When Michael Jackson kicked the bucket and moonwalked off to the big Neverland Ranch in the sky, there was much wringing of hands and furrowing of brows at the O2 Arena as to what to do with the bazillion or so open dates now Jacko’s shows were were cancelled. Well, we heard a very interesting rumour today that a fair old chunk of them are about to be claimed by Bon Jovi.
It’s an interesting and suprising fact that Iron Maiden have never headlined a UK stadium gig. We were there for their first one and lifelong fan, Tony Hampton is just bursting to tell you exactly why it was so great.
To have shaped a genre, influenced every rock band and rock fan for over 30 years. To still be selling out tours in record time and shifting albums by the truckload. To have your iconic mascot emblazoned across millions of t-shirts around the world.
To encompass all that’s fantastic, theatrical and, let’s be honest, silly about heavy metal and to be riding a wave of popularity and acclaim that shows no sign of slowing down as each new generation discovers you, and, to still be making albums so good you’re in no danger of ever being labelled as a nostalgia act.
To say it’s a very interesting time for Iron Maiden would be the understatement of the century.
Watch the video to ‘Number Of The Beast’ by Iron Maiden
Anyone who has made the pilgrimage to Twickenham for the London leg of this, their Somewhere Back In Time Tour will bear witness to the fact that this is, bar none, the greatest show on earth right now.
Taking in material and the mystical Egyptian imagery from the legendary Powerslave era it’s a feast for both the ears and the eyes.
Hitting the stage to ‘Aces High’, the 60,000 assembled Maidenites go suitably crackers as the triple guitar attack of Murray, Smith and Gerrs rips into life and bassist/founder/God Steve Harris plants his foot firmly on the monitor.
What follows is astounding. ‘Number Of The Beast’ is illuminated with huge pyro bursts, the epic 13-minute ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ sees Bruce Dickinson rocking the wizard chic look.
Watch the video to ‘Run To The Hills’ by Iron Maiden
The crowd is screaming every word, strangers are hugging in the aisles, and people are air-guitaring and throwing the devil horns left-right-and centre. When Bruce Dickinson lets loose a trademark “Scream for me…” the energy levels go off the scale.
To be stronger, tighter, and more at ease with your legacy than ever before must be satisfying but Iron Maiden don’t do smug. They like a pint, and the singer is so humble he has an Oyster card and gets the tube around town.
Incomparable, overwhelming genius.
Iron Maiden @ Twickenham setlist
‘2 Minutes To Midnight’
‘The Number Of The Beast’
‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’
‘Heaven Can Wait’
‘Run To The Hills’
‘Fear Of The Dark’
‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’