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On stage: Iron Maiden

- Iron Maiden & Halford - Nov. 2000 - Essen (D) -
- Iron Maiden & Gamma Ray - Oct. 2003 - Stuttgart (D) -
- Iron Maiden - Feb. 2008 - Monterrey (Mex) -
- Iron Maiden - Feb. 2008 - Mexico City (Mex) -
- Iron Maiden Fest - Feb. 2009 - Mexico City (Mex) -

- Iron Maiden Fest -
- February, 28th 2009 - Mexico City (Mex), Foro Sol -

It was a great day for a not so common Metal Fest in this country, one of the biggest and populated in the world. It's time to leave the house and take way to the Foro Sol (a venue designed for car races and a baseball stadium, and nowadays used for massive concerts).
Finally I arrived to the Foro Sol, ready to see the opening act, Agora, a Mexican band which appeared as scheduled at 3:30 pm. Usually Mexican bands are not well received by the audience, I don't know why people don't give the opportunity to local scene… maybe it's cultural, but that's one of the reasons of why Mexican Metal is so limited.

Agora (Mexico)
I was surprised by this prog metal band, they performed with a great attitude and a very high technique which the crowd recognize almost immediately and began the head bang and applause. Agora played about 25 minutes songs from their first 2 albums Segundo Pasado and Zona de Silencio and a new song of the upcoming one. The frontman Eduardo Contreras talked between each song and refer that Mexican Metal is alive, which made the crowd scream a unison ‘Mexico! Mexico!’.
Definitely, Agora is a band which deserves to be known as an international act.

Lauren Harris (UK)
After 20 min., Steve Harris' daughter Lauren appeared on stage, with the same show she presented last year in Mexico as Maiden support. It's no surprise that we saw her again, not because of her talent, only because she's Steve's daughter.
This time, she wasn't so out of tune, but she was booed by the audience. Her style is a bad copy of Bruce Dickinson, she ran across the stage, in general all her movements are so clumsy.
She lost my attention, and I was more busied trying to find the beer man than listening to her music. I would rather see another Mexican band than Lauren.

Morbid Angel (USA)
It was time to see Morbid Angel, a legendary death metal band commanded by David Vincent on bass and vocals. I was really excited to see Morbid Angel for the first time.
All the fans reacted immediately to the Morbid Angel music, really fast riffs, a smashing drum and the piercing screams of David. Unfortunately, the equalization was terrible, and you can't not distinguished between songs (Usually it's difficult to understand the lyrics, and with this you can imagine).
As far as I know, they played songs from almost all their albums.

Atreyu (USA)
Now it was time for the metalcore band Atreyu. They started the show with a high energy performance, running through the stage, head-banging and their typical screams.
This was the first time that Atreyu played in Mexico (and maybe the last one), because they were not well received by the crowd. I don't understand why? But I really enjoyed the show, maybe they're stereotyped as a Nu metal / metalcore band, and with old metal school fans of Carcass, Maiden and Morbid Angel it was a challenge for Atreyu.
I liked their show, they're a band with a good technique, and I liked the combination of the harsh vocals of their frontman Alex Varkatzas and the clean vocals of their drummer Brandon Saller.

Carcass (UK)
It was time for one of my favorite bands. I had the opportunity to saw them 5 months ago with a great show marking the return of Jeff Walker on the bass / vocals and Michael Amott in the guitars (Arch Enemy).
As all the expectations, Carcass was very well received by the Mexican fans, with a modest scenery they show that talent is the only thing they need. They played for 30 min. Their biggest hits like Heartwork and Keep On Rotting In The Free World. They were awesome and I hope soon we could have a new album.

Iron Maiden (UK)
The main act of the night was ready to begin, the lights went out and we could hear the instrumental song Transylvania from their first album followed by a video with tour moments such as Dickinson flying their airplane. As a note, it was the same video they played a year ago.
Finally they appeared with the powerful Aces High, and the 70,000 fans went crazy, all the people screaming, jumping and head-banging. An idolized Bruce Dickinson appeared with the rest of this veteran band, which is loved in Mexico.
With an amazing two-floors stage and a scenery remembering the Powerslave album, everything was ready for a night that I will (and everyone present) remember for a long time. The second song was 2 Minutes To Midnight (from the Powerslave album) followed by Wrathchild (from the album Killers), a charismatic Steve Harris got the people attention with his unique bass technique and as the Maiden's mastermind. It's incredible the energy of Bruce Dickinson, he never stopped running through the stage, creating an incomparable bond with the crowd.
The next song was Children Of The Damned followed by the super song Phantom Of The Opera, which was left behind for many years and is one of my favorites. Janick Gers is like a little boy running from one side to another, and literally playing with his guitar, throwing it through the air and catching it back. (This man is so flexible and made movements that remind the Billy Elliot movie).
They followed the show with the smash hit The Trooper, where Bruce appears with the traditional uniform waving the UK flag. What a moment of the show, supported by the Eddie pilot curtain. The next song were Wasted Years and The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, where they showed a ghost ship scenery. (I don't like very much this song, because it's too long, but it has a great display of fireworks). They continued with Powerslave, and the hits Run To The Hills, Fear Of The Dark and Hallowed Be Thy Name. The turn to the classic Iron Maiden, where a really big mechanical Eddie appeared behind the stage, which made the crowd went crazy. The energy never went down during the entire concert, I'm not sure how many bands could do this after hours of standing?? They said goodbye, but we were expecting more songs for the encore, so the 'Maiden' call appeared.
After a couple of minutes, the intro of The Number Of The Beast appeared, and as expected the show was going to continue for a couple of songs.
The next song was The Evil That Men Do from the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album followed by their first album song Sanctuary, in which they appeared with Mariachi's hats (some traditional hats that folk musicians used as their regular costumes), this detail was ovationed by all the fans.
Finally they left the stage, with a pleased crowd that returned to their regular lives after a great metal fest.

Luis Alberto Muñoz
(guest writer)


Iron Maiden - Feb. 24th 2008 - Mexico City (Mex), Foro Sol
Somewhere Back in Time Tour

After a seven-year absence Iron Maiden came back to Mexico. Over 50,000 people gathered at a warm day to witness one of the best concerts of recent years.
After 30 minutes of Lauren Harris' band - Steve Harris' daughter - who played some kind of rock / happy punk and who wasn't much welcomed by the crowed, it was time for Iron Maiden!
Iron Maiden at MonterreyThe crowd went crazy with the opening - a recording of Doctor Doctor by UFO and Transilvania while showing a video of Bruce Dickinson flying the Boeing 757 in which the band is currently traveling.
Then the Churchill Speech with the same imagery as in the promo video form the 80’s... The audience totally exploded as Aces High started. The band played with a lot of energy, Bruce spoke several times to the audience, looking glad to be back in Mexico. The riffs sounded solid. The crowd sang along most of the songs. Although Bruce's voice isn't as powerful as it used to be, his singing was still good - and also compensated by his energy and charisma.
The set list was focused on the 80's - excepting Fear Of The Dark - and included 2 Minutes To Midnight, Revelations, The Trooper, The Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills, Can I Play With Madness and Iron Maiden. Some songs which they haven't played in about a decade, such as Heaven Can Wait - with some fans going on stage to sing the chorus -, The Clairvoyant, Wasted Years and Powerslave. Some others which haven't been played since the 1980's like Moonchild (encore) and Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.
The stage design was based mostly on Powerslave - the Sphinx Eddie. The Somewhere In Time-Eddie came on stage - for the song Iron Maiden - with his gun just as in the artwork of the album.
It was a very euphoric concert, full of energy and classic songs for the delight of fans.

Daniel de Niz


Iron Maiden - Feb., 22nd 2008 - Monterrey (Mex), Arena Monterrey

Sorry for those who believed Black Sabbath or Judas Priest are the biggest band, but there is no world class band which can create the expectations that Iron Maiden has in the whole world. Selling out venues in less than two days. but let's go to the point.
After a long day, Steve Harris' daughter opened the concert, and despite she did a good job, she lacks experience to have her dad's level. Afterwards, the awaited time came. The arena Monterrey sold out, the background song Doctor Doctor by U.F.O., and the crowd about to explode in euphoria. Let's out, a video of the band touring the world with Bruce Dickinson piloting the Boeing in which Maiden travels throughout the world. Then, silence, the Winston Churchill's speech which brings the crowd's roar. Aces High begins, everybody went nuts, as those old wolves showed the legends they are. Two Minutes To Midnight followed, a great chant by the people brought a long pause after the song, the bad was astonished.
Then followed Revelations, The Trooper. Dickinson never stopped running and waving the British flag. Wasted Years brought us somewhere back in time, and euphoria again when The Number of the Beast intro started. This was just overwhelming, the place was packed. The band promised to come back soon to play a bigger venue.
Iron MaidenCan I Play With Madness followed, then remembering past glorious years with Powerslave and The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - with the Egyptian stage of those times. Heaven Can Wait with some lucky chosen fans who went on stage with the band. No rest for us, by Run To The Hills many of us had lost our voice, but Bruce asked us to chorus Fear Of The Dark. A song which broke the concept of the tour, since it was supposed they were to play songs only up to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, but it seems they had to give something to the newer fans.
For Iron Maiden the Somewhere In Time-Eddie appeared on stage. People wanted more, the band came after the encore to play Moonchild. Janick Gers with his dynamics, Adrian Smith serious, but sublimely performing. not to talk about Dave Murray [performance] and Nicko McBrain punishing his drums? The Clairvoyant drew us towards the end. Hallowed Be Thy Name appeased us and closed one of the most memorable nights in Monterrey, and we can say we were part of it.

Victor Castillo
(translation:Daniel de Niz)


Iron Maiden & Gamma Ray
- Oct., 25th 2003 - Stuttgart (D), Schleyerhalle -

Well, the tickets were way too expensive, but still enough fans came to see Iron Maiden and Gamma Ray on a Saturday night. The audience was quite mixed, fans from age 10 to 50 were gathered to see the NWoBHM legend.
The Hanseatic Gamma Ray came on stage with their obligatory intro Welcome. It's not the first time for Kai Hansen to support Iron Maiden, but for Gamma Ray - at least in Germany. Mastermind Hansen had his first experiences with Iron Maiden while he was still in Helloween. The quintet presented songs like Garden Of The Sinner, Razorblade Sigh, New World Order, Land Of The Free and an old Helloween classic - I Want Out. Guitarist Henjo Richter and mainman Kai Hansen showed that only two guitars are necessary to have a powerful guitar sound. The basis was laid by drummer Dan Zimmermann and bassist Dirk Schlächter. Usually support acts of Iron Maiden can just survive, but Gamma Ray kicked ass and I guess that their performance motivated Iron Maiden to give even more. Great show!
A short break and then it was time for the one and only Iron Maiden! Opening up with Wildest Dreams from their current release Dance Of Death. The new songs are more aggressive and so much better then on disc. The second song was a travel back in time, into the DiAnno-era - Wrathchild! Dave Murray's guitar solo was brilliant. I like the WahWah-solo. Two more from the first time with Bruce Dickinson - Can I Play With Madness and The Trooper - then back with the title track of the current release. Powerful drumming of Nicko McBrain and the bass groove of Steve Harris, perfect as always built the foundation for the guitarists. Singer Bruce Dickinson impersonate the different characters. Especially Paschendale became a highlight. Followed by Lord Of The Flies which even a singer like Bruce Dickinson couldn't make a highlight, actually this was the weakest track of the evening. A lot better - okay, fantastic - was Hallowed By Thy Name, Fear Of The Dark and the last song of the set Iron Maiden. The sextet opened the encore with Journeyman in an acoustic version - wrong move! But with Number Of The Beast and Run To The Hills they played some classics which made forget about Journeyman. After this show I'm still wondering why Janick Gers is still in the band, Mr. Murray and Mr. Smith can do without him! Even if this time he was a little better, but still 2 guitars are enough!
Iron Maiden is still alive and kicking. They are still a fantastic live band, but is it necessary that the tickets are soooo expensive? I guess a lot more metal fans would like to see Iron Maiden, but can't pay this... Please come back and give all the fans the possibility to see you!

Alex Albrecht


Iron Maiden & Halford - Nov., 6th 2000 - Essen (D), Grugahalle

I don't know why, but it always happens at this venue. The security is not able to make a correct check of tickets in a reasonable time, so every time quite a bunch of people stand in front of the venue, when the show has already started.
Same problem today: When we were allowed to enter the Grugahalle in Essen it was already 19:50. Just in time we thought and made our way to the toilet to get ready for the concert. But again we had to undergo a bad surprise. The support act of tonight - Halford - started already, not caring about what was printed on the tickets. I don't think, that fans paying nearly 70,- German marks have to be treated like that!!!
And the next negative thing was obvious not much later. A really bad sound would surround the metal maniacs, that had come numerous to see these two metal giants. You were not really able to separate the instruments in what you heard, it was all pretty pressed together. Additionally to that, his masters voice was not in top condition. I've seen Rob Halford live before and he convinced me much more at that times. His stage acting was all right, but his famous yelling couldn't totally get to the point tonight. Among the songs Halford performed was Silent Screams (The first single output from the new album) which started with this balladesque atmosphere to raise to a 100% rock song. Also they played Cyberworld. While Rob Halford and his musicians on stage presented themselves in a restless activity roaming the stage back and forth, the sound improved with the set half way through. The band acted, as if they had been playing together for many years. Of course they had to play some Judas Priest stuff too and so we got to hear tracks like Breaking The Law and Tyrant, that were totally celebrated by the crowd. The end of the Halford-show left me with the feeling, that they would sound much better, with the right technical support and a vocalist in a superb form.
A band like Iron Maiden would normally not need a warm up-act, as they are on 180 right away. They started with a package from their new CD Brave New World including songs like the title track and Ghost Of The Navigator. Beside a big portion of the brand-new material Iron Maiden would play really old stuff, like Wrathchild from 1981's Killers-album. Other songs they performed for the heavily moving audience were Blood Brothers, Sign Of The Cross and Dream Of Mirrors. The atmosphere in the nearly packed venue was constantly good during the set of England's top metal combo. With a great stage acting - you wouldn't consider anyone over 40 years of age on stage - Iron Maiden shot out their classics like The Trooper, Iron Maiden or The Number Of The Beast. With The Evil That Men Do and Fear Of The Dark they covered further episodes of the band career and involved the crowd in their playing. During the beginning of The Clansman drummer Nicko McBrain stood up and did a quite strange dancing before his drum part began. Fronter Bruce Dickinson stated clearly, that nothing was true about all the rumors going on, that said, this was the last tour and CD. He pointed out all the activities the band planned for the near future. In 2001 we can expect a live-CD, followed by a DVD recorded in Rio de Janeiro. After that there'll be another studio album and a coinciding tour.
So my dear Iron Maiden-fans - no need to worry about the future of these guys and their development. They'll come out and present themselves as one of the best live acts on this planet for some more years. When you see them on stage, you have no doubt, that they love, what they do and will not quit too soon. With tracks like Hallowed Be Thy Name and Sanctuary they turned towards the end of another convincing performance although also their sound was not of the best quality, but still much more acceptable than before.

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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