Iron Maiden are at a stage in their life where they no longer churn out ten month long tours every year, hitting anywhere and everywhere. When Maiden are in town, now, you take notice and you go!

It seems that with every tour they draw in newer and younger crowds. Those who were around in the days of the World Slavery Tour are now flanked by their teen children, and too bloody right!

…I feel as excitable as I did for my first Maiden gig.

The excitement for this gig is huge. Twitter is going into overdrive pre-game and I feel as excitable as I did for my first Maiden gig.

The opening band, Dragonforce, did a fair job of getting the crowd going. Introducing their new singer and allowing him to showcase his ability to handle songs which previous singer ZP Theart left his mark on.

…Iron Maiden are in the building.

If I’m honest, I don’t care too much for Dragonforce. Nor will I give them any kind of time of day when Iron Maiden are in the building.

One of the highlights of any young (or old) gig-goer is those few seconds where lights go down, a roar goes up, and Doctor Doctor starts to play over the PA system.

Iron who? Iron ****ing Maiden, that’s who!

The cry of “scream for me London” is met with a booming roar.

The title-track from the new album, The Final Frontier goes down a treat. It’s very rare that I can recall being at a gig where the whole audience are as enthusiastic for new material as they are for the old classics. But then again Iron Maiden are a bit special.

I wonder how many times people twice as old as myself have heard songs like The Trooper and 2 Minutes to Midnight — staples of any Maiden gig — and yet they are so enthused to sing along to those great choruses.

May I have another, Sir Bruce?

I am absolutely delighted to hear that further classics of the Maiden set list diet have been dropped; those being Wrathchild and Run to the Hills, which are replaced with a few numbers that only seem to make appearances once every 10 years or so. Running Free was a welcome surprise and for me a far more enjoyable set closer than the overplayed material. Out with the old and in with the… err… Well, old I guess.

Bruce Dickinson, who will forever be the greatest front man of any rock band, has this London crowd in the palm of his hand. The cry of “scream for me London” is met with a booming roar. It really is such a great thing to be a part of. May I have another, Sir Bruce?

…the greatest live band in the world.

As always, no Maiden gig would be complete without him; Eddie makes an appearance in full force. His snarling, futuristic incarnation which comes up behind the drum riser during the song Iron Maiden is the most spectacular.

The new songs were great to hear, Coming Home going down especially well. But the highlight was Fear of the Dark. There is nothing any other band can write that will ever compare to the joy of participating in this masterful sing-along.

…the sheer joy this band brings will never fade.

Even after five tours of seeing Maiden, I will continue to preach that they are the greatest live band in the world. A feeling of depression is sure to ensue as I think on the fact that my next Maiden gig may be at least two years away. The wait is always worth it though and the sheer joy this band brings will never fade.

Image courtesy of Iron Maiden


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