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Bruce Dickinson Opens Up At Fillmore Spoken Word Show

For those waiting to experience Iron Maiden in concert, they’re going to have to wait a bit longer. However, for those looking to satisfy a bit of their thirst for more Iron Maiden right now, Bruce Dickinson was in Detroit this past weekend at The Fillmore for his spoken-word tour, 'An Evening With Bruce Dickinson'. This is a solo show of his where he combines a bit of his humor, events of his life as a young lad, music career and improv skills for an entertaining evening of wit and sarcasm through the eyes of a rock star. 

Bruce began his show in high spirits with a very warm welcoming applause from the Detroit audience. He was accompanied on the largely empty stage by nothing much more than a photo slideshow behind him, a simple stool and a drink, but his energy more than filled up the large space. His connection to the crowd was instant.

The stories Bruce told highlight key moments in his life that lead him to becoming the singer and pilot and that he is now. One example was in his grade school years, he tried to fail his way out of a choir entrance exam to avoid singing. He wanted to be a drummer. As Bruce chatted about his difficulties with school, being a troublemaker, and his early career as an aspiring drummer, he made note of Nicko McBrain, which received a roar of applause from the crowd. 

Moving into the middle part of the show, Bruce told of his stressful but memorable experiences with his first few bands, learning to be a singer and his introduction to the rock star life, including exposure to drugs. Proudly, he told the audience he’s never really been interested in drugs, his brain gives him all the psychedelic experiences he needs. 

One of the highlights of the show began with an iconic photo of the Iron Maiden group members which was also received with a very large applause from the crowd. Bruce brought much sarcasm and hilarious self deprecation to this segment as he touched on his creative fashion choices throughout his time performing with Iron Maiden.  

In contrast, Bruce also covered the period in his life where he battled throat cancer. This was a more solemn section of the show, but he had plenty of anecdotes to keep the audience engaged and laughing - including one about his beard falling off into his beer during chemo treatment.

In addition to being a successful singer, Bruce is also an accomplished pilot and throughout the show he touched on his experiences flying large aircraft such as the Boeing 757. Oddly enough, much of the Q&A portion of the show was devoted to questions about his piloting career. Questions ranged from asking about any close calls he had flying planes, to what was it that inspired him to become a pilot in the first place?

Another question asked, when can we expect a new solo album? His answer was, ‘well, maybe next year,’ -he has big plans with Iron Maiden currently. 

The show closed with a simple but obvious question from the audience. Can you sing a bit for us tonight? Yes! He can and he did. To the delight of everyone, Bruce finished the show with a shortened performance of Revelations. 

So that’s the show. A fun night of comedy and music history from one of the best heavy metal singers from across the pond. If you missed this solo show, Iron Maiden will be in Detroit this October. 

- Written by Brandon Nagy for WLLZ

Check out photos from the show here!

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