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Paul Di’anno / Icarus Witch

Date: 1/27/10
Venue: BB King Blues Club, NYC
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Icarus Witch not only are serving as direct support for Paul Di’anno on this North American run, but also are his backing band. The Pittsburgh PA based traditional metallers are out supporting their soon to be released (Feb 9 2010) new album "Draw Down The Moon". As a live band I gotta say they are not the most exciting, I don’t know if it was the choice in songs or what but the performance lacked energy, as did the music. On disc I like Icarus, they did an outstanding cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Mirror Mirror’ on their last album "Songs For The Lost" and overall musically are solid. But live I found them to be a bore. Maybe these songs just didn’t work and I think combined with singer Matthew Bizilia’s layed back presence they just didn’t hold my attention. The crowd as well seemed a bit mellow and lacked energy but did respond positively to the music. Maybe Icarus Witch needs to add a second guitarist?

Icarus Witch setlist:

Nature Of The Beast
Queen Of Lies
Black Candles
Out For Blood
Serpent In The Garden
The Ghost Of Xavior Holmes
Drawn Down The Moon
The Sky Is Falling
Winds Of Atlantis
Curse Of The Ice Maiden


Paul Di’anno..wow, was that a shock when he hit the stage. Being an Iron Maiden fan since the early 80s I remember buying the self titled debut and "Killers" which Paul sings on, and was startled a bit by his appearance. No longer is Di’anno slender with dark hair. Now overweight with a belly, shaved head, and half of his teeth, Paul unfortunately walked with a limp to the stage. From what I understand he hit a few rough patches over the years battling with drugs and spending some time in prison and seeing him now its obvious he was never meant to be part of Iron Maiden’s future. But of course he did make a timeless contribution to those first two Maiden albums.

As a performer, regardless of his physical issues, Paul gave New York City his all, standing center stage and often making slight hand and facial movements as if he was dying to just breakaway from the mic to interact with the crowd. Opening the show with Maiden classics ‘Wrathchild’ and ‘Prowler’ was a sweet treat and Icarus Witch played this stuff as close to the original recordings as possible. Even the guitar tones were pretty similar to Maiden’s. Di’anno performed some music from his solo career like ‘The Beast Arises’ from the Killers 1992 album "Murder One", ‘Children Of Madness’ from his time with Battlezone, and ‘Faith Healer’ and ‘Marshall Lockjaw’ also from his Killers project. All were really crunchy Accept like metal slabs and the crowd really dug them. I also thought they were good and will definitely start searching for those songs/albums.

‘Murders In The Rue Morgue’ and ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ sounded great and brought back fond memories at the age of thirteen listening to those first two Maiden albums in my bedroom, but I gotta tell ya the instrumentals ‘Transylvania’, and especially ‘Ides Of March’, were dead on. Close your eyes and you would swear Maiden were on stage. Kudos to Icarus Witch. Before playing Iron Maiden’s namesake Paul said he never thought he would perform the song again but the guys in Icarus Witch convinced him to. Really, I am tired of Maiden playing it live but it was cool to hear Di’anno bring the song back to its roots.

Paul Di’Anno setlist:

Marshall Lockjaw
Murders In The Rue Morgue
The Beast Arises
Children Of Madness
Faith Healer
A Song For You
Ides Of March
Phantom Of The Opera
Running Free
Iron Maiden
Blitzkrieg Bop

Icarus Witch:

Paul Di’Anno:

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