Sweden Rock Festival
A lot of Swedish heavy metal fans were excited when it was announced Iron Maiden would join the fun at probably the biggest Swedish music festival, Sweden Rock Festival. Four days, 35 000 people, more acts than you can count and lots and lots of hair and beer. Iron Maiden were headlining the Thursday and, well, I think I dare say no one left the concert disappointed. The tour is called The Legacy Of The Beast and it´s based on a video game/comic book featuring mascot Eddie doing whatever he´s up to. Mostly, I assume, killing people.
With no new album to promote, the six turn into a juke box of classics (Fear Of The Number Of Run To The Trooper et al) and lesser aired gems. For the nerds, obviously, the latter are the selling point. So we get Where Eagles Dare, Sign Of The Cross (H-O-L-Y shite, Batman!), The Clansman, For The Greater Good Of God and Flight Of Icarus. My only complaint when it comes to the setlist is only two songs are post 2000. And no Infinite Dreams. But I´m getting used to that.
Iron Maiden are not known to lack a proper show, but this is likely their most visually ambitious set ever. And that is saying a lot. There´s a new prop for every song and it´s highly entertaining. A full size Spitfire joins in on opener Aces High. Eddie is duelling singer Bruce Dickinson during The Trooper. A giant Icarus hoovers above the stage during Flight Of Icarus, while Bruce is running around with a flame thrower. But of course he is.
Bruce, as usual, is running around like a man possessed while singing opera, changing clothes more or less between every song and acting the court jester in general. I wouldn´t mind being that fit at sixty. I lose my voice just trying – emphasise trying – to sing along. Don´t know how he does it. But singing along and screaming is mandatory. No one is here to drink tea and discuss Sartre.
The songs, needless to say, are flawlessly performed, not just by Bruce. They know what they´re doing. There is no Ozzy (bless him) on board, even if The Evil That Men Do gets a weird intro.
Scream for me, Sweden? Don´t mind if I do.
Big and loud. 35 000 (sold out), in a south Swedish hamlet with a population of roughly twelve. Ages between eight and 65. Seemingly all here to celebrate a band we love. Experiencing this show aged eight must be a great start for a life full of concert disappointments. Every concert should be like this, but oh for the budget.
It made me think..
If founder, bassist and main songwriter Steve Harris had achieved all this success within a more accepted genre of music he would have been knighted a long time ago. Well, that and BLOODY HELL THIS IS GREAT I CAN`T BELIEVE I´M ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING THIS! IT´S REALLY THEM!