Blimey, what a weekend!! I worked 16 hours of overtime over Saturday and Sunday which knocked me bandy. Capped it all off with a rather nice curry so I can’t complain.
Following Saturday’s overtime whorage I managed to get up to Twickenham stadium with my mate Ian and witness Iron Maiden play the debut UK date of their ‘Somewhere back in time tour 1980-1989’. I was very impressed at the venue for a concert, and although I prefer much smaller and more intimate gigs I was quite humbled by how the whole thing was organised. They have a Wimpy stand there for goodness sakes!
We got up there fairly early and saw Within Temptation play support with her band (A bit Scandinavian-style Euro/Disney rock for my liking, plus every track sounded the same!) and also 2nd support band ‘Avenged Sevenfold‘ which I quite liked as they reminded me of just about every bay thrash band I listened to during my high school years (Ah, memories of Suicidal Tendancies). They cut short their last track ‘A7X’ (and in my opinon their best) because some twat threw a bottle of water at their lead singer. Shame really as they weren’t too bad.
Maiden eventually got on stage at 8:15pm and launched into a tracklist which I was largely unfamiliar with. I pretty much only know the first two albums, Iron Maiden (debut) and Killers, both of which were then fronted by Singer Paul Dianno, and felt a little left out initially as they blatantly chose to play tracks which were written during Bruce Dickinsons tenure. Shame really as I was expecting tracks like ‘Running Free’, ‘Wrath Child’ and various others, but given their back catalogue I suppose they can only play so many.
That said Maiden played with the same hunger and professionalism that I saw at the Earls Court gig last year, and it was a shame the sound engineering didn’t do their playing justice; at various times the levels were distorted and a bit cluttered. I also felt that the sound chaps had totally underestimate the amount of speakers needed for those of us too scared to go into the standing area with all the mentalists. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many drunken baldy nutcases falling down stairs or being hauled off by the old bill.
Regardless of the above there were some outrageously brilliant moments which made it worthwhile, highlights for me included the incredibly atmospheric ‘Fear of the Dark’, ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Run to the Hills’ which rocked and then some. The stage was top notch as always, is it wrong to secretly hope that Eddie will catch fire because of mismanaged pyrotechnics?
It was genuinely very inspiring to see a group of guys playing with such vigour and skill way into what should be their twilight years; I will however never forgive them for leaving ‘Phantom of the Opera’ off of their set.