Thanks to Mefilas from the official Iron Maiden board, here's a little review of the Izzfest date by BLAZE, plus a little Q&A with the frontman, bringing some nice information:
Finally it was the time again to visit a BLAZE gig. It was my 4th one and I had no clue about the setlist in advance. After 3 hours by car we arrived and followed the sound of the rehearsing band to find the quite small venue and entered without being checked because there was absolutely no security at all.
The gig was located near a huge football field bordered by some houses with goats and ducks in their garden. People were wearing so many different band tshirts but Maiden, Blaze, Manowar and Metallica were dominating. But one MAIDEN shirt got my full attention because it was saying: "I was there for CLIVE! Hammersmith 02.09.05" on its backside. This person has been at the Maiden gig just the day before. It was funny to see that some people where look alikes of WWE (former WWF) wresters: Gangrel, Edge, Shawn Michaelis, Mankind, Stone Cold were present.
The first band played at the hardcore stage but I didn't like that kind of metal with their death/black/thrash metal voices. After 5 minutes we went outside and the manager of Blaze called Neil was at the outside with his wife. A little later Blaze appeared, spotted us, smiled and did the metal sign even before I recognized him. (He had his good old classic look again: no beard, smaller sideburns, no hat.)
I did the same and had an interesting talk with him after he had signed our stuff like Maiden singles, Wolfsbane albums, posters, cards, tourbooks. We tooks pics too. He seemed a bit tired and bored but later while performing he was better than ever.
- I last saw you the day before the Big Bash where you played at Biebob, Belgium a 2,5 hour long set featuring Blaze, Maiden and Wolfsbane songs.
I can remember that. It was great.
- When will you play next?
I think at the Big Bash.
- Can you tell us something about the new CD and DVD?
Yes, the new album is planned for may 2006 along with the DVD coming a bit later featuring 3 exclusive songs and documenting the work on the new album. The new album will be very different from 'Blood & Belief'. 'Blood & Belief' is my favorite album because the vocals are perfect and sound like on a live album.
I would like to keep it up this way for the new album. We did a LONG preparation for Blood & Belief and spent a very SHORT time in the studio. Studios are so boring and uninspiring. They are not creative enough for a metal band, they are only for pop bands and stuff like that who like to spend most time in studios.
- Does the DVD include the Big Bash 2004?
We want to add a lot of stuff for it, so we will record more songs. (He seemed a bit unsure and confused.)
- Setlist tonight?
I have got no idea. (He smiled and continued with his jokes.)
First we will open with "Kill & Destroy" then go straight into "Dazed & confused" playing this cover-song for about 1 hour and then i will join the fans and enjoy the gig with them. Do you remember the second verse for "Born as a Stranger"?
- I will remember the words when I hear the music of course.
I hope I will remember the lyrics as well... (still smiling)
A very friendly frontman indeed!
There were 2 stages: one "metal stage" outside and one smaller "hardcore stage" at the inside where it was very warm and no air circulating. So this means music non-stop because while one stage is playing the other one is already getting ready and doing soundchecks. Two covers songs were played but with unsuitable voices: Paranoid and Metal Militia. Most bands were not to my likes but Heidevolk "looked" very interesting. They had 2 singers and the whole band was dressed as vikings holding shields, axes, swords and were drinking out of horns. The drumkit was covered with a flag and some animal fur. Double Diamond was good. I already saw them before in Belgium opening for BLAZE. My brother even caught a drumstick at the end.
Program (only 10 EURO for 14 bands)
Kill & Destroy
Ghost in the Machine
2 A.M. (much better LIVE)
Stare at the Sun
Life and Death
Sign of the Cross (complete with intro)
Will to win
Man on the Edge
Born as a Stranger (cut after 20-30 seconds and carried on by Blaze's singing with the fans)
Blaze was doing only very short speeches because the whole programm of the day was delayed a bit and he wanted to perform all his songs before the curfew. He climbed one of the poles holding the ceiling during Futureal. (It was a much smaller pole than the one that Bruce climbed during No More Lies videoclip)
The new line-up was really working out well and the sound was excellent. I was standing in the second row at the center delivering a perfect view because the first row was occupied by smaller fans than me.
At 1:40 the show stopped immediately during the beginning of the final song "Born as a Stranger" because of the curfew! The fans were screaming and Blaze finished the song along with the help of the fans singing/clapping with him.
We got 2 setlists and I said good bye to Blaze and thanked him for this wonderful selection of songs they had performed. We shook hands with the whole band. 2 A.M. was really a big surprise and the crowd went insane during "Man on the Edge". "Sign of the Cross" was excellent too and the first time for me seeing it live!!!
2 times there was a stupid crowd surfer. The second time he was pushed towards the front row with full force and landed with his chin/throat on the edge of the stage. He immediately left with a painful expression in his face and wasn't seen anymore afterwards.
Too bad they were only selling Blood & Belief shirts. No Silicon Messiah or Tenth Dimension anymore.
Infos & pics are probably coming soon at the official page of the festival. Keep checking!
Needless to say: I want a bootleg of this show, audio or video. People from the show itself filmed it from far away with a tripod and i remember someone on the trading forum recording the audio. Please contact me. Many thanks in advance.
Iron Maiden is a LEGEND and BLAZE is a part of it!
As metal is it gets.