Gig review: Iron Maiden – O2 Arena London – 28/5/17

I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan for maybe 30 years or so. I first saw them live at Wembley Arena in 1990. I remember that my sister had gone to purchase the tickets on the day they were released (we had to actually go to the venues and buy tickets in the old days, or maybe phone them or ticket agents. There wasn’t the ease and convenience of buying online). When she bought the tickets for one of the gigs, she saw that printed on the ticket it said, “special guests Anthrax”. I remember that I was working at my Saturday job in BHS and she came in with her friend and excitedly told me about this (there were no mobile phones in those days πŸ™‚ ). We then had a dilemma because we couldn’t really afford it but we wanted to go for both nights they were playing at Wembley. We decided to buy tickets for the second night as well because it was Iron Maiden and Anthrax! It had to be done! πŸ™‚

I keep all my concert tickets. I was thinking about that last night because the Iron Maiden gig was ticketless, so all we got was a receipt that doesn’t even say the band name on it. Not much of a collector’s item 😦

There was a lot of security in place at the O2 because of last week’s terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, so we arrived early. I think the O2 did well with organising it as there wasn’t too much of a delay for getting into the arena. There were also noticeably many police officers with guns. Bruce Dickinson made a comment about that during the show saying that at the show the night before there were not as many armed police. When he asked why, he was told that it was because they were Iron Maiden fans and wanted to be at the gig! πŸ™‚

Iron Maiden’s shows are always awesome with a lot of attention put into the stage design. Last night was probably the eighth time I’ve seen them live. It was the final night of their UK tour and a brilliant performance. The band members still seem to have the same amount of energy as they did 27 years ago when I first saw them play! In particular Janick Gers was dancing around with his guitar for most of the night πŸ™‚ Bruce’s voice is still as powerful. Iron Maiden are one of the best bands you can see live.

This tour was in support of their latest album, “The Book of Souls”. The band played quite a few of the songs from the new album: “If Eternity Should Fail”, “Speed of Light”, “Death or Glory”, “The Red and the Black”, “The Great Unknown”, and “The Book of Souls”. Eddie made a few appearances. His main appearance was during “The Book of Souls”, dressed as a Mayan warrior attempting to kill the band members πŸ™‚ .

As well as songs from the new album, the band played some old favourites. The truth is they have so many excellent albums that it must be difficult to choose which songs to play; there are always going to be fans who want to hear particular songs but they’d have to play for at least a week non-stop in order to play everyone’s favourites!

The older songs included in the set were: “Wrathchild”, “Children of the Damned”, “The Trooper”, “Powerslave”, “Fear of the Dark”, “Iron Maiden”. They also played three extra songs for the encore: “The Number of the Beast”, “Blood Brothers”, and “Wasted Years”.

Bruce made an impassioned speech about what happened at Manchester Arena. Instead of a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack, he called for a minute of noise from the crowd to celebrate the joy of live music as a tribute to the victims and a show of solidarity against the atrocity.

The band were on stage for about two hours and it was the sort of show that you could watch quite happily for many more hours. It’s great that they are still making the best music and touring after all these years.

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