Bruce Dickinson at the sold-out Manchester Academy was blessed with a thrilling family affair – live report

Author Sabrina Ramdoyal - 31.5.2024

As one approached the bustling venue of the sold-out Manchester Academy, it became apparent who the fortunate attendees were set to witness. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s none other than the UK’s enigmatic phenomenon, Bruce Dickinson! It’s undeniable that the British fronting legend have graced many stages across the globe for over three decades, but the evening’s stage was set to enchant the Mancunians in what can only be described as their most intimate setting yet! Full photo gallery here.

The night was already electric even before the British icon set foot on the cherished setting. As the opening chords of “Accident of Birth” filled with the pulsating beats from the stripped-down, but massive introduction, sent tremors through the floor. With a commanding presence and his unmistakable voice, Bruce effortlessly transported the audience into a world of music and emotion, setting the stage for an unforgettable night. As the night progressed, the energy in the room only further intensified. The familiar tunes of “Abduction” heard a “Scream for me Manchester” reverberated through the venue, the crowd erupted into a loud hail, matching the intensity that Bruce and his bandmates brought to the stage. “Laughing in the Hiding Bush” resonated through the venue, drawing the crowd into a state of euphoria. However, it was the introduction of “Afterglow Of Ragnarok” that truly captivated the audience. The night unfolded like a carefully crafted story, with Bruce taking on the role of a master storyteller, weaving tales of apocalyptic visions and dark romance. Songs like “By a Man Called Blake” and “The Resurrection Man” drew Manchester into a world of drama and intrigue. Even as the band delved into darker, heavier tracks such as “Rain On The Grave” and “A Dark Side Of Aquarius“, the crowd remained spellbound, holding onto every note and lyric.

Moments of levity and camaraderie shone through as the troupe playfully interacted with each other and the audience. With a drum solo provided a brief respite before a launch into the rock anthem “The Alchemist”, this further revealed their effortless skill and musical prowess. Bruce’s infectious energy and wit added a light-hearted layer to the evening, serving a reminder everyone that music is celebrated between the four walls. As the night drew to a close, the enthralling “Navigating The Sea” transported the audience on a cosmic journey and landing on an heroic crescendo with “The Book of Thel” allowing a thunderous ovation to permeate the stratosphere which provided a fitting end to a night filled with a unforgettable account of events.

The air resonated with timeless classics that may not be familiar to the younger generation, however undoubtedly struck a chord with many seasoned music enthusiasts. The atmosphere was electric, with a sense of camaraderie among the dedicated and well-respected followers. Witnessing this spectacle, one cannot help but marvel at the level of intimacy and connection fostered between the artist and their adoring fans. Bruce Dickinson alongside with his formidable troupe effortlessly unveiled combinations from their newest album after almost two decades, “The Mandrake Project”, seamlessly intertwined with beloved hits from his illustrious solo career. In a musical landscape where bands may be on hiatus or taking a break from touring, Bruce Dickinson brought a night that transcended just mere entertainment. It was not merely a performance; it was a sonic journey through time, a celebration of artistry, and a communion of souls brought together by the transformative power from an awe-inspiring symbol of the metal music industry.

Accident of Birth
Laughing in the Hiding Bush
Afterglow of Ragnarok
Chemical Wedding
Many Doors to Hell
Resurrection Men
Rain on the Graves
Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group cover) (with drum solo and Bruce Dickinson on theremin)
The Alchemist
Tears of the Dragon
Darkside of Aquarius

Navigate the Seas of the Sun
Book of Thel
The Tower