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MAIDEN UNITED
October 31, 2015 - Levontin 7, Tel Aviv, Israel

review by: Avi Shaked

Maiden United - the acoustic, Iron Maiden tribute project - has released three full length albums up to now. This shows dedication to the music as well as to the band's concept. Still, Maiden United's reputation might not be as high as one can expect, as the concert production of the band's scheduled performance in Israel suffered from poor ticket sales, which forced the gig's transition into a relatively small club. This transition, however, was worthwhile for the hundred people that did attend.

The Tel Aviv based club Levontin 7 might not be the ideal place for gigs, but it does consistently give stage to some of the most interesting and rewarding live music played in Israel by both local and international artists. In this particular case, the daily routine of hosting live music and the comparatively intimate setting of the club's concert floor - basically a basement with a stage and a bar - seems to have made the difference. That's not to take away from Maiden United's performance at all, though. The club supplied the right conditions, but it was the band that made the most out of them.

Frontman Damian Wilson (also of Threshold as well as on various Arjen Anthony Lucassen productions) stood out: the man is a true showman; his performance is staged without being exaggerated, and as such he managed to deliver the drama as well as the entertainment of the Iron Maiden repertoire, and do it better than he does on record (while our Gut Feeling [https://www.facebook.com/GutFeelingMusic/photos/667677003281176/] regarding the band's debut album was a bit harsh, we still believe it is an album that does not live up to the potential; but the live setting does bring more out of Wilson). Wilson knows how to work out the audience, and - making the most of the intimate setting - even stepped off the stage to sing from within the ranks of the audience (as well as to chat with the audience right before and after the show, and share his brothel experience in support of performing the two Maiden songs of the subject).

Furthermore, while we have never considered Wilson to be in the big league of rock vocalists, his vocal delivery that night proved otherwise. He was precise, yet flexible, and the natural beauty of his vocals was utilized effortlessly (or at least that's how it seemed). Apparently, Wilson is well aware of its slightly limited range (when compared with Russell Allen, for example) but he sings comfortably and beautifully within that somewhat treble range.

The set was purely acoustic (demonstrating another band-place synergy, as the band took advantage of the house grand piano, instead of the typically used keyboards), and featured a comprehensive selection of Iron Maiden material, from early numbers such as "Remember Tomorrow" through classics like "Aces High," "Children of the Damned," "The Trooper," "The Evil That Men Do" to less celebrated songs like "Futureal." It was a killer show, and one of the best metal related shows we have ever witnessed, as it was more about the details and less about the noise. If Maiden United comes anywhere near you and you're a Maiden fan - you would not want to miss it!

 

 

ISSUE 78
LIVE REVIEWS


MAIDEN UNITED
October 31, 2015

 
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