Our man Rob McAuslan is a bit of an Iron Maiden fan. He travelled to another country to see them play live in Paris. We know some people who get the hump when they have to get the bus to go to a gig. Rob’s got dedication.
6 things we learned watching Iron Maiden in Paris…
1) The French have a way more “laissez-faire” attitude towards arena shows and health and safety nonsense than we do in good old Blighty. If (as I did) you have seated tickets, there’s no arguing over whether someone’s in your seat or any of that guff – you just go upstairs and park it where you can. Yep, even on the stairs. This is ace, especially if the other person you’re seeing the band with is only 5’4″ tall – everyone can see!
2) French metal fans are way more up for it than your typical UK arena crowd. It was absolutely mental in here – everybody (everybody) joined in with all the singalong bits, and hardly anyone left the arena at all during the show. 16,000 people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nicko McBrain was really bloody loud, by the way. This was the second time I’ve seen Maiden in this venue, and both times were like this – it’s a fair assumption that it’s always like that. You should make the effort to go there, it’s pretty crazy.
Watch Paris sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nicko McBrain:
3) Bruce Dickinson has way more energy than any man in his mid-fifties has any right to, the man just does not stand still for a second. His voice is in impressive form too, with only really a couple of wobbles during ‘Aces High’ betraying him that are more than made up for by an incredible showing during ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’ – range and power that singers half his age would do terrible things for, with a huge stage persona and quality between-song banter (even if it was in French, duh). Still one of the greatest frontmen in metal, then.
4) Loads of people actually like ‘Afraid To Shoot Strangers’, judging by the rapturous crowd reaction. Huh.
5) A couple of oddities aside that I can put down to personal taste (more Somewhere In Time stuff, please), the setlist for the current tour is pretty much the strongest one Maiden have played in a long time. The band seem to be really enjoying themselves playing the likes of ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ and ‘The Prisoner’, so let’s have ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and ‘Prowler’ next tour, please!
6) Iron Maiden are still utterly brilliant live. Yes they bloody are. It’ll be a real shame when they finally hang up their Strats and retire, so see them whilst you still can. They’re still playing better shows than bands young enough to be their children or even grandchildren, and I can’t see Steve Harris allowing them to degenerate into a pale farce – they’ll go out on top if he has any say in it, which of course he does. If you’re at Download Festival this year, they’re essential.