Iron Maiden/Airbourne Birmingham NIA 31/07/2011 & Cardiff CIA 01/08/2011
First up Airbourne who are nearing the end of the touring cycle for album number 2.
A great warm up act for the 2 large crowd’s.
They played the following:
Raise The Flag
Diamond In The Rough
Chewin’ The Fat
No Way But The Hard Way
Too Much Too Young Too Fast
Stand Up For Rock n’ roll
Runnin’ Wild (snippet of Paranoid)
The sound in Birmingham for them was poor but that doesn’t bother them.
AC/DC rock n’ roll played at breakneck speed.
Although the between song banter was at times a struggle to understand.
It will be interesting to see if there is any development on album 3 but live is their domain.
When Bruce returned to Iron Maiden in 1999 he said it was to make them the biggest heavy metal band on the planet.
With the bands latest cd The Final Frontier going to number 1 in 28 countries and the tour selling out everywhere I think it’s job done.
Their first arena dates in the UK since 2006 were also the last dates on the current tour and the sheer enjoyment of the band playing was so good to see for a band now past their 30th year.
The setlist was the same as for all dates since February and was as follows:
The Final Frontier
Two Minutes To Midnight
Dance Of Death
The Wicker Man
When The Wild Wind Blows
The Evil That Men Do
Fear of The Dark
Encores of The Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
The 2 gigs were superb.
Stunning sound, superb lighting and stage presentation with numerous backdrops, a walk on Eddie and an enormous Eddie behind Nicko for Iron Maiden itself.
The set was a great mix of the new cd, some newer material since Bruce returned and of course the classics.
It worked so well with the light and shade of Blood Brothers (dedicated to the Norwegein people), When The Wild Wind Blows and Dance Of Death all showing off the bands musical attributes.
Then the classics being played with such venom. In fact The Wicker Man was also greeted like a returning hero.
All the band were on fire with Dave Murray especially firing solo after solo like his life depended on it.
Bruce was in great voice and ran around the stage like a small child in a playground.
And he can say “Scream For Me“ ”Insert City” as many times as he wants. It’s a classic!!
There was a difference to the 2 gigs as Cardiff’s size made it feel like a club gig after the aircraft hanger size of the NIA.
Having seats at the NIA (so Daniel who is now 12 could go to his first Maiden gig as well as my friend Roseanne) meant a view of the backstage area so seeing bits you don’t see like an assistant carrying Bruce’s red jacket for The Trooper on a hanger to and from the stage.
The roadies changing the drapes behind the band. It looks like clockwork from in front not someone running across.
Roadies spraying from fire extinguishers to do the dry ice bit for Number Of The Beast. Again it doesn’t look like that from the front. Eddie being made ready for the stage and the roadies lifting his new large hands up into view!!
There was a bit at the NIA showed a band so comfortable with themselves.
At the end of Number Of The Beast with a few seconds to go all the guitars cut out.
Leaving Bruce, Nicko and the crowd to finish off. With Bruce going dum de dum for the guitars.
As it ended Bruce thought it was splendid and was amazed they finished it at the right time too. Priceless.
More to come the band tell us and we can only feel joy at seeing such a band on top of it’s game.
Daniel can finish this with his thoughts - It was amazing and I got to see my hero (Nicko)!
Review Shazz & Daniel
Photos by Roseanne