The Maiden Adventure

As I wrote about yesterday I went to see Iron Maiden play live in Cardiff last night with Tomas, Darren and Martyn, and I have to say that I was a little disappointed overall. Maiden were fantastic as always, but the sound in the arena wasn’t so great, every now and again instruments disappeared from the mix and Bruce’s vocals seemed to drop out frequently. It would be easy to blame their engineer, but the sound was the same for Lauren Harris and Trivium, and each of them had their own engineer. So I would suspect the setup and/or room was at fault, sounding like I was watching the gig in a tunnel. But despite the faults with sound, I still loved the gig, although playing the album in its entirety and in order did make it seem like listening to the album through a really loud hi-fi system, but stand out songs for me were ‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’, ‘The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg’ and ‘For The Greater Good Of God’. It would have been better to intersperse the new songs with classic songs and maybe drop a couple from the new album to make way for some classics like ‘Number Of The Beast’ and ‘Run To The Hills’. But it was good to hear songs like ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ and ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and the big crowd pleaser ‘Fear of The Dark’ probably my personal favourite live track! But what made it for me more than anything was the crowd response, everyone singing along in unison, and getting into the Maiden spirit, infact during Fear Of The Dark the crowd outpowered Bruce, not that many bands can get that sort of reaction from their fans. Overall I have mixed feelings about the gig, I would have liked to have heard some songs from the last album, probably ‘Paschendale’ and ‘Journeyman’ – The new album really hasn’t grabbed me like Brave New World and Dance Of Death, technically it’s excellent, but it’s missing something for me. The journey upto Cardiff was pretty uneventful, apart from getting lost in Cardiff trying to find the arena, but the trip back was more interesting especially as Darren had been up since 4:30am the previous morning for work, so was falling asleep at the wheel and had to stop twice for a break on the way home, making the total journey time almost five hours. We also spent half hour driving around Bristol trying to find Temple Meads railway station so Tomas could catch a train to Stansted as the earliest train from Plymouth would have arrived too late to catch his connecting flight back to Iceland. While I am on the subject of Tomas, I have to say a huge thank you for subsidising my Maiden adventure as I haven’t worked this weekend for obvious reasons, also cheers to Darren for driving us to Cardiff and back. It wasn’t as good as my first Iron Maiden gig, but it still rocked, shame about the sound and lack of more classic Maiden material, Trivium were good, but suffered from a bad mix of sound, nothing came across with any sort of clarity, but they did play my personal favourite track ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’. Lauren Harris was very good live, sounding a lot more rock-like than her recordings would suggest, and she went down well enough with the Maiden faithful. Trivium did suffer from the “Maiden” chants throughout their set, but that is to be expected with 5,000 Iron Maiden fans in the house. Another thing that did bug me was the 20 minute changeovers between acts, which dissipated the atmosphere of the event overall, that’s the problem with having two support acts, you can’t just wheel the support act off stage and get the main attraction going within a few minutes which can be covered by a intro track; a missed opportunity I think!

The photos that I took at the gig can he found here for your viewing pleasure.

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