The man who took the Bayou stage Tuesday night to the howls of "Bruuuuuce" was not Springsteen. It was Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of the influential heavy metal band Iron Maiden, out on his own to show his sensitive side.
He has as rabid, if smaller, a following as the other Bruce, and they were treated to a stripped down sound played by an incredibly tight three-piece band featuring another Maiden, Jannick Gers, on guitar. The sound was less metal and more your basic early AC-DC hard rock -- no smoke machines, no light show, no makeup, and, after Dickinson removed his fringed leather jacket, no costumes. His trademark voice, with its astounding range, dominated the show. Though it's become a standard of sorts, his voice doesn't have much variety on the higher end, and when he sings lower and quieter, as on the quasi-ballad "Born in '58," his slow vibrato sounds disturbingly like Anthony Newley.
Drummer Dickie Fliszar took his obligatory solo turn, and bassist Andy Carr was talented if self-absorbed on his five-string bass, but the musical star was Gers, whose playing was mind-boggling but never egotistical, and who seemed to be enjoying himself immensely, especially on his extended romp on "No Lies."