Events and Reports - Iron Maiden - Live At Valbyhallen, Copenhagen - 12th November, 2003
Written by Tommy

I had been looking forward to this special night for a long time, experiencing the legends for the second time, but the first one with Bruce and Adrian in the band (sorry for the lack of photos, we weren't granted any press access for the gig).
I was going to the show with a bunch of my friends and as soon we got into the arena (approximately 4100 capacity and for a long time sold out), the bar had first priority. Several refreshments and musical discussions later we found a good place in crowd.

The show started with Wildest Dreams of their latest album Dance Of Death (review) A pretty intense beginner and the hall was in on it from the first raw opening riff.
One thing that unfortunately didn't work well at all this evening was the sound quality, the hall construction in itself making it difficult to start with, drums being muddy, vocals low and overall just much too trebled, luckily it got a bit better after the first couple of songs.
Well this didn't stop either the band or fans in making a great scene for the celebration of Metal music by one of the genres biggest bands ever.
Wrathchild really got things hot and the singing from the fans where in sharp competition with the overloaded speakers bursting out Steve Harris' pounding bass lines. More eighties nostalgia were to follow in the, not played in a long time, Can I Play With Madness, I found it very cool to hear this old one and the very positive vibe coming from the stage just matched the highly melodic tunes found in this one. When talking about a classic The Trooper just has to be mentioned and this highly explosive version rocked like we Metalheads like it the best, hard.

As expected quite a few Dance Of Death songs were delivered this evening (6 in all) and the title track worked absolutely brilliant. The extensive epic was just about perfectly nailed down by the band showing great technical skill and Bruce giving it all he got with some fantastic vocals passages and fitting masquerade ball outfit. The faster Rainmaker is one of Maidens best songs in a long time and the version this night kicked major ass, lots of action evolving around the melodic chorus.
Paschendale started out highly explosive but it seemed like the detailed guitar mid-section did get a bit mixed up. Adrian Smith laid down some amazing lead guitar parts and Nicko pounding the crap out of the skins resulting in an extremely solid base for the track.

Ever since I heard No More Lies for the first time I had the feeling that I simply must experience this one live and as expected it totally ruled in combination with an audience. The all-embracing chorus just calls for some serious sing a long and Valbyhallen did give it all it had, one incredible song this was.
My least favourite song from Dance Of Death, the slow ballad Journeyman was also squished into the set, on the positive side the massive three acoustic guitar performance was totally thrilling, on the other hand it did slow down the intensity and flow of the concert being just a bit too quiet.

A bit too many Dance Of Death songs for my taste but we did get some older classic's like the brilliant Fear Of The Dark. Apart form the fans screaming fucking loud I remember the three guitar heros engaging in a highly melodic lead part and Bruce putting all the gloominess into his vocals needed for making this song one of the best of the evening.

The three guitar attack during these about 2 hours of maiden music was really unforgettable and one of the best things I have ever seen live, the abilities with three axe's are many but its more the original way they used them that was phenomenal. It gave the songs an extra punch or detailed refinement making the concert even more interesting without ever compromising with the main structure of the original recordings; these guys are pure whizzes.

Hallowed Be Thy Name was perhaps the song that got the hall most ecstatic, and it was just so apparent how they still after all those years continue to have a great deal of fun onstage, Dave Murray's powerful solo being a clear highlight.
Being a huge The X-factor fanatic Lord Of The Flies was of course a magic moment, I simply love this energized song with its brilliant vocal lines that Bruce handled quite well, he nevertheless sounded better and more comfortable singing Brave New World where Janick Gers showed some of his crazy jumping around performing an untamed solo passage at the same time.
It seems like he has grown perfectly into the Maiden camp with his own wild style, Dave having his fast and very melodic approach and Adrian with his special complex and yet highly catchy vibe.

Towards the end we got Iron Maiden played with full speed and melodrama, The Number Of The Beast as the first encore sparking new energy into the hall and the closure Run To The Hills simply has something ultra melodic about it that works well with an audience.
The connection between all members was ultra tight and professional, this surely was a lesson in how classical Metal should be performed live, solid but still wild and exiting. Steve Harris is a pure energy packed monster that delivered technical playing of the highest level nicely supported by Nicko McBrain's tight and varied playing style.

The aspect that bothers me the most together with the rather tame sound was the song selection. The band keeps on playing a large amount of songs that we have heard over and over for many years, live and on live albums, why not try to make things a bit more interesting and challenging for the fans with older cuts like Phantom Of The Opera, Deja-vu, Moonchild or Only The Good Die Young, well that's at least my opinion.
Anyway a big plus this night was the well thought through and executed stage show, especially the moving background scenario that changed theme for every song, the two different but both giant Eddie's pointing fingers at the crowd during Iron Maiden was also highly amusing.

Bruce held the audience in his bare hands and like the master he truly is, he forcefully delivered the goods through all 16 songs and Copenhagen did indeed scream for him. This was a most splendid night for celebrating this glorious band and their mind-blowing musical creations firmly delivered for more than 20 years.

UP THE IRONS


Setlist

1. Wildest Dreams
2. Wrathchild
3. Can I Play With Madness
4. The Trooper
5. Dance Of Death
6. Rainmaker
7. Brave New World
8. Paschendale
9. Lord Of The Flies
10. No More Lies
11. Fear Of The Dark
12. Hallowed Be Thy Name
13. Iron Maiden
14. Journeyman
15. The Number Of The Beast
16. Run To The Hills

Written by Tommy
Tuesday, December 2, 2003



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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by Anders - Staff (Anonymous) - Wednesday, December 3, 2003
Nice review Tommy. This was my first Maiden concert, and what a concert! Even though Bruce had been sick the last couple of days before this concert, I think he did a good job.
Contrary to Tommy I think the setlist was pretty much perfect. I would have liked to hear "Heaven can wait", but that's it. A concert for the history books...


Comment by (Anonymous) - Saturday, December 24, 2005
sounds excellent, nice review.







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