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  IRON MAIDEN SHINEDOWN ON SELL-OUT GLASGOW CROWD
Iron Maiden/Shinedown: The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Tuesday 16th May


johnny main
Words: Johnny Main, Pictures: © John McMurtrie 2017 (with permission)



iron maiden

Iron Maiden may have been around for over forty years, but there's certainly no sign of the band calling it a day just yet. Their most recent album, 'The Book Of Souls', was incredibly successful, reaching the number one spot in over twenty countries and a string of sell-out North and South American dates and a batch of European festival appearances in 2016 showed that the fans appetite for their live shows isn't diminishing either.

It's been some seven years since Maiden did a proper UK tour, and the fact that most of the thirteen dates completely sold out tells its own story. Ditching Ed Force One in favour of a good old tour bus and a sizeable convoy of equipment trucks, the band are currently snaking their way round the arenas of UK armed to the gunnels with pints of Trooper Ale, and we caught up with the band as they rolled into the SSE Hydro in Glasgow for their first visit to the venue.

Joining the mighty Maiden on the tour are Jacksonville, Florida quartet Shinedown and after the event, opinions ranged from "fucking amazing" to "utter garbage" with plenty of varied viewpoints in-between. Frontman Brent Smith was in a jovial mood as he tried to elicit a response from the audience but he had a tendency to ramble on between numbers while guitarist Zach Myers and bass player Eric Bass utilised every inch of the big stage and provided backing vocals to bolster the patchy sound.

In a great piece of showmanship, Smith got up close and personal with the audience during 'Enemies' as he jumped off stage in time honoured fashion and wandered in amongst the crowd causing the only real buzz of their set as he tried to energise the audience, but the Glasgow crowd were somewhat more reticent to get involved than on some of the other stops on the tour.

Shinedown's set was a quick trip through their back catalogue, cherry-picking the best they had to offer from each album with the exception of their second offering, 2005s 'Us And Them', which wasn't touched at all. New tracks, 'How Did You Love' and 'Cut The Cord' from their most recent effort, 2015s 'Threat To Survival', were well recieved whilst 'Second Chance' from 2008s 'The Sound Of Madness' album was the standout track of their performance.

Probably better enjoyed during a headline set in a smaller venue.

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Shinedown Setlist:
Adrenaline
Fly From The Inside
Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
How Did You Love
Unity
Enemies
Second Chance
Cut The Cord
Sound Of Madness

Shinedown are:
Brent Smith – Vocals
Zach Myers – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Eric Bass – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Barry Kerch – Drums

iron maiden

The expectation for Iron Maiden, on what was their long awaited return to Glasgow, was huge and previous reviews and footage from the tour made it obvious this was going to be the high energy show that you expect from a band of Maiden's calibre, and the packed out Glasgow audience weren't let down.

Drawing heavily on 'The Book Of Souls' album, they kicked things off, as they have mostly done for years now, with the first track on the album, 'If Eternity Should Fail' in this case, swiftly followed by 'Speed Of Light'. The former, with its long drawn out intro works rather well as an opener, with frontman Bruce Dickinson having the dry ice covered stage to himself before the song lets loose and the rest of the band burst onstage with their usual flourish.

iron maiden

The sound wasn't as you'd expect however, with it being somewhat murky and certainly keyboard heavy, an issue that wouldn't be corrected until third number, 'Wrathchild'.

Of the new material, 'Death Or Glory' was a real highlight while the inclusion of 'The Great Unknown', specially for this leg of the tour, was something of a sticking point it seems, as some people took this as their cue to make a mid-show trip to the bar and the same could be said for the latest album's title track which unbelievably saw a large exodus of people made their way out of the arena and head for the bars.

iron maiden

As far as the band is concerned, Dickinson remains one of the finest frontmen in Metal today, but he seemed to take a while to get into the swing of things. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith continue to do a fine job and Janick Gers is most certainly an integral part of the band having been a part of the world's best Metal band for over a quarter-of-a-century now.

Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain are one of the tightest rhythm sections in Metal and after working together for nearly thirty-five years, they clearly read each other like a book, but at times Harris seemed to be slightly ahead of the pace set by McBrain, but that's a very minor point when all is said and done.

iron maiden

As far as the older material went, it was a bit of a mish-mash especially with 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' conspicuous by its absence, due to an upcoming court case, a news story that was broken by MetalTalk earlier this month here.

'Hallowed...' was replaced by old favourite, the aforementioned 'Wrathchild', while the classic 'Children Of The Damned' quite rightly retained it's place in the set from the first part of the tour. 'The Trooper' is a song that no-one ever tires of, with Dickinson standing atop the stage waving the Union flag around and probably annoying some of the Scottish National Party supporters present in the process, before engaging in some tomfoolery with Gers.

iron maiden

The monstrous 'Powerslave', simply put, was a piece of mid-show brilliance that no Maiden show should ever been without – fire and brimstone right on cue, although Dickinson missed his cue slightly and was still scrambling up the stairs as the flames dissipated.

The main set closed off with, predictably, 'Iron Maiden', with the large Eddie rising from behind McBrain's drum riser to huge roars from the audience before the band disappeared off stage for a quick breather before kicking off the encores with 'The Number Of The Beast'. 'Blood Brothers', from their 2000 'Brave New World' album, followed and gave the audience one final chance to sing-along before the set came to a close with something of a whimper and not a bang with the Adrian Smith penned 'Wasted Years', a great track but not the best choice of set closer.

iron maiden

Despite the minor niggles, Iron Maiden give you what you expect every time – a first class performance so let's hope we don't have to wait another seven years for their next UK arena tour.

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Iron Maiden Setlist:
If Eternity Should Fail
Speed Of Light
Wrathchild
Children Of The Damned
Death Or Glory
The Red And The Black
The Trooper
Powerslave
The Great Unknown
The Book Of Souls
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden
The Number Of The Beast
Blood Brothers
Wasted Years

Iron Maiden are:
Bruce Dickinson – Vocals
Dave Murray – Guitar
Adrian Smith – Guitar
Janick Gers – Guitar
Steve Harris – Bass Guitar
Nicko McBrain – Drums





 

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