I know it’s been a while since I last wrote something, but I’ve been very busy writing my thesis and doing my internship. Saturday April 22nd was time for some entertainment tho. Me and my friends got tickets for Iron Maiden in Antwerp, one of the first shows of their world tour with The Book Of Souls. We had already seen them last year at Graspop Metal Meeting, but it was so crowded that I -the short person that I am- couldn’t see anything. So we decided to buy tickets for seated spots. You might think that’s lame, but no regrets! When we saw how crowded the goddamn place was we were so glad that we we’re standing (yeah nobody stays seated during a concert, duh) in the tribunes. We were very close to the stage too. It was totally worth the extra money. Also, it was our only option because standing places were sold out in seconds! We were just glad we had our tickets because many or our friends didn’t manage to get one.
The support act was Shinedown, not really bad but me and my friends thought that they weren’t really worthy to be the support act for Iron Maiden. The energy lacked, and the people who know Iron Maiden know that Iron Maiden equals infinite energy on stage, so that’s why. We weren’t really “warmed up” and that’s what a support act is supposed to do.
Lights went out, crowd went wild. Through the speakers sounded “Doctor, doctor” from UFO, Iron Maiden’s introduction song. And then the typical sounds of Maiden sounded. Opening song was “If infinity should fail”. Although the venue is known not to have the best sound quality, it was the best Iron Maiden concert I’ve ever seen. Bruce Dickinson sang powerful like always. Not one sign that he had been battling cancer two years ago, not one sign of how old they are slowly getting. For everyone who is yet going to see them with this tour; you’re going to have an AMAZING time. I was trying to get some of the concert filmed or to take some pictures, but I always lost Bruce because he was running around like a maniac 😀 Damn I envy that man’s energy!!!
Not only was it a pleasure to listen to like Iron Maiden always is, but it was also a joy to watch them. During the songs of their new album The Book Of Souls, I sometimes just sat down (I didn’t know the lyrics by heart anyway) and enjoyed watching them running around and tease each other. The drumset was so big that you just couldn’t see McBrain sitting behind it.
When Bruce brought out his Union Jack flag, the 18.000 people went wild and sang along with “The Trooper”. Powerslave, a song they skipped at Graspop Metal Meeting, made the cut this time (luckily!) and Bruce appeared from behind a fire curtain, wearing a Mexican wrestling mask as usual. It sounded so great, and very powerful.
And then, there he was: EDDIE! Wow. He was awesome, and so huge! There was a little act around it too; Bruce was fighting him and ripped out his “heart”. It was a pleasure to watch. During “Fear of the Dark”, the crowd was one and sang along every word of this amazing and legendary song and was followed by another classic: “Iron Maiden”. And it’s true: “Iron maiden ‘s gonna get you, no matter how far!“, because I saw a lot of flags from different countries in the crowd. During this song, Eddie appeared again in the background.
Time for another classic: The Number of The Beast! I don’t think this one needs some explanation, does it? One of the most iconic songs of all time. This classic was followed by a speech from Bruce about how the world is getting more and more divided and that rock ‘n roll is and will always be for everybody, no matter what gender, race, religion ar colour you are. This was followed by the bonding song “Blood Brothers”. I’ve never seen so many men hug at once than during this song. They ended the night with a bang with “Wasted years”.
It was an amazing night, and I’m really happy that I finally could SEE the entire show, after two times of just seeing flashes of Bruce.
For the ones who’d like to know the setlist:
- If eternity should fail
- Speed of light
- Children of the damned
- Death or glory
- The red and the black
- The trooper
- The great unknown
- The book of souls
- Fear of the dark
- Iron Maiden
- Number of the beast (encore)
- Blood brothers (encore)
- Wasted years (encore)