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bruce dickinson rockhal2024Rockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
30th June 2024
Bruce Dickinson - “The Mandrake Project European Tour” - Support: Atomic Rocket Seeders

On Sunday, BRUCE DICKINSON, the inescapable singer of IRON MAIDEN, was in Luxembourg’s Rockhal as part of his new European tour. The singer, who has influenced generations with his voice, presented his latest solo album ‘The Mandrake Project’. The evening was opened by Luxembourg band ATOMIC ROCKET SEEDERS.


Atomic Rocket Seeders

ATOMIC ROCKET SEEDERS are a trio from Luxembourg. The most apt description of the band would be: three musical hotshots who take their broad musical roots from Metal, Blues, Jazz and Hard Rock, create an eclectic mix and rebrand these influences with a modern, thunderous metal sound. ATOMIC ROCKET SEEDERS’ unpredictable lyrical style, found in alternative bands such as INCUBUS and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, keeps listeners on their toes. While the lyrics focus mainly on social criticism, other tracks relax and seduce with stories about more emotional aspects of life.

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Music & Performance
Before BRUCE DICKINSON’s much-anticipated set, the crowd was treated to the local band ATOMIC ROCKET SEEDERS. The trio is no longer an unknown band in this country. Especially after their victory at the Metal Battle 2018 and their appearance at the Wacken Open Air Metal Festival, the band should be familiar to every local metal fan. The Alternative Metal band delivered a dynamic and fresh set that was clearly well received by the crowd. Kicking off with ‘Eternal Ashes’, the trio played one headbanging song after another.

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Their latest album may be four years old, but it’s still a lot of fun live. Songs like ‘Revolution 20**’, ‘Take Some More’ and ‘New Age Role Models’ were especially memorable during the breaks. A very successful performance, rewarded with lots of applause during and towards the end of the show.

Setlist
01- Eternal Ashes
02. Revolution 20**
03. Dance of Demise
04. Victim & Perpetrator
05. Take Some More
06. M-Path
07. New Age Role Models

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Bruce Dickinson

Paul Bruce Dickinson is an English singer, best known as the lead singer of the Heavy Metal band IRON MAIDEN in two stints, from 1981 to 1993 and from 1999 to the present. He is known for his operatic vocal style and energetic stage presence. Dickinson left IRON MAIDEN in 1993 to pursue a solo career that has seen him experiment with a variety of Heavy Metal and Rock styles. He has released a total of seven solo albums. Outside of his music career, Dickinson has pursued a few other activities. He embarked on a career as a commercial pilot for Astraeus Airlines, which led to several high-profile media stunts, including captaining IRON MAIDEN’s converted charter plane, Ed Force One, during their world tours.

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Following the closure of Astraeus, he set up his own aircraft maintenance and pilot training company, Cardiff Aviation, in 2012. Dickinson presented his own radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2002 to 2010 and has also presented television documentaries, written novels and film scripts, created a beer with Robinsons Brewery and competed internationally in fencing.

Music & Performance
The Rockhal was packed on Sunday night. The reason for this was two top-class concerts. GARBAGE, who finally returned to European stages after five years, played in the main hall, while Heavy Metal legend Bruce Dickinson performed in the Rockhal Club. Many fans were surprised by the choice of venues, but soon got used to it. Especially the IRON MAIDEN fans, who were able to get very close to their idol.

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After the ATOMIC ROCKET SEEDERS got the crowd headbanging, they waited eagerly for their idol. Punctually at 9pm, the man everyone had been waiting for entered the Rockhal stage to thunderous applause. Wearing a cap and a sleeveless denim jacket, BRUCE DICKINSON and his five musicians started the show full of energy with the title track from the 1997 album of the same name, ‘Accident of Birth’, with the fans singing along to the chorus of ‘Welcome home’.  He had the audience in the palm of his hand from the first second. The artist continued his set with a few older tracks such as ‘Abduction’ from ‘Tyranny of Souls’ (2005) and ‘Laughing in the Hiding Bush’ from ‘Balls to Picasso’ (1994), before playing the first track from his new work ‘Afterglow of Ragnarok’. The 65-year-old didn’t look old at all. The Brit bounced up and down the stage, relishing the spotlight. But his band, consisting of guitarists Chris Declercq and Philip Näslund, keyboardist Mistheria, bassist Tanya O’Callaghan (most recently with WHITESNAKE) and drummer Dave Moreno, kept up with Bruce and radiated just as much energy.

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In many ways it was a unique experience to see a frontman of Dickinson’s calibre in a smaller format (the Rockhal club holds around 1,200, the main hall 6,500), where you can concentrate on the music, when you’re usually only treated to the bombastic IRON MAIDEN arena shows. Even here there are some film sequences on the screen in the background, but most of the time you just have to deal with the backing band and Bruce’s voice, and that’s enough. Classics such as ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Chemical Wedding’ and ‘Road to Hell’ were not to be missed. The latter also marked the end of the main set and Bruce and his band took a brief farewell to the stage before returning with ‘Tears of the Dragon’, ‘Book of Thel’ and ‘The Tower’, sending the crowd home after an almost two-hour show. They could have joined GARBAGE to fill the Mail Hall a bit more.

Setlist
01. Accident of Birth
02- Abduction
03. Laughing in the Hiding Bush
04. Afterglow of Ragnarok
05. Faith
06. Jerusalem
07. Chemical Wedding
08. Resurrection Men
09. Rain on the Graves
10. Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group cover)
11. The Alchemist
12. Road to Hell
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13. Tears of the Dragon
14. Book of Thel
15. The Tower

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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All Pictures by Elena Arens

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