As a pretty barren, but sizzling June ends (only three shows attended) July sees my first trip of the year to the Netherlands to catch Iron Maiden on their Legacy of the Beast tour before it hits UK shores in August. My last outing to the Lowlands was for the Eindhoven Metal Meeting last December, this time its for something visually much more spectacular.
Sunday will bring up my quarter of a century of Maiden shows since I first saw them in 1990 and it will be in a seventh different country. I’m quite intrigued to check out the city of Arnhem, apparently there is some bridge there that was quite famous for something, so I keep getting told. Three of the bands last five Dutch dates have been at the home of Vitesse Arnhem rather than the more populous cities of Amsterdam or Rotterdam.
I quite like seeing shows in football stadiums as, being a Stoke fan, somewhere like the GelreDome is somewhere I wouldn’t visit as an away supporter. Reading about the stadium and all it’s mod cons I’m intrigued to see if the climate control system will be in operation as the temperatures could be hitting a peak of 25°, which is five degrees or so cooler than what we’ve had at home in the last week! My car thermometer showed 30° on Wednesday afternoon!
With this modern age of technology where spoilers are the norm, and Iron Maiden are a band that don’t deviate from their set list, most fans knew what to expect at their particular show since the Tallin debut back in May. There are the usual suspects of course and several curve balls. Some of the other sougs I’ve seen in the past, but some I haven’t had the pleasure to hear live for three or four years, The Wicker Man has been omitted out of the set for seven years. For the Greater Good of God has had an eleven year absence and it’s been 15 year and 17 years respectively since I last saw The Clamsman and Sign of the Cross live.
From an amalgamation of 25 shows over 28 years there is still one song in the set that I have never seen live, which actually surprised me when I realised that fact. Flight of Icarus hadn’t been included on a piece of A4 and taped to the stage since 1986, and then it was only a handful of appearances. The Somewhere on Tour jaunt is the Maiden tour that I would love to have seen live. The song itself hasn’t been performed on a British stage since 1984’s World Slavery Tour, so it’s definitely something special for most fans for a song that is 35 years old.
I can’t say I’m enamoured about a 4:45am alarm call so that I can make it to Liverpool for a 7:15 flight (fingers crossed EasyJet’s first plane out isn’t delayed), but I’m pretty sure the pay off sixteen hours later will be worth it for this ageing and failing body, and I might have seen some bridge before the main event.