Iron Maiden Twickenham 5th July 2008

Another new venue for us and I have to say it blows Wembley out of the water.
Drove straight into the North car park, quick bomb check of the car and parked up about 50 yards from the entrance. Tickets from the RFU @£25 well worth it. The merchandise stalls were very slow so we went in and went to another and although slow I managed to get 2 event shirts(Eddie playing rugby @Twickers) reasonably quickly. Loo's plenty of and only a small queue for food although the Beef bap was changed to bacon as no beef or lettuce. Only paid £5.50 instead of £5.70!!!!Ouch!!

Stunning venue, quite steep at the sides but great view all round. Enormous stage in front of us with Somewhere In Time Eddie on one side,Piece of Mind Eddie to the other and Powerslave Eddie over the top with shining eyes!!

Lauren Harris was first up. Quite a few in early to watch her. A totally blue sky and hot sunshine greeted her. Considering the forecast and the days either side we were very lucky!! She played her 6 track set well with Steal Your Fire(Gun)and Natural Thing(UFO)changing places at either end of the set. She went down well but needs to get away from her dads apron strings(Maiden's bassist's daughter)to see that all shows aren't sell outs!

Within Temptation were next up. Now we should have seen them support Maiden in Paris 3 years back but due to the bus trip we missed them. They are a Dutch gothic rock band(it says here). Well they were fab. Led by Sharon Den Adel who has a stunning operatic voice. Believe me it works.The crowd loved them and I have since downloaded various cd's all superb. They are huge in Europe and well worth a look.

Avenged Sevenfold were next and I have to say shite. Can't pigeonhole what they were and at times it seemed that they were playing different songs. The guitarist's widdled with no emotion or anything .The crowd started on a high but ended asleep.

After that we had about 35 mins and the crowd built up to a sold out 60000.The set and setlist was all from 1980-1988 with the main part of the set being the Live After Death setlist and stageshow.Being old and the 23rd time I have seen them I can remember it well but a lot of kids weren't even born the first time round. A few times on the day people pointed at others and said "Maiden Virgin!!"

At 8.15 UFO's Doctor Doctor came over the p.a.and at the end curtains pulled back to show the Egyptian stage set. A video montage from earlier parts of the tour came on the video screens and then into the Churchill speech. Before we know it pyro goes off and we are into Ace's High.

The crowd went ape shit - Bruce comes out and kicks a rugby ball(nice memento for someone)
They played Ace's High, 2 Minutes to Midnight, Revelations, The Trooper, Wasted Years, Number of the Beast, Can I play with Madness, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Powerslave, Heaven Can Wait, Run To the Hills, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden and encores of Moonchild, The Claivoyant and Hallowed Be Thy Name. Two hours or so.

Highlights? The start with everybody and I mean everybody singing Ace's High. Same with Wasted Years, the enormous 6 flame throwers on NOTB, the middle bit of ROTAM and Powerslave was just fab. Moving light rigs - the full monty. All the various back drops of the singles,album covers,Egypt,etc.

During HCW a load of competition winners came on for the whooahing bit (lucky sods).
Run To The Hills was unreal as again every person sang along including the guys in the mosh pit to our left. During Iron Maiden the sphinx split and an enormous Eddie came out.

Again during The Clairvoyant a cyborg Eddie walked out beat Janick Gers up and walked off.

Before the encores Bruce (who I have to say sounded superb on the night) said it had been one of the best gigs of his life and the band were looking at ideas for a new cd with a tour in 2010.

Two hours went by in a flash. Great sound, lights and the band have never sounded better. Bruce when he rejoined said the band had to be relevant and with the 3 new cd's they are and also they had to be the biggest Metal band in the world. Job done then! They are bigger than ever playing to 1.5 million people on this tour and the only sad thing is we in the UK only got one show but when it was this good we can cope. I have been to some fab gigs recently but this was Gig Of The Year!!!

The car park cleared quite quickly and as we waited to go out a young lady squatted next to a car and had a pee. Being a gentleman I turned the headlights on and she never even noticed.
To round the evening off we got stuck in Henley with all the toffs who were throwing up or being arrested. Hilarious and a good end to a fab day!!

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