|Iron Maiden - Brixton Academy, London
It was destined to be a truly memorable occasion from the very first moment Iron Maiden announced this show. A band for whom the majority of their fans very seldom get to see any closer than from beneath a 20 foot stage and 5 metres behind the barrier. Not to mention the 10,000 people crushing you from behind. But this, however was to be a far more intimate affair. All in aid of The Clive Burr MS Trust Fund, the maximum capacity 3,500 Brixton Academy was packed out with a variety of snarling Metalheads, fathers bringing their kids to their very "first" Iron Maiden gig and old men way past their prime ready to rock like they were 20 again.
And so it began, a little known Indian band, who made the bill via winning some contest or other in their home country, called PARIKRAMA took to the stage. Although I was a little apprehensive at first, India not known for being a land of great Metal, I was pleasantly surprised by their solid mix of good old 80's metal, Rob Halford imitation vocals and all, traditional Indian beats and the occasional frantic Violin Solo. They showed a great ability to win a crowd by encouraging a singalong and a few chants, showed good musicianship and basically fulfilled all you could ask of an Iron Maiden support act.
Next come Lauren Harris, daughter of Steve Harris. Delivered 30 minutes of fairly standard hard rock in the same vein as Motley Crue and to tell you the truth I can hardly remember a single memorable moment in the entire set. Wasn't bad, just wasn't all that great and I guess you can't blame Steve for giving his daughter a chance to show the world what she's got.
After what seemed like an eternity's wait finally the moment came when the mighty Iron Maiden took to the stage. With everybody's blood pumping they immediately blasted out 3 tracks from their new album, A Matter of Life and Death, and it seems crowds are now beginning to actually learn the words to these songs as hardly an English soul in the place did not at least mumble along to These Colours Don't Run. A couple of older songs which included Bruce Dickinson donning an English soldier's uniform for The Trooper, a speech about The Number of the Beast album and making sure everyone knew exactly what the cause for the evening was and they returned to show the wonders of the new album again.
Although the night had been fantastic up until this point for me it really took off when The Number of the Beast, a menacing figure of Satan watching from behind included, was quickly followed by a stream of classics which resulted in very much chanting, fist waving and ever increasing intensity of band and crowd alike. A few more speeches about Bruce Dickinson's drinking habit's or lack thereof and ever more chants for their inevitable return to stage and the show was well finished off with some more Classic Maiden songs, the appearance of a machine gun wielding Eddie and Hallowed Be Thy Name being the grand finale.
At the end Clive Burr was pushed onto stage in a wheelchair to a deafening applause and was thanked by Bruce Dickinson for being so instrumental in Iron Maiden's career.
It was great night in which Iron Maiden rocked as hard, if not harder, than I or anyone around me has ever seen them before. It was a truly unique and special event and definitely my highlight of the year so far.
01. Different World
02. These Colours Don't Run
03. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
05. The Trooper
06. Children of The Damned
07. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
08. For The Greater Good of God
09. The Number of The Beast
10. Fear of The Dark
11. Run To The Hills
12. Iron Maiden
13. 2 Minutes To Midnight
14. The Evil That Men Do
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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