Iron Maiden 05/08/2011


Ago 7 2011, 7:19

Fri 5 Aug – Iron Maiden, DragonForce

Iron Maiden Live at the O2 Arena – 05/08/2011
With Support From DragonForce

The O2 Arena in London is an impressive place to be sure, but not the most comfortable of venues. Stairs in the seating area are about as steep as they are probably allowed to come by health and safety rules, and leg room is naturally at a bare minimum. No one really cares though because the heavy metal legend that is Iron Maiden is why everyone is here to night, and the atmosphere of the fans is, in a word, awesome.

UK power metal act DragonForce is opening the show tonight. They’re with us for about half an hour, and give us five songs. New vocalist Marc Hudson quickly proves he has the pipes to the fill the position vacated by ZP Theart in 2010. It’s only his second gig with the band, but seems comfortably installed within their line-up all the same, even with a crowd the size of what the O2 can hold (though it hasn’t filled up by this point). The show is as expected – all speed and high pitched vocals; a typical showcase of ‘power metal cheese’. The only surprise of their set is their 3rd song, which Hudson introduces as a new song from their forthcoming fifth album that will be available early next year. The song is called Cry Thunder, and it seems a lot more restrained on the ultra fast leads from Herman Li and Sam Totman. As such you can hear a lot more of what is going on within the song than you can with the other four they play, which all sound the same, and makes Cry Thunder the highlight of the DragonForce set. The band seems to get a somewhat lukewarm reception however. Still it could be worse, we could have once again been treated to a performance by Lauren Harris, who for the first time since this reviewer has been going to Iron Maiden gigs, is absent from the billing.

DragonForce Rating 6/10

There’s an intermission while the stage is got ready for tonight’s headliners. We know it’s time when the music on the speakers switches to UFO’s Doctor Doctor (a song that Maiden has a cover version of). Opening the Iron Maiden set is Satellite 15...The Final Frontier. For the first part the band is off stage, which only adds to the dark atmosphere of the track, and they appear for the second half, to a great reception. After this though deliver The Final Frontier’s lead single, El Dorado. Over the course of the show the band plays half of the tracks from The Final Frontier, also treating us to The Talisman, Coming Home and When the Wild Wind Blows. Personally I’m disappointed by the lack of Starblind, but Maiden is Maiden, and the show is as powerful as it has ever been, with Bruce Dickinson tearing about the stage like a man of twenty rather than one over fifty, and is ever the showman. Dave Murray provides the shock of the night with a rare appearance without a Stratocaster for some of the songs.

Elsewhere in the set we’re treated to some of the classics such as 2 Minutes to Midnight, The Trooper and The Evil That Men Do, and set staples such as Fear of the Dark and Hallowed Be Thy Name. A nice surprise in the set is that they include material from Brave New World and Dance of Death, which has been absent from the last few UK gigs that Iron Maiden has done, with the track Dance of Death being a particular treat.

Eddie appears onstage during The Evil That Men Do, and even has his own Stratocaster at one point, while a larger Eddie appears behind the stage during the band’s signature song Iron Maiden, as is their live tradition. Bruce stops the show a couple of times to address the crowd, in which he promises that The Final Frontier isn’t really the final frontier at all, but rather the bridge to the final frontier, or something. The prospect of a new Iron Maiden album goes down a storm, but I don’t think I’m the only one hoping that there isn’t as long a gap between releases as there was between A Matter of Life and Death (2006) and The Final Frontier (2010). On that note there is a complete lack of A Matter of Life and Death tracks tonight, but I guess that those songs have been put on the backburner for now to make room for some new songs and revive some older ones.

Iron Maiden is, as always, on fire. By the time their set starts DragonForce is completely forgotten. The set seems to fly by, as anything fun seems to. To be honest this wasn’t the best Iron Maiden gig I ever went to, but the band proves once again that they are a class above all others. After the band departs the stage after closing the set with Running Free, Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life drifts from the speakers to see the crowd out. All in all a great night.

Iron Maiden Rating 9/10

DragonForce Setlist

  1. Heroes of Our Times
  2. Fury of the Storm
  3. Cry Thunder
  4. Operation Ground and Pound
  5. Through the Fire and Flames

(I think, after all, most of it did sound the same)

Iron Maiden Setlist

  1. Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
  2. El Dorado
  3. 2 Minutes to Midnight
  4. The Talisman
  5. Coming Home
  6. Dance of Death
  7. The Trooper
  8. The Wicker Man
  9. Blood Brothers
  10. When the Wild Wind Blows
  11. The Evil That Men Do
  12. Fear of the Dark
  13. Iron Maiden
  14. The Number of the Beast
  15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  16. Running Free

Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven


  • iRule_

    Don't remember Dragonforce .. Maiden were awesome :d

    Ago 7 2011, 9:06
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