Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier World Tour 2011

Venue: SECC
City: Glasgow
Release Date: 20th July 2011
Our Score
9.0
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User Score:
6 votes
8.5

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier World Tour 2011

The words “Iron Maiden” and “stage show” often go hand in hand, and tonight is absolutely no exception. With that in mind, let’s see how long it takes before I drop a cliché when it comes to talking about their latest tour.

Ok, so there’s one thing I need to get out of the way first – this is ‘The Final Frontier World Tour 2011’, which means they’ll obviously be leaning heavily on their latest album. Not that I mind, it is, by all accounts, a pretty bloody good record and it’s exciting to see them still challenging themselves and their listeners on their 15th record. However, there is always going be a certain amount of compromise with older, more established tracks being sidelined for newer ones given that they’re out to promote their new record. No one’s saying that Maiden have created 15 records of pure gold, but there are more than a few brilliant tunes littered throughout their back catalogue (so much so that they’ve managed to fill three records alone with “hits”) and tonight, the classics are present and correct, perhaps not as many as some would have liked, but at least they’re in there.

I completely missed Airbourne, by the way, so I couldn’t tell you how good they were. Although, I imagine their AC/DC style rock n roll would have been quite a good fit for tonight’s show.

Anyway, about that stage show…yeah, it was pretty spectacular. In what my friend called “Probably the best foreplay ever” we’re teased with a positively fit inducing light show and the video for ‘Satellite 15…The Final Frontier’ – a hearty dose of over the top, CGI, sci-fi theatrics – before Maiden bounce on stage with the energy of a band still in their prime, setting the pace for a show that simply does not stop. Bruce’s boundless, hyperactive stage antics are enough to make anyone’s breathless just by watching him, but when the rest of the band are full of the same vigour you really have to ask yourself if they are perhaps drawing on some kind of supernatural energy force, because guys in their 50s just should not be as energetic as this.

That’s not surprising though. The Maiden live experience (and it IS an experience) is renowned for being awe inspiring and that’s pretty much the best way to describe it. The setlist dips and dives; every song from the new record is met with the trademark Maiden fan howl afterwards, although I couldn’t find a single person within 10 feet of me who was singing along. Lesser acts would crumble under this kind of pressure, but after ‘El Dorado’ gives way to ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, and one hears 10,000 fans singing along, any fears are blown away. Everything that goes on here tonight is accompanied by what looks like three stealth bombers made entirely of lights hovering above the stage, looking not only space age (keeping in line with the whole sci-fi theme of this tour), but like they may require a masters degree to operate. This, combined with a backdrop made up LED lights resembling deep space, means that no matter where you are in the arena you’re always able to see these fine, able bodied gentlemen passionately chuck out tune after tune to enthusiastic fans.

For every song they play from the new record, we’re repaid tenfold with awesome older tunes. ‘The Trooper’; complete with trademark flag waving; ‘The Evil that Men Do’, accompanied by a ten foot high Eddie playing guitar on stage; a spine tingling rendition of ‘Fear of the Dark’ which has every single set of lungs in the room singing along to it, are some of the many, many highlights of the night. At one stage someone chucked the Saltire on stage causing the crowd to burst into an impromptu rendition of ‘The Flower of Scotland’ to the delight of an absolutely gobsmacked band. I’m not a nationalist, but that’s a moment I’m never going to forget.

And that’s how it went, really. The ‘main’ part of the show closed with ‘Iron Maiden’, bringing a HUGE mechanical Eddie over the rostra to loom over the stage. The encore was probably the best thing ever, though – ‘Number of the Beast’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, and ‘Running Free’ in quick succession ensure that the band leave a huge imprint on Glasgow. Absolutely amazing from start to finish, there is simply no other live show, experience and band like it. Bruce reckoned it’d been more than 10 years since Maiden played Glasgow – please don’t let us wait that long again.

Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier World Tour 2011, 8.5 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

Posted by Mark Fraser | 21 Jul 2011 | Gig Reviews, Reviews