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IRON MAIDEN In Oberhausen, Germany

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 1:24 PM

April 24, 2017 At König Pilsener Arena

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Photos By Daniel Hohr

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let me make one initial remark about the deplorable absence of any professional photos. The reason is that I got back on board with KNAC.COM at the end of March and never planned to review the first IRON MAIDEN show on German soil since the six-piece wrapped up the 2016 The Book Of Souls Tour at the Wacken Open Air on August 4, 2016, let alone to take photos that are worthy of The Loudest Dot Com On The Planet. However, when I did apply for photographer accreditation, I was informed by the promoters over here in Germany that the maximum number of accreditations had already been reached, so all I could do last night was take a few pics from where I was standing in the crowd.

And now to the show: SHINEDOWN hit the stage of Oberhausen's König Pilsener Arena – sponsored by and named after a major brand of German beer – at 19:30 hrs and received a bit of a lukewarm welcome by the approximately 10,000 people – or rather by those who decided to see the SHINEDOWN show. Far from being an unknown act, the four-piece from Jacksonville, Florida have been going for quite a while but, according to singer Brent Smith, last night was their first show in Oberhausen. Their mix of alternative metal and post-grunge mixed with punk (Eric Bass) and RAMMSTEIN aesthetics (Brent Smith) may not be everybody's cup of tea but despite some initial sound problems SHINEDOWN were good fun and got the crowd sufficiently ready for the main act.

At 20:55 hrs UFO's “Doctor Doctor” blasted through the massive PA, which meant that in a few moments IRON MAIDEN would come on and so they did, after the new tour intro video was shown on the screens, at 21:00 hrs. The stage set was the same as on the 2016 tour – an impressive Maya temple matching the theme of their last studio album, The Book Of Souls, whose opener “If Eternity Should Fail” also opened the first German arena show in ages last night. Clearly, the setlist very much focused on The Book Of Souls, which is not necessarily my favourite MAIDEN album. Altogether six songs from that album were performed. And yet the songs, especially “The Red And The Black”, “Death Or Glory”, or the title song, to name but a few, are real killers live and worked brilliantly, which was not only due to the band's energetic and tight playing, Bruce Dickinson's in part theatrical performance but also to the impressive stage designs that abounded in special effects. “The Great Unknown” was added to the set list of this year's continuation of the tour. Classics such as “The Evil That Men Do” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (just voted IRON MAIDEN's best track in the latest issue of Metal Hammer) were sadly missed. Having said that, “Wrathchild”, “The Trooper”, “Powerslave”, “The Number Of The Beast”, “Iron Maiden” and “Wasted Years”, the last encore, were defintely enough classic MAIDEN songs to make up for it, so there is absolutely no reason to whine. The performance was, needless to say, absolutely splendid, the sound crystal clear, Bruce's vocals were always spot on and the band simply brilliant.

It was a great evening – has anyone ever been let down by IRON MAIDEN since Bruce rejoined? – and seemed much too short when shortly before 23:00 hrs Monty Pythons's “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” was played through the PA after the final chord of “Wasted Years” was played and the usual picks and drum sticks were thrown into a blissfully happy German crowd.

IRON MAIDEN will hit the USA and Canada in June and you will doubtlessly get professional pictures then.


  • "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"

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