I was initially not happy to hear that Trivium were supporting Iron Maiden at one of their London gigs, and that we were getting Airbourne in Nottingham instead. My disappointed was very short lived as Airbourne rocked the arena. My only regret then was that I was in a box seat, as Airbourne made me want to dance and jump up and down – they are not a band to see sitting down!! Playing shirtless, lead guitarist and vocalist Joel O’Keeffe is a pleasure to watch on stage as he thrusts his guitar into the air, or slides onto his knees and plays his guitar with passion. What a brilliant start which was really needed as Iron Maiden started their set off quite slowly, only really playing one song in the beginning that I recognised, and that was Two Minutes to Midnight. I was mostly fixated on Janick Gers who is such a character on stage, posing and pulling all the rock star moves. He has an amazing stage persona, and bundles of energy.
Things livened up considerably when Iron Maiden played Iron Maiden. Clearly it wasn’t just my favourite Maiden song as the crowd went wild! Sometimes you could barely hear the band for the crowd singing along or cheering so loudly. It created such an amazing atmosphere. That could well have been the highlight of my night…until Eddie strutted on stage….. He jammed with the band and his visit on stage was way too short. He did make another theatrical appearance as a giant Eddie head rising up from behind the stage creating the most spectacular backdrop. The stage setting and props were very well done, with another beastly prop for The Number of the Beast.
What an absolutely brilliant evening with two superb bands. So what did it for me in the end, Rock n Roll or Metal? In the first half of the Maiden set I had Airbourne down as my firm favourite for the night. The turning point was towards the end when Iron Maiden played Iron Maiden and the whole atmosphere changed and it was Eddie and Metal that ruled the night.