Metal heavyweights Iron Maiden returned to Luxembourg last night to the delight of the 6000 strong metalheads at a sold out Rockhal.
Maiden have become a metal institution over the years having sold in excess of 90 million records and toured the world over for decades now, with lead singer and front man piloting them not only on stage but up in the air too.
Last time they played Luxembourg in 2014 the show broke records, selling out the Rockhal in less than 2 hours, therefore the gig was moved to the 12000 capacity site of Rock-A-Field to accommodate the huge demand. This time however, they kept the show at Rockhal with Dickenson commenting “this feels like a club show to us”, having played stadiums and huge arenas for the last 6 months he isn’t far off. Rarely can you say 6000 is an intimate show, but for such heavyweights it is.
Supporting last night was The Raven Age whose sharp vocals and tight performance of modern metal – which should be expected after 6 months on the road – seemed to go down well with the crowd. It wasn’t till later on I found out that their guitarist George Harris is the son of Maiden’s bassist Steve Harris. Well you wouldn’t bring your sons band on a tour of this magnitude if you didn’t think they could hold their own and that they did.
With the crowd suitably warmed up there was an air of anticipation in the audience as chants of “Maiden, Maiden” swirled round the Rockhal, whilst others took to their air guitars as each song of the pre-show music blasted over the PA.
Then with the sound of UFO’s “Doctor, Doctor” coming through we knew it was time for Maiden to make their entrance onto the Mayan inspired stage, with the drum kit set into a huge wall and pyrotechnics and smoke rising from the top, Dickenson carefully ran around as they kicked into “If Eternity Should Fail”.
For a legacy band with plenty of hits over the years, they weren’t afraid to play a large portion of the new album “The Book of Souls”, but they’re one of the few bands that after 40 years are producing as well received records today as they did back in their heyday. With “Tears of a Clown” being a fitting and emotional tribute to the late Robin Williams.
After “The Red and the Black” which was another appreciated track from the new album, the theatrics were turned up a notch as Dickenson came out waving a huge battle weary Union Jack whilst wearing an old style military red coat as they launched into “The Trooper” which provided an instant jolt of adrenaline to the audience.
The red coat wasn’t the last of the costumes, as Dickenson would disappear behind the huge wall after each song only to return with either a Mexican wrestling or monkey mask as on “Death or Glory”.
As well as Dickenson’s theatrics they were joined on stage by their ever loyal mascot Eddie as he walked around causing havoc on stage before he was taken down by Dickenson, it’s all part of the light-hearted and fun touch that Maiden fans have come to love.
After all that they were to finish on a pyro-drenched classic “The Number of The Beast” which got the crowd jumping around and waving the horns in the air before going into “Blood Brothers”.
Dickenson then opened up with a heartfelt speech about the Maiden community, and how they travel the globe playing in front of thousands each night from all different religions to nationalities and everyone respects each other because we’re all one family, we’re the “Maiden family” which of course got a rousing cheer. After such a speech there was only one way to finish, with the irresistible “Wasted Years”, leaving the stage to more chants of Maiden, Maiden.
Rockhal – 02.08.16