REVIEW: Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden performs at the Theatre Royal Brighton.

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REVIEW: Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden performs at the Theatre Royal Brighton.

During the pause, a woman in line for the restroom commented, “I have no idea who he is, my boyfriend brought me along.” In reality, she probably spoke for the majority of the women in the room.

Or, given that we’re in Brighton the womxn, just to be safe. Heavy Metal is well-known for being about as gender-inclusive as the MCC. This is an exaggerated stereotype, but like many stereotypes, it has a kernel of reality. So, for the ladies’ sake, here’s an explanation:

Bruce Dickinson is a rock god from the past. Iron Maiden’s frontman, Bruce Dickinson, is set to release their 17th album, Senjutsu, in September. If past performance is any indication, this album will go triple platinum by 11 a.m. on the day it is released.

Iron Maiden have sold 200 million LPs, CDs, and DVDs since their inception in 1975, enough for every man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom to theoretically own four copies of their breakthrough album The Number of the Beast (confession time – I own two.)

According to Wikipedia, Maiden is “one of the most influential heavy metal artists of all time” and a band that “elevated heavy metal to an art form.”

Screamed lyrics about hordes of the undead layered over even screamier guitars accompanied by drums powerful enough to overturn tectonic plates, all performed at decibel levels designed to give health and safety authorities instant coronaries, may not be your cup of tea.

However, if it isn’t, you should consider why not.

Anyway, it is a Bruce Dickinson night, not an Iron Maiden night. And there are no screaming guitars, fireworks, or lasers today, just a dude stumbling onto the stage with a pint and a bottle of water.

He asks the older denim-clad audience, “Beer or water?” as if the question has two possible responses.

And with that, we’re off on a rollercoaster of anecdotes, insights, jokes, and recollections from a rock and roll existence.

He begins by recounting his experiences as a member of the B-List New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Samson (confession: I own a Samson picture disc as well…).

Hand on heart, Samson was a dreadful character… and you, after hearing Bruce’s tales of drug-addled cock-up after drug-addled cock-up after drug-addled cock-up after drug-addled cock-up after drug-addled cock-up after drug-addled “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”

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