Review: Iron Maiden, live

Short review: best gig ever.

Longer review:

OMFG. Best gig ever.

Actual review:

Best gig ever.

I mean, I was always going to love this gig. I have too much history with the music and love for the thing that they do, the integrity they do it with, and the whole demented escapist lark of it all. And they were playing exclusively old stuff from the generally acknowledged greatest period of the band, with full stage set, the reunited ultimate line-up, etc. After driving up listening to the first 8 albums in order and singing myself hoarse, which was a whole load of flashbacks in itself, the real question seemed to be could it possibly live up to the hype and expectation?

Hell yeah.

Maiden are, and have always been, all about being a kick-ass live band. It is what made them in the first place, and they have retained a relentless touring ethic throughout the past three decades. (Heh. Apparently they just won the Best Live Act at the 09 Brit Awards.) They are incredibly goddamn good at what they do, and are clearly having a shit-tonne of fun doing it. (By contrast, when I saw KISS last year they were tired, going through the motions of stadium rock greatness, and a bit creaky, old and ringing false.)


They played Rime of the Ancient Mariner. They played Phantom of the Opera. They played Children of the Damned. These are awesome songs I never expected to see live even if I somehow got to see Maiden.

HOLY FUCK, THEY PLAYED RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER! I mean, that alone is worth shitting a kitten over. (For those of you who don’t know Maiden, and are for some reason still reading, it is a 13 minutes long adaptation of Coleridge, epic as all fuck, and the third movement as captured on Live After Death is one of my favourite pieces of music ever.)

They also played Aces High, Wrathchild, Two Minutes to Midnight, The Trooper, Wasted Years, Powerslave, Run To The Hills, Fear of the Dark, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden; with an encore of The Number of the Beast, The Evil That Men Do, and Sanctuary. (Possibly something else too, they were on for a couple of hours.)

Ah, hell. Words can’t do this sort of thing justice. You had to see the light in people’s eyes after the gig. It was unique. It is something else entirely to genuinely know and love every song being played and experience a ridiculously awesome show. It was an immense happy making experience, and something I am very grateful to have experienced. I hope everyone loves a band this much, and gets to see them live sometime.

the demi-god Bruce Dickinson

Oh, and I bought an Iron Maiden shirt for the first time in a decade or so, the NZ tour edition with Eddie as an All Black with a ferocious sheep under his arm. \m/

6 Responses to “Review: Iron Maiden, live”

  1.   Richard
    February 23rd, 2009 | 2:09 pm

    I was about to comment and demand a report on this mission. Interesting that for once you seem unable to conjure quite the right words to describe something too 😉

    Gotta see a pic of that t-shirt, sounds teh awesome.

  2.   Pearce
    February 24th, 2009 | 7:10 am

    Sounds awesome, but what the hell is Bruce wearing in that photo? He looks like an ’80s video game character.

  3.   Administrator
    February 24th, 2009 | 10:46 am

    Richard: it was a transcendent experience.

  4.   Bruce
    February 24th, 2009 | 12:34 pm

    >I hope everyone loves a band this much, and gets to see them live sometime.

    well said 🙂

  5.   Scott
    February 24th, 2009 | 3:35 pm

    ditto – well said. I’ve been so lucky that two of my favourite artists (The New Pornographers and Ryan Adams) have both played Wellington in recent months. And while more ‘objective’ people might think the gigs were just ‘okay’ for me they were awesomely transcendental experiences.

    Glad to hear Maiden was the same for you! 😀

  6.   ge0
    February 27th, 2009 | 12:56 pm

    I am truly saddened and feel somewhat homesick that I could not be in NZ and share this amazing experience with all of my friends! I missed seeing them when I first got to London for 2 reasons – 1. I had no friends here who wanted to go with me 2. The tix were ridiculously expensive and I was still unemployed and spending my NZ dollars. So yeah, quite gutted I couldn’t share this with you all. Ancient Mariner and Hallowed!!! Well at least I still have something to live for 😉