BRUCE DICKINSON Admonishes Fans For Smoking And 'Using Pepper Spray' During Brasília Concert: 'I Can't Sing If You're Gonna Smoke'

April 28, 2024

Bruce Dickinson called out a group of fans at his concert in Brazil last night (Saturday, April 27) for smoking cigarettes and allegedly using pepper spray in the crowd.

The IRON MAIDEN singer, who recently kicked off a tour of Latin America in support of his latest solo album, "The Mandrake Project", hit out at some audience members during his show at Opera Hall in Brasília.

In a video shared by the Iron Maiden Brasil Instagram account, Bruce can be heard saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I can't fucking breathe. Tanya [O'Callaghan, Bruce's bassist] can't breathe. You with the fucking vape over there, yeah, it's not you, but, you know, please, fucking do that outside, all right? You know, if you can't stay for five minutes without having a fucking addiction, but… Somebody down here has been using pepper spray. Some fucker has been using pepper spray, which is why people can't fucking breathe down there, right? So, you know, if you figure out who the fuck it is, I just don't care what happens to them after the show, all right? In the meantime, we will try and do the best we can."

In a separate video uploaded to YouTube, Bruce added: "I do apologize for coughing. Some of you fuckers are smoking, all right? I can't sing if you're gonna smoke, all right? [Tanya's] coughing her guts out, I'm coughing, my fucking wife is going, 'Blargh,' in the back there, all right? It's kind of disgusting, all right? But if you wanna be disgusting, do it outside, all right? Not in here. My throat's got work to do. You pay good money to hear me fucking sing, not go, 'Blargh, blargh,' all right?"

The promoter of Dickinson's concert in Brasília, MCA Concerts, told Brazilian music journalist Igor Miranda that the incident was caused by an accidental explosion of a fan's vape pen (electronic cigarette). The chemical present in the accessory spread and created symptoms similar to those of pepper spray. The medical team on duty at the event stated that those treated did not have symptoms caused by pepper gas, such as eye irritation, watery eyes, swelling or disorientation, and that only throat irritation was noted. MCA Concerts also told Igor Miranda that Opera Hall security does not use pepper spray to control the crowd and that no fights occurred on the site. Furthermore, the concert promoter said that Dickinson himself was not directly affected by the vape explosion, only another member of Bruce's band whose name had not been revealed.

Dickinson has a history of publicly admonishing fans and security at MAIDEN's concert if he feels like they are out of line. Less than two years ago, he blasted a fan as a "Greek cunt" and a "fucking cocksucker" for lighting a flare during the band's concert in Athens, Greece. The incident occurred on July 16, 2022 as MAIDEN launched into the tenth song of its set, "The Number Of The Beast", at the Olympic Stadium. After singing the opening line of the track, Bruce noticed the flare lighting up and immediately burst into an angry rant, apparently concerned that the smoke from the flare would negatively affect his singing voice.

"The cunt with the fucking flare, I've gotta sing up here," Bruce shouted into the microphone. "You fucking cocksucker. You Greek cunt. All right. I've gotta fucking sing. All right. Fuck you."

As Bruce's bandmates continued playing the opening riff of "The Number Of The Beast", he apparently briefly left the stage in hopes that the smoke would clear up. However, when Dickinson eventually resumed singing the song, he was notably off time and not in sync with the rest of the group.

Dickinson addressed the incident during a recent interview with Sakis Fragos of Rock Hard Greece about his upcoming solo album, "The Mandrake Project". Asked about his response to the flare at the concert, Bruce said: "Oh, the guy swinging his thing and everything else. You know what? I probably got his nationality wrong. [Laughs] I just lost my temper, because it was such… That activity that a very, very small minority of people do is so selfish and so disturbing. They think it's really cool. Actually, it's not about the band. It's not about the audience. It's about them drawing attention only to themselves and damaging the people around them who have this thing, this extremely toxic thing flying around. Of course, if you happen to be asthmatic, if you haven't been having any lung conditions, 'Oh, we don't care about them. We'll just fill the place with smoke, 'cause it makes me feel important,' is their attitude. It just annoys the hell out of me. Anyway, yeah, I lost my temper. I shouldn't have called him a Greek cunt; I should have just called him a cunt. [Laughs]"

Back in 2019, Bruce stopped a MAIDEN show midway through to slam a Tacoma, Washington venue for a violent and bloody incident in the crowd for which he claimed the venue's security was to blame. In 2012, Bruce called out a fan at a Indianapolis show who had been texting for three straight songs. In October 2022, Dickinson also called out fans who were allegedly smoking cannabis during a MAIDEN concert in Anaheim, California. He said: "There's so many fucking people smoking so much fucking dope down here, I'm amazed you can even see. Poor old Steve [Harris, MAIDEN bassist]. I don't know if you know, but he absolutely fucking hates marijuana and the smell of it, all right? So when he's trying to play bass, it fucks him up. It fucks me up. I'm a singer, all right?"

"The Mandrake Project" was released on March 1 via BMG. Bruce and his long-term co-writer and producer Roy "Z" Ramirez recorded the LP largely at Los Angeles's Doom Room, with Roy Z doubling up as both guitarist and bassist. The recording lineup for "The Mandrake Project" was rounded out by keyboard maestro Mistheria and drummer Dave Moreno, both of whom also featured on Bruce's previous solo studio album, "Tyranny Of Souls", in 2005.

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