As reported on these very pages, I saw Iron Maiden three times in Texas late in 2010. Those shows were great, because they played almost all songs from the last four albums, and I got to hear a lot of obscure songs like "Paschendale" and "No More Lies." However, while I bought tickets from the fan club the moment Australian dates were announced, I was a bit concerned, as this was to be my daughter's first Maiden show, and I was sure she'd expect to hear some older songs. So, I was pleased to see that amongst the five songs from the new album, and three songs from recent albums, they were playing favorites like "The Trooper" and "2 Minutes to Midnight." My seats secured, we headed to Melbourne.
I had checked beforehand and the Soundwave site specifically said cameras were allowed, and the fan club was also saying the same thing, but on the night, security made me check in my cheap point and shoot camera, which is why there's no photos in this review. The venue was quite small, Michael Buble was playing at the venue Maiden played for the Somewhere Back in Time tour. Bruce made a few sarcastic comments, but I notice that Maiden finished at 10:30 and the Buble fans got out at 11:00.
The show starts with the video for "The Final Frontier," which feels very disjointed, for "Doctor Doctor" to segue in to a video was very anticlimactic. Once the tail end of the song came around, the band came on, and this ran in to "El Dorado."I really like "El Dorado," I have ever since hearing it live in Texas last year. The show flowed on very well from that, with new songs like "Coming Home" and the epic "Where the Wild Winds Blow" fitting in well with the older songs. I think it's a testament to how revelant this band remains that the new songs are not flat spots in the show, and that the fans know the new songs as well as the old, or at least, close.
I saw several fathers with sons and daughters far younger than my 14 year old daughter. Bruce introduces "Blood Brothers" (a song I don't much care for, to be honest), with a speech about the "family of Maiden," and it is good to see the banner being passed, and kids getting in to their parents music. I never considered Demis Roussos as a musical direction I would follow, and I wonder what other forms of music have this sort of inter generational longevity.
Much as I love the new songs, nothing much beats Bruce waving the tattered flag for "The Trooper," which was a definite highlight. The show wound up with the predictable "Fear of the Dark/Iron Maiden" and then the encore with "Hallowed Be Thy Name" near the end of the show. In the US, they had an animated devil during "Number of the Beast," but they did not bring it this time, which I thought was odd. I wondered if they did that to avoid issues in Singapore and South Korea, places they are playing for the first time on this round. Either way, it was no great loss, just odd to see they brought the whole stage bar that.
Of course, the Eddie during "Iron Maiden" looks more like the Predator, but it's still a central part of any Maiden show, and fun to see Janick 'wrestle' with him and for him to 'play' guitar. The final song of all is "Running Free," and while that was an extended breakdown/sing along in the US, Bruce seemed to try to start it in Melbourne and then give up on it. No matter, they gave us two hours, and put on a great show.
Afterward, we actually passed Dave in the street, and I didn't notice until I was told... after he was gone. A photo of my daughter with Dave would have made the night, but I decided not to run after him. He'd worked hard enough for the night. Our friend who was with us did meet Janick in the street and chat with him, so I guess it just was his night, and not ours. Nevertheless, my eighth ever Maiden show was definitely a lot of fun. Throwing the horns next to your teenage daughter while you both scream "Maiden!" is a proud moment for any metal dad.