On Saturday evening, thousands gathered at the O2 Institute in Birmingham to watch three legendary bands perform. These bands were of course Burning Witches, an up and coming band dominating the air waves, legendary vocalist Paul Di’Anno, and the seminal KK’s Priest. Starting proceedings were Burning Witches.
Burning Witches had the enviable job of kicking off the night when the punters had been delayed getting into the venue due to poor line management. But the moment they hit the stage and the first audience members got into the venue, things took off. They clearly had a point to prove and ran through their setlist like thunder. The venue shook as they performed, the crowd got pumped and when Burning Witches played their classic “Hexenhammer,” there was a lot of excitement and singing. A band to watch for the future.
Paul Di’Anno the legendary singer, was next on. The crowd hummed with excitement as the stage was prepared for him, and when he came on, the roar that greeted him must have been heard several towns over! Playing classics from the first two Iron Maiden albums, including this reviewer’s favourite “Remember Tomorrow,” he was in fine form. Aided most precisely by his backing band who nailed the early Maiden sound. Di’Anno was in fine form, and seemed deeply appreciative to be on stage performing given all the tribulations he’d faced in the past.
KK’s Priest were the final act of the night. And boy what an act they were. Starting off with their mascot Deimos introducing proceedings, the band quickly moved into the barn storming songs from their first two albums. This included “Hellfire Thunderbolt,” and “One More Shot At Glory,” both of which got the crowd moving and screaming along. Then came “The Ripper,” which saw Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens let loose. Then we had the double punch of “Reap The Whirlwind,” and “Night Crawler,” and it was clear Priest were on fine form and furiously moving. For the rest of the night from the moment they played “Beyond The Realms Of Death,” to the moment they finished with “Strike Of The Viper,” they delivered punch after punch. As the last notes disappeared into the night the audience was left wanting more and more.
A fantastic night and one that will be remembered for many years to come.