Seen Live: Maiden United

Two weeks ago—which goes to show that I’m seriously slacking—I went to see three acoustic tribute acts in Harderwijk, of all places.

First up was Meat Love, Frank van Zon’s acoustic Meat Loaf tribute. There are people who think this is a great act, but after witnessing him myself, I can’t say the same. Frank—a big guy all dressed up in an obligatory white, frilly shirt and messy hair—seemed to make a point of delivering each and every line as big as possible, even when the song didn’t call for it. He often rushed through the words without pronouncing them properly and/or in the right order, and failed bring just about every other line he sung to an end. Even though the arrangements and accompaniment of acoustic guitar and keys were pretty good, I wasn’t won over at all.

Thomas Zwijsen, on the other hand: wow. Just wow. He sat down, took his flamenco guitar, and ripped through a couple of Maiden classics. It made me realize that I might as well give up any pretense I have about playing guitar and just smash the thing to pieces. His album Nylon Maiden is out in January.

Thomas Zwijsen — The Trooper

And then Maiden United. An all acoustic tribute to Iron Maiden, featuring members of Within Temptation and fronted by Damian Wilson, all round nice guy and great singer. What can I say? They manage to play Maiden classics (and, well, “Sun and Steel” and “Quest for Fire”) acoustically, in a way that they are quite different and still freaking rock. A few weeks earlier I was joking with a colleague about sensitive, heartfelt interpretations of “2 Minutes to Midnight”, and dammit, they pulled it off.

Maiden United — 2 Minutes to Midnight

So, all in all, two great Maiden and a Meat Loaf tribute I didn’t particularly care for. But as someone once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.

Seen live
Maiden United + Nylon Maiden + Meat Love at Estrado, Harderwijk on November 23rd, 2012
Set list Maiden United
Only the Good Die Young / Prowler / Flash of the Blade / Children of the Damned / Quest for Fire / 2 Minutes to Midnight / Still Life / Revelations / 22 Acacia Avenue / The Trooper / Infinite Dreams / Die With Your Boots On / Sun and Steel / The Evil That Men Do / Wasted Years
Set list Thomas Zwijsen
The Trooper / The Evil That Men Do / Wasted Years / Run to the Hills / Aces High
Set list Meat Love
Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad / Heaven Can Wait / You Took the Words / For Crying Out Loud / Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through