Iron Maiden

Gig Review: Iron Maiden, SECC, Glasgow, 20th July 2011

The last time Iron Maiden played in Scotland was in support of 2006’s ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ album. On that tour they chose to perform that album in its entirety. Back then, I was just amazed to see one of the best (if not the best) metal bands right before my eyes playing some amazing songs. If I had seen the same show now, I can’t help but feel I may have missed some of the more classic tracks that weren’t played that night such as ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Number of the Beast.’ It’s 2011 now though, and Iron Maiden in 2011 are a completely different, ahem, beast.

Kicking things off in an appropriately rock and roll fashion are Airbourne (8) who should feel right at home in such a support slot. Their songs may all sound the same, but so do AC/DC’s and they aren’t exactly the smallest band in the world. The synchornised headbanging, the long hair flowing, it’s all completely in the name of rock, which the mostly middle-aged crowd can’t help but warm to and appreciate. It also helps that lead singer/guitarist Joel O’Keefe decides to throw in a guitar solo towards the end of the set that consists of ‘Scotland the Brave.’

No support band will ever steal the show from Iron Maiden (10) though. On this tour they choose not to perform the entirety of their latest release, but they do play half of it, and in my opinion it’s the better half that gets aired tonight. The intro of ‘Satellite 15…The Final Frontier’ into ‘El Dorado’ makes complete sense, and ‘Coming Home’, ‘The Talisman’ and ‘Where the Wild Wind Blows’ fit comfortably alongside recent Maiden epics such as ‘Dance of Death.’

Which is why this show is superior to their 2006 performance. There is a healthy balance of new and old. Nothing from ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ is performed tonight, but the likes of ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘The Wicker Man’ have become classics that receive just as warm a welcome as ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘2 Minutes to Midnight.’

People accuse the likes of Slayer and Metallica of showing their age – Maiden were here first, and the energy from all of the guys on stage far outranks anything the Big 4 have done in a long time. The feeling of pride you get as Bruce Dickinson waves the British flag while the guitarists stand strong at the front of the stage during ‘The Trooper’ is overwhelming; over 10,000 fans “whoa-oh”ing the lead guitar melody of ‘Fear of the Dark’ is a response no other band can provoke; no other band has a guitarist who can run under a massive, robotic skeleton’s legs that is playing guitar. None. “Eddie! Eddie!” chants are, appropriately, yelled all night long.

To pick a standout song in a Maiden set is almost impossible. ‘Fear of the Dark’ is a live staple for a reason. Since this is the Final Frontier World Tour, I would have to say that ‘The Wild Wind Blows’ was the standout moment for me. An epic conclusion to their 15th album, I hope they keep it in their set for years to come.

As Bruce said, critics were quick to point out that ‘The Final Frontier’ hints at the end of a legendary band. He announces that, on the contrary, “we thought we’d stick around for a bit if that’s alright with you.” I can’t imagine anyone objecting.


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

2 Responses to “Gig Review: Iron Maiden, SECC, Glasgow, 20th July 2011”

  1. Nice article. Makes me wish I’d been there. Not sure that it’s fair to draw aline between AC/DC and Airbourne though!