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IRON MAIDEN, SECC, Glasgow 20 July 2011

An Iron Maiden gig is always a highly anticipated event, but as this was the first date on the UK leg of the Final Frontier world tour it had that added edge.

The gig had sold out instantly and, as it was an all-standing affair, the hall was rammed to maximum capacity.

It has been a number of years since Maiden were last in town on the 'A Matter of Life and Death' tour. The gig that night had a bit of a mixed reaction as they played the entire new album at that show which upset a lot of people, however the set for this tour looked a lot more promising.

Before Maiden took to the stage, Aussie rockers Airbourne put in a strong support set. They hit the stage running (literally!) and launched into 'Raise The Flag'.

The energy level never dropped through the 40 minutes with the band making the most of the large stage and covering a lot of ground.

They had a lot of support in the hall from the off, there were a good smattering of Airbourne T shirts on show, but they pulled the masterstroke which always wins over any dissenters in Scotland when they played a rocking rendition of 'Scotland The Brave'.

You could be the worst band in the world, but play this at a Scottish gig and success is assured, we fall for it every time! To be fair though, they didn't have to worry as by the end of the set they had proved with tracks like 'No Way But The Hard Way' and 'Runnin' Wild', that they were more than capable of letting their own music win the day.

Iron Maiden, photo by David Wilson
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If Airbourne had warmed the crowd, then the anticipation before Maiden hit the stage took them to fever pitch. Following UFO's Doctor, Doctor, the lights dropped and Satellite 15 boomed from the PA with an accompanying video and light show further building the atmosphere.

Maiden then hit the stage and launched into 'The Final Frontier' followed by 'El Dorado' and the crowd responded accordingly. All the usual Maiden elements were in place, Bruce sprinting around the stage, Dave and Adrian, stage right and left, Janick dancing like a maniac and Nicko the madman behind the drum kit.

The show continued with '2 Minutes To Midnight' and following that, the rest of the set was a good mix of new and old to keep everyone happy. The stage set resembled a disused space station with fantastic lighting and the backdrops changed with each song, one of the biggest cheers of the night went up when the backdrop appeared heralding the arrival of 'The Trooper', always a live favourite.

Iron Maiden, photo by David Wilson

The band appeared to be happy to be back on home soil and played new song, 'Coming Home', from the heart. The main set was rounded off with 'Fear Of The Dark', cue mass singalong, and a blistering version of 'Iron Maiden' replete with the appearance of a giant Eddie at the back of the stage.

The encores consisted of a killer threesome in the shape of 'Number Of The Beast' - watch for the cheesy plastic Devil that appears on stage not sure how that one got through the quality control stage - 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', and finally a welcome return for the classic 'Running Free'.

With Bruce wringing sweat from his Beanie hat and wristbands, the band took their bows and were gone.

All in all a fantastic show and a triumphant return of Eddie and the Boys to Glasgow and to the UK.

Up The Irons !!

Review and photos by David Wilson

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