Maiden UniteD

December 19, 2015
Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

Maiden UniteD are an acoustic tribute to the band Iron Maiden. When I reviewed their latest album Remembrance (2015, see review) I was really impressed how this band turned the powerful metal tracks into lovely acoustic songs. This would be the first time I would see them live. I didn't know what to expect and how they would perform live on stage.

L to R: Huub van Loon, Joey Bruers, Damian Wilson and Camilla van der Kooij
The back of the stage was nicely decorated with big banners and the stage itself was filled with instruments and amplifiers. When the band entered the stage they started with Strange World, a great track. After playing Charlotte The Harlot lead singer Damian Wilson introduced the band members. Jonas Pap and Camilla van der Kooij were only on stage when they had to play. Damian is such an enthusiastic man, he really loves to perform on stage. He's interacting and entertaining the audience and also the band members with his humour and stories. He left the stage from time to time to meet up with some people in the audience. Damian asked the audience to sing along with the well-known track Two Minutes To Midnight. The crowd was a bit shy at first but not much later a lot of people sang along. There was a group of young men loudly cheering and clapping continuously. Nothing wrong with cheering and clapping of course, but those guys kept on cheering and clapping during the softer parts of the music, which is very unnecessary and even disturbing. Damian noticed the guys, left the stage and walked towards them. He greeted them, introduced himself to the guys and asked politely if they wanted to be calm during the songs and that they can cheer and clap as loud as they want in between tracks. The guys kept their word and were quiet during the rest of the set.
Marcella Bovio and Damian Wilson
When the band started to play The Trooper Damian left the stage again and sang the song while he was standing in the middle of the crowd, which was a big surprise for the audience. After The Trooper Damian introduced Marcela Bovio to the stage. She sang Sun And Steel along with Damian. After Sun And Steel they played Aces High, one of my favourite Iron Maiden tracks. Before the band started to play The Evil That Men Do Jonas and Camilla came back on stage. Die With Your Boots On was the last track of the set. While the band left the stage Mike Coolen stayed behind his drum kit and did a short drum solo. The audience really enjoyed it and gave him a big cheer. Joey Bruers was the first member to return to the stage before the encore and did a speech. He also told that Leon den Engelsen established a special fundraiser for refugees in Greece and that he was going to bring the collected money in person. People still had the chance to donate some money after the show. During the encore every band member had their own solo moment. During those moments the members got a more comprehensive introduction from Damian. When the band left the stage the song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life from Monty Python was played, which made the audience laugh.

It was a fantastic gig. The music was acoustic but the performance of the band members was fantastic and wonderful to watch. These musicians know how to put a lot of good energy in an acoustic setup. They also enjoyed to play on stage, made some jokes and know how to entertain the audience. I hope this band will continue performing as Maiden UniteD, or maybe even consider to turn other fantastic rock and metal songs into lovely acoustic tracks!

Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

Setlist Maiden UniteD:

Strange World
Charlotte the Harlot
2 Minutes to Midnight
Remember Tomorrow
Children of the Damned
22 Acacia Avenue
The Trooper
Sun and Steel
Aces High
The Evil That Men Do
Die With Your Boots On
To Tame a Land
Wasted Years

Pictures Maiden UniteD by Iris Hidding

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Line up Maiden UniteD:

(left to right)
Leon den Engelsen:
Hammond organ
Joey Bruers:
bass guitar
Marcela Bovio:
Damian Wilson:
Ruud Jolie:
Mike Coolen:
drums and percussion
Camilla van der Kooij:
Jonas Pap:
Huub van Loon:

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