Gig Review

Iron Maiden
Birmingham NIA
July 31st 2011
Iron Maiden                 Airbourne      
Photo Of Iron Maiden © Copyright John McMurtrie
Airbourne are the only support band on this tour for most of the tour dates, and right from the off I think you can tell its not going to be a good one, it starts win one of the guitars cutting out during set opener Raise the flag, before being swiftly sorted with out stopping but the sound is utter pants, it sounds flat and really lacking power and pace, if there taking a different approach to there songs then they need to knock that shit off swiftly, as it doesn't sound like airbourne that I know and love and have got tinitus from. Too much booze maybe but there only so much response from the crowd as I suspect that many of the maiden die hards aren't too familiar with this band, but damn intuink they should have been given a better shot at a more fuller richer sound as regardless of how good they play there's no chance of them upstaging the mighty maiden, the songs seemed less fluid with Joel taking a different approach with the vocals, it didn't sound too good. Song like, Chewin the fat, no way but the hard way, cheap win and cheaper women, really failed to inspire. The better response came during songs like Diamond in the rough, BlackJack, Too much too young to fast, Stand up for rock an roll and set closer Running Wild which really got the crowd going, but even these songs didn't have the power or energy they normally do, this is a much below par performance than expected, did they warm up the crowd? luke warm maybe. Anyone that knows me, knows that Airbourne holds a special place in my heart, and are a long time favorite of mine but this performance was pretty shit.

After hearing Airbournes shoddy sound, I'm hoping for so much better, Doctor Doctor plays over the PA and were only minutes away from the mighty Maiden. After the lengthy intro to The Final frontier come to and end with the opening of the proper song, my sound worries are quickly quelled and Bruces voice comes flying over the top of it all, Maiden Heaven this is! I've been looking forward to hearing the new songs live to see how well they translate and they don't disappoint, The Final frontier catchy as hell with superb lyrics, its loud and powerful, El Dorado comes in next, its the second time I've heard this Photo Of Iron Maiden © Copyright John McMurtrie
live, still not sure of the song in general but still sounding pretty good. Then its time for a classic, 2 minutes to midnight, just superb, classic maiden at its best really followed by two new songs the Talisman and future maiden classic Coming home, melodic and slightly haunting and bruce makes a crack about it not being about west bromwich albion, but live it sounds superb. Dance of death, is quickly becoming a classic, if not it already is one, great singalong song, along with the next The Trooper, well need I say more about this staple song. Its good to hear them playing songs on the album that marked Bruces return to maiden, two songs blood brothers and the wicker man, blood brothers being another one to really singalong to. next up and my favorite new maiden song, when the wild wind blows, just a beautiful and haunting song, this will be a future staple, spoken in the same breath as fear of the dark. This is followed by the evil that men do, one of my favorites live, still sounds great after all these years, the band still got masses of stage presence that out shines any of the stage props that they have up there, bruce still darting around the stage like a lunatic after all these years and 'Arry still pretty much the embodiment of Iron Maiden in the flesh. Then its time for THE big singalong, Fear of the dark, with crowd singing the intro and pretty much all the way through the song, as with the rest of the set really It's just an awesome spectacle to behold, but I don't think the performance of this song at download 2007 will ever be topped. Main set closer as ever is Iron Maiden, still as raw as ever, with the appearance of Final Frontier eddy looking pretty bulked up and mean!

Photo Of Iron Maiden © Copyright John McMurtrie
Number of the beast is the encore opener, still a classic if over played somewhat, but what was unexpected was the instruments cutting out near the end of the song and the crowd carried on singing regardless, the band looked pretty surprised by this but the crowd carried it through to the end along with Nicko on the drums and Bruce on the Vocals, Fucking Awesome, Legend! is what bruce had to say about it! Hallowed be thy Name started as normal and everything was working again, weird who knows what happened, its a great song and another to sing to, and set closer was a lengthy version of Running free with Bruce introducing the band members. Overall probably one of the best gigs I've been to, certainly better than the last arena Maiden gig I went to back in 06, which was the matter of life and death tour, which lacked energy, but this gig more than made up for it, fantastic, Maiden at there best!

Airbourne – 2/5
Iron Maiden – 5/5

Review By Robert Lawrence
Photos By John McMurtrie

 Iron Maiden

Steve Harris
Dave Murray
Adrian Smith
Bruce Dickinson
Nicko McBrain
Janick Gers


Joel O'Keeffe
Ryan O'Keeffe
David Roads
Justin Street

 Band Related Links
Iron Maiden Myspace
Airbourne Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?