When we learned that the European strand of the “Maiden England Tour 2014” will not be passing from Greece, we easily made the decision to go to the nearest station, which for our good fortune was in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Arriving at the venue, which was a lovely indoor basketball court like OAKA, the Arena Armeec, the thing that struck me the most, were the people gathered outside with the accompaniment of classic songs of our favorite music and tons of beer, that made a nice atmosphere of expectation for what was waiting for us inside!
A great surprise was the addition of Ghost as the support group, who started fifteen minutes earlier than the published start time and as a result a big part of the crowd almost lost their performance. They played a bit more than half an hour, started with “Per Aspera Ad Inferni”, a brief overview on both their albums, ended with the hymn “Stand by Him” and left the stage in applause from the few, as it seemed, followers.
The wait seemed long and the one hour that passed until Maiden appeared on stage looked like a day has passed. The lights went out after the classic “Doctor, Doctor” of UFO, and Iron Maiden went on stage with “Moonchild”. To write down a review about the performance of each member of the band individually seems superfluous, however I must bring up the great shape, that after all these years, Dickinson is.
We continue with “Can I Play with Madness” and “The Prisoner”. And after “2 Minutes to Midnight” that we’ve heard like a thousand times already, Bruce makes a pause and announces that they will be performing songs that have not be heard for a long time, with first and foremost “Revelation”.
When you are present at a concert of this nature, you know that you are not going to listen at any average song, and thus became at the next four “The Number of the Beast”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Run to the Hills” and “Wasted Years”. Next anthem “The Trooper” with everything that we expected, Dickinson waving the Union Jack throughout the entire song and the crowd to be in delirium.
And at this point time has stopped!
The execution of “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” is one of the most precious concert experiences I’ve ever had, especially the instrumental part of the middle and following!!!
“Fear of the Dark” as favorite as it is, was incongruous and looked like the black sheep of the playlist and seemed beneath of what preceded and followed.
And here is the end of the concert’s regular period with the homonymous ‘Iron Maiden’ and a doom of fireworks and fire, as Eddie is looking upon us, imposing from the middle of the stage.
The lights turn out for the second time and the crowd screams ‘Maiden… Maiden’, covering Churchill’s introductory speech. But not the intro of “Aces High” that launched the encore. “The Evil That Men Do” and for last but not least “Sanctuary”, that shows, that Maiden haven’t aged a bit and that they are playing like teenagers.
As we leave the court with Monty Python saying goodbye, I felt really lucky that I had once again the chance to see my favorite band!!!
As the years pass and we accustom to this form of Maiden, the more it seems like a foreign object, whether I personally like Janick Gers.