Musically there was nothing to complain about either, each and every song was played just the way it was supposed to be, no major cock-ups were detected anywhere, and the only thing I found to be out of place was the time Di’Anno had a go at growling in Murders In The Rue Morgue. Then again, he’s been singing it for so bloody long now, that in a way I suppose he feels a need to play around with it a bit; I was just thankful that for the rest of the time he kept it to his regular way of singing, and thus proving that his pipes were still up for the job!

“Don’t shout so much between songs, save it for the rockstars!”
- Di’Anno (vocals)

The crowd had lessened quite a lot, probably both because of the lateness of the hour and the heavy rain leading up to and through the first two songs of the show, but those of us who had stayed behind were rewarded with a great ending of the night, and my fellow Rockharz visitors weren’t afraid to let their satisfaction be known!
The fact that the band was, with the exception of a single song, playing only Iron Maiden tunes helped the sing-along hungry crowd and every song saw a fair share of crowd interaction which helped, with the added aid of a few nightcaps, build a very positive atmosphere, and between the songs the loud volume of the cheers did not let on that we were only a few people left, compared to earlier in the day.
Then again, the atmosphere was also helped along by the fact that this, as has been the case in earlier Paul Di’Anno shows I have seen as well, was part concert part comedy/spoken words by the man himself. In my experience, it is the latter part that threatens to pull the show down as he can get quite silly and juvenile at times and there doesn’t seem to be a filter on what comes out sometimes, but this evening he kept it quite clean and entertaining. Ok, the part about dedicating the song Killers to the Syrian government wasn’t exactly a highlight of the evening, but other than that it was either info about what was going in general, or simply amusing one-liners; one of the most significant pieces of information Di’Anno gave was that 2013 would see his farewell tour and that he was ready to give the trade up. Well, let’s see shall we? Judging from the response he was getting here at Rockharz, there’s certainly no reason to be leaving just yet…

I guess by now you have already guessed that I was not disappointed in any way by what Paul Di’Anno and his boys had to offer this night.
Was it perfection down to the last note? Not even close, but that’s not what this guy is all about. Di’Anno has much more of a raw, punkish attitude which shines through in his performances, and I for one think it’s great that we have this alternative yet original way of having Iron Maiden songs presented, and that we in this capacity get to hear so many songs the main Maiden doesn’t play themselves anymore.
This was a perfect way to end the evening, and if he keeps this energy up I hope to see him again before he calls it quits.


The Ides Of March (Iron Maiden cover)
Wrathchild (Iron Maiden cover)
Prowler (Iron Maiden cover)
Murders In The Rue Morgue (Iron Maiden cover)
Children Of Madness (Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone cover)
Remember Tomorrow (Iron Maiden cover)
Charlotte The Harlot (Iron Maiden cover)
Killers (Iron Maiden cover)
Phantom Of The Opera (Iron Maiden cover)
Running Free (Iron Maiden cover)

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