Prateln, Switzerland December 13th ’08

One of the criticisms leveled against Blaze Bayley when he was the vocalist for Iron Maiden was that the register of his voice did not work well with some of Maidens earlier material. According to the newly released biography Blaze Bayley – At The End Of The Day, Iron Maiden refused to ‘down tone’ their music to fit his timbre. This seems like an odd situation to me, every singer is different, why would you bring on a new ‘front man’ if you are not willing to work with him?

Bands need to grow and learn, not stagnate in the past. Unfortunately so many have made that mistake. Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a concert by a British band who had a string of top 10 hits during the 60’s, here where we are four decades later, playing 200 plus gigs a year, playing the same set that they did in the 60’s. I talked to the one remaining original member, the drummer, after the concert. It was heart wrenching, if we created new material, no one would come and listen to us, people only want to hear our hits.

Blaze Bayley is cut from a different cloth. When his time was up, he moved on. Sure, he has had his ups and downs, but once again he is on the UP.

Live At Z7 is living proof of that!

It took almost a decade for him to find the right supporting players, and maybe more importantly the right management and record label. Blaze has a great voice, and a great stage presence. While I have never had the opportunity to visit Z7, it certainly looks like a great venue. A huge stage, a great sound system, an appreciative and boisterous audience, in fact just about every musicians dream gig.

I like metal when it is done well, and Blaze Bayley has found the alchemists formula, he turns iron into a very precious metal!

The camera work on the DVD is pretty simplistic, and that actually adds to the overall production, some live DVD’s are so complex in nature that you spend your time wondering how in the hell did they do that? Rather than watching the band play. I interviewed a well known music videographer a while ago, his ‘standard’ setup is 23 high def cams, several that are on wires and remotely controlled! Overkill!!!!!!!

Blaze Bayley keeps everything in perspective, no wild costumes, no pyrotechnics, no million dollar light show, and no Darth Vader impressions (I call that Darth Metal), instead we just get a million dollar performance.

Metal has a bit of a reputation for being wild, and sometimes it can be. Blaze Bayley is not wild, he is in my mind at least, a very solid and dependable performer. I know that I likely will get some flak over this next statement, but what the hey…. The Blaze Bayley of today, is a far better man than he ever was with Iron Maiden. Maiden was over produced, over hyped, over priced, and over the top!

Get some real Metal, pick up a copy of this great DVD. In fact while you are at it, buy his new biography Blaze Bayley – At The End Of The Day, and the new double CD. You can order all of these through the Blaze Bayley web site.

Simon Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!