Bruce Dickinson in Nottingham [PHOTO]

Legendary vocalist Bruce Dickinson played with his solo project in Nottingham! We’ve got a large gallery for you from last night.

Bruce Dickinson is a man who needs no introduction, a true legend of British Heavy Metal. Taking a break from his duties with Iron Maiden, he’s currently touring with his solo project to promote „The Mandrake Project”. We’ve got a photo gallery and a short review from a sold-out Rock City in Nottingham.

The Mandrake Project

He might be 65 but Bruce is still one of the most charismatic, hard-working people in metal. We last heard from Bruce’s solo project in 2005 with Tyranny of Souls but he’s back after a near 20 year break with the concept album, „The Mandrake Project”. His fans have been desperate for new material and positive reviews contributed to „The Mandrake Project” climbing the charts across the world. He can still do it in the studio, but can Bruce still put on a stripped down show when he’s not backed by the mighty Iron Maiden? We headed to Rock City to find out!

Bruce Dickinson in Nottingham

This show has been sold out for months and as we arrive there’s a long line of heavy metal fans stretching down the street. It’s not too surprising that most people are wearing Iron Maiden shirts but it’s also nice to see a large number of young students among the grey-haired, leather jacket wearing veterans of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. It even brings a tear to the eye to see parents bringing their children, a new generation lucky enough to still see some of the legends.

Black Smoke Trigger

Before Bruce it’s time for Black Smoke Trigger to set the tone for the evening and hype up the crowd. Hard rockers all the way from New Zealand, the group was founded 5 years ago and released the album „Set It Off” in 2019. They’ve also been previewing new singles over the last year, could there be a new album coming soon? It’s quite a challenge for relative newcomers to support an institution like Bruce Dickinson but they rose to it admirably. Their melodic compositions with elements of alternative rock, juicy guitar parts and soaring vocals definitely earned them some new fans.

Bruce Dickinson

Then the moment Rock City was waiting for as Bruce Dickinson appeared on stage with his virtuoso touring band to the theme from „Invaders”. As the band launched into „Accident of Birth” there was no slow ramp in energy, instead they turned it straight to 11 and challenged the crowd to match their enthusiasm. Well, if there’s one thing the crowds at Rock City can do it’s sing and they were in fine voice tonight, following along with every verse.

To my surprise, the set list was a deeper cut than expected. I thought the „The Mandrake Project” would be over-represented, but that evening we went on a journey through each of the artist’s solo albums. From energetic songs such as „Abduction” or „Laughing In The Hiding Bush” to the very atmospheric and spiritualistic „Jerusalem” performed acoustically, or one of my favourite ballads by this artist – „Tears Of The Dragon”.

Bruce remains in great shape, both physically and vocally. I’ll admit that I had doubts about how the tracks may sound live but all my fears were dismissed after a few minutes. Bruce is still a top tier vocalist and, arguably, sounds better live than he does on albums that have occasionally suffered from muddy mixing.

It’s quite a rare opportunity to see icons like Bruce Dickinson at a club venue. When we’re used to seeing Iron Maiden sell out 15,000 capacity arenas, it’s a special treat to get to see the man up close and personal. Bruce has always leant heavily on the theatrical and such an intimate venue played to his strengths and allowed a strong connection to the crowd.

In short, Bruce Dickinson is like wine, the older the better. His shows always represent the highest level, no matter whether he is playing in stadiums with Iron Maiden or, as in this case, in the club with his solo project.

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