Iron Maiden Live in Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic and the Netherlands
By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Thursday, July 10, 2003 @ 12:17 AM
Zagreb, Croatia - 17 June, 2003
Zlin, Czech Republic - 19 June, 2003
Bergum, Netherlands (Waldrock Festival) - 21 June 2003
Hard to believe but it is true. Something I’ve always wanted to do, see a band several different times on the same tour and to get to do this for Iron Maiden - only in my wildest dreams. If you plan to see them this summer and want everything to be a surprise then stop reading. Let’s also get something else perfectly clear. I did this on my own with my own money and I am sharing my experience. I did not take notes and all of this comes from memory. If you want a full-on review for any of the shows then go and look on the Iron Maiden B.B. The stage: Looking straight toward the stage you’ll see that there are two levels. The first level is the main area that Steve, Dave, Adrian and Janick spend all their time on. Towards the back of this space and in the middle - on a smaller platform - sits Nicko and his drum set. The second level of the stage exists behind Nicko and also on both of his sides, with the side parts continuing around and coming all the way to the front of the stage. I only saw Bruce using this second level, none of the other guys ventured up there. Hanging down from the second level and going all the way around the stage are full size pictures of the various images of “Eddie.” At both Zlin and Zagreb there were additional images of “Eddie” up in the lights above the stage. Behind the stage there was a large space with two more images of “Eddie” in the left and right corners. The middle space was saved and changed continually through out the performance with additional larger representations of “Eddie” on display to reflect the song being performed. Zagreb and Zlin also had huge pictures on both sides of the stage. This was the newest image of them all, the one for the Visions of the Beast DVD. The band: Nicko, quite obviously, stayed at his drum kit in the middle of the stage. Bruce, of course, was all over the place. There were moments that brought Steve, Dave, Adrian and Janick all together at the middle of the stage and each of them would come forward to the middle for individual moments. But primarily Dave and Adrian were (as you looked at the stage) on the left side, with Steve and Janick on the right. Adrian would go to the back and in front of Nicko as would Steve. The set: You get the usual pre-show blend of music not really loud, just kind of there. Eventually whatever is playing gets cut short and there is an increase in volume but it’s just another recorded track, but as this one gets louder it becomes recognizable - “Doctor, Doctor.” Once the song finishes the lights are all out and the band starts walking onto the stage. Behind the stage, in the middle space “666” is lit up and of course everyone goes nuts when the narration begins… Intro: “Woe to you…..”
01. Number of the Beast
03. Die With Your Boots On
05. Hallowed Be Thy Name
06. 22 Acacia Avenue
07. Wildest Dreams (new song)
08. The Wicker Man
09. Brave New World
10. The Clansman
11. The Clairvoyant
12. Heaven Can Wait
13. Fear Of The Dark
14. Iron Maiden
15. Bring your Daughter...To The Slaughter...
16. 2 Minutes To Midnight (not in Imola or Zagreb)
17. Run To The Hills
Leaving music - Monty Python – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
The highlights of the set:
During “The Trooper,” Bruce has two UK flags that he waves at the back of the stage. Bruce gets the audience involved in the chorus of DWYBO.
Bruce does a greeting and his introduction to “Revelations” credits ancient scripture and Crowley among others.
There was a really funny intro to “22 Acacia Avenue” used in Italy, but not on the other shows.
“Wildest Dreams” gets a long intro. Bruce tells everyone that they can go ahead and record and take as many pictures as they want, but just make sure we all go out and buy it in September.
“The Clansman” gets a long intro from Bruce, especially incorporating the idea of freedom, and it was a strong song every night. There were very big reactions from the audience including the sing-a-long part. Also Nicko does a dance while Steve plays acoustic bass.
“The Clairvoyant” has the appearance by “Eddie” in his “Edward the Great” costume.
“Heaven Can Wait” has the best sing-a-long part of the night.
At least three and a half - possibly four metres - tall. The new “Eddie” is dressed in royal clothing as he appears on the “Edward the Great” cover. The eyes are lit bright and he was very mobile walking all the way across the stage and interacting with all the band – except Nicko, I guess. There is another “Eddie” that makes an appearance at the end of the show. He is huge and rises up from behind the stage. This is from the era of Piece of Mind. Once it is all the way up you can see the head and then the top opens up and a brain is lowered in. Once that has been put in place and the top of the head closed again the thing is raised a little more and you can see the tops of the shoulders and you can see it’s wearing a straight jacket. For the remainder of its appearance each side is raised and lowered like it is escaping - trying to get free - or maybe it’s a dance (Dance of Death)? The shows: Imola -- The location for this festival was at the site for the Formula 1 track. So it was a cool experience to be walking along the track that normally has some of the fastest cars in the world racing on it. There were five bands scheduled to play that I had heard of: Lacuna Coil, Murderdolls, Cradle of Filth, Zwan, and of course Iron Maiden. However, everywhere you looked, all you could see were people wearing Iron Maiden t-shirts. They were the only band that mattered today. There are several “non-Maiden” moments that I’ll remember and begin with those first: - 1 - The heat. I’ve never experienced such heat for a concert before. Not only was the air temperature high, but it was amplified by the heat radiating back off the concrete. I spent most of the day looking for shade.
- 2 - Lacuna Coil. I thought they were great. Something different with both male and female lead vocals.
- 3 - The fans, I’m guessing 40,000. Only one thing mattered today and that was Iron Maiden. Anytime another band paused or was between songs you could hear people shouting for Maiden. It was really bad for Murderdolls and Cradle of Filth.
- 4 - Zwan. Only memorable because they didn’t show up. I never learned why they did not play, but will always think that they were afraid to face this crowd. The stage was huge. There were video screens at the front on both sides and additional speakers set up out in the middle of the viewing area. I was again impressed with the audience - very loud - and singing all the parts. Sometimes I couldn’t even hear Bruce because the audience was so loud. From my perspective I thought that the highlight of this show was Dave Murray. It seemed that everytime it was his turn to do a solo he was on fire. Best song of the night from my point of view was “22AA.” Zagreb -- This was outdoors and it was still hot, but not anywhere near the kind of heat I experienced in Italy. It was also on a grass football field which was better than concrete. I thought “The Clansman” really stood out as a great song and I was starting to appreciate the new song, “Wildest Dream.” Zlin -- An indoors show. The place was packed. This was an amazing performance. It really seemed to me like everything clicked tonight. The band was tight, the sound was great and the audience was very responsive. Highlights for me had to be the encore and finally getting “2 Minutes to Midnight included.” Bruce was very impressive and worked the crowd well tonight. He even did some climbing up on the sides of the stage. Bergum -- This was another Festival. I arrived in time to see a short set by Anthrax, followed by an impressive performance by Annihilator. I also managed to fit in sets by Lacuna Coil and Stratovarious. Maiden hit the stage at 22:30. I know that because there were two clocks on each side of the stage. Only one survived the night. Everything was on fire tonight. Perhaps it was because this was now my fourth time seeing Iron Maiden in less than a week and I knew what to expect, but it was a real fun show too. Bruce was having a lot of fun with his different rants to the crowd. Steve was noticeably laughing several times during the show.
Another thing that stood out was how much colder it was. It was definitely a much lower temperature. You could see steam coming out of the mouths of the guys on stage. Down in the audience where the bodies were packed in tight it was warmer, but maybe the cool air temperature kept the guys moving about on stage. Steve made more visits to the left side as did Janick. I also think Bruce did more climbing than on any of the other nights too. The future: I don’t know what’s left to include but I am sure something will occur to me the next time I see them - Friday, June 27, 2003 Roskilde. Up the Irons
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