HI-ON MAIDEN - EVESHAM, THE IRON ROAD 05/01/18
Hi-on Maiden were the first band we reviewed. Looking back now to that original night, Matt Duggan was unwell and was struggling to talk, let alone sing. The band were in good shape, but the set was cut short. Now in Evesham some six months later, we had a chance to see what Hi-on Maiden were all about and why they would headline Saturday nights, Wrexham: Rock The Park 2018!
Cue, Vangelis Blade Runner Theme…….
Listening to the audience reactions as the music finished and Hi-on took to the stage, sent cold shivers running down my spine. The opening riff of Caught Somewhere in Time opens the set, the fanatical audience keen to lend their own voices to that of Duggan’s.
As they finished the second number, 2 Minutes To Midnight, it was clear that Hi-on Maiden were in high spirts and Matt was quick in promising a return to The Iron Road.The Prisoner, Revelations and Death Or Glory, a song I never managed to get my head around after seeing Bruce Dickenson wearing a monkey mask, followed.
Wasted Years, is sounding really good at this point. This is played to a tight beat, showing how together this band really are. Matt Duggan’s voice really is back and with the superb accompaniment of Simon Spence, Luigi Di Paolo, Justin Larner and new member George 'GT' Stergiou, showing how heavy metal is performed.
Sooner than expected, the introduction to Number Of The Beast crawled across the airwaves as Satan walks on stage and the
crowds dig deep into their conserved energy, taking that enthusiasm through Infinite Dreams, The Evil That Men Do, Flight Of Icarus and The Trooper. Duggan’s regular ‘Scream for me, Evesham!’ accompanied the entrance of Death on stage. A sombre moment ensued as the two looked into crowd before a huge singalong accompanies the riffs in Fear Of The Dark.
With the bulk of the evening finished, the band hit the encore section, not leaving the stage due to time restraints and the venue layout. We often see bands ditching the customary ‘hide behind the curtains for a few moments while the audience chant for more’ in favour of ‘packing in another song while they still can!’
Incredible versions of Hallowed Be Thy Name and Iron Maiden are delivered, accompanied by Maidens mascot Eddie, and finally Run To The Hills. It was everything you had expected from a Hi-on Maiden gig. It was full of energy. It was very loud! Then it was done. We were lucky enough to get pictures of the band with Wrexham banner as the audience left knowing that in a years time, Hi-on Maiden would be back
in Evesham. If there is to be a worthy headline band in the world of heavy metal, I can think of no tribute act more qualified to lead the masses in the big Saturday night slot, than the current monster that is, Hi-on Maiden!