|» Iron Maiden 2005 07 09||
In Flames never cease to amaze me, no matter if it is small club gigs, festivals or in a giant stadium you can always be sure that In Flames deliver the goods. I don't believe that I ever have seen a support act getting this kind of massive response from the crowd, the atmosphere was already mighty and still it was a while until the main event in Iron Maiden would enter the stage. The band acted relaxed and confident even if it was obvious that they were touched by the reception they got and this gig was a 'dream comes true for them', as vocalist Anders Fridén said.
Songs like Episode 666, Trigger and Scorn came out really good and In
Flames proved that they are enough of a band to handle a stage as big
as this one and to see the reaction from the crowd in Only For The Weak
was a thrill.
8 chalices of 10
SCREAM FOR ME SWEDEN! And you're damn right we did, every time Bruce Dickinson told us to and even more in between.
The show in Gothenburg was the last on the European leg before Iron Maiden is about to head over to America. And despite the fact that it was the last show and that the concert was broadcasted live in Swedish television and radio, the band didn't come up with any surprises and the show must have looked about the same as everywhere on this tour. Nevertheless I don't think that many of the 56.000+ people in the audience felt that it mattered. At least I didn't care about it.
The setlist might have been seen as an odd selection amongst many that somehow have missed that the tour is in support of the DVD; The Early Days, and therefore the songs on this tour were picked of the first four Iron Maiden albums. Some might have been disappointed not to hear Fear Of The Dark but most people seemed to like this, especially the older fans and for my own part I did love every damn minute of this concert. There were not much of effects and Iron Maiden simply let their music do the talking and apart from a few pyros going off and a constant changeing of back-drops, there was not much to talk about, but it really didn't feel like it was needed. Killer songs, a brief appearance by Eddie and a massive light rig, that is really all Iron Maiden need in order to create a memorable evening.
The intro The Ides Of March sounded from the speakers before Iron Maiden went on stage and fired of Murder In The Rue Morgue as first song and the roar from the audience was deafening when the guys showed themselves. During the first songs the crowd participated more than willingly and the atmosphere in the stadium was excellent, and Ullevi was boiling with anticipation. But it wasn't until with The Trooper the concert really loosened up and got into full gear with the audience, probably because this was the first song that all in the crowd knew and by now the ambience was electric.
The guys seemed to have been loaded before this special concert, and also overwhelmed with the reception they got even if it at a few times showed that is was just another day at the job for them. And I don't think I have ever seen Steve Harris as lively before, he literally stood and jumped up and down while not striking his classic poses with the bass or singing along as customary. Apart from a few flaws the guitars sounded absolutely brilliant. Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Jannick Gers did greatly as always and the twin guitar parts, which is a Maiden trademark, become more alive and powerful live and to hear them in these old songs I never heard live before despite the many times I've seen Maiden was a real experience. The other guys can be as great as they can with Nicko McBrain as a joker behind the drums which he so greatly handles, and Steve Harris might have written most of the classic Iron Maiden songs, but without Bruce Dickinson it can never be as great as it is. His voice was absolutely perfect this evening and he knows how to work an audience. Constantly moving around on stage, he stands for most of the energy in Iron Maiden and that is a lot.
There were four songs in the set that stood above the rest, in fact they stand above most of everything I have heard live. Remember Tomorrow might have slowed the pace of the concert a bit but to hear Dickinson take on this one and bringing it to an entire new level that Di'Anno never could do was nothing but purely magical. The song Revelations is mighty from the beginning but with the help from the crowd Iron Maiden got here and with the powerful voice from Dickinson in this epic track I got goose bumps - this was nothing but amazing. Phantom Of The Opera with its long instrumental part is another one of those epic tracks that summons up Iron Maiden and together with the obligatory Hallowed Be Thy Name it really doesn't get any better than this. If they had thrown in a couple of more of these epic tracks I would give this concert at least eleven out of ten chalices, seriously that is how great these songs are to me live.
Even if the setlist was not what you perhaps would call an ordinary one, they lined up a number of classic tracks with Die With Your Boots On, Run To The Hills, Where Eagles Dare and of course the song Iron Maiden, and what would the evening be without The Number Of The Beast? The concert never lost it momentum but instead only got better along the way and before you knew it the regular set was at end. The songs chosen as encore might have seen odd to the average Maiden fan but when Dickinson got the crowd to sing along in Running Free it became really loud as practically everyone there showed their appreciation for the band. With Drifter they seemed to loose the grip on some of the fans but on the other hand they made up for it with a giant Eddie making a brief appearance on stage. And by the time it ended with Sanctuary, I think that most of the people that were there must have felt satisfied with this concert, at least I did.
The only thing that stops it from being a perfect ten was the length, only one hour and forty-five minutes seemed to be a bit short for a concert of this size. I don't wish to replace any of the songs that they played but the addition of a few wouldn't have hurt. Charlotte The Harlot, 22 Acacia Avenue or Flight Of Icarus would have easily fitted in perfectly with the others and Iron Maiden would have obtained an even higher grade from me.
9 chalices of 10
The Ides Of March (tape)