Iron Maiden & Lauren Harris
Gigantium, Aalborg, Denmark
November 9th 2006

Lauren Harris

The opening evening of Iron Maiden’s 2006 European tour takes place in the unlikely location of Aalborg in Denmark . One might wonder why, but it could be because the dinosaurs of metal want a less known place for some experimentation concerning the set list. I’ll get back to this subject below.  

Kicking off the evening is none other than Steve Harris’ daughter, Lauren Harris, who’s put together a band and played a fairly big number of gigs, particular in the States. Now, cute as she may look, young Lauren is hardly, please excuse the pun, an iron maiden, nor is she particularly talented when it comes to singing. In best case, Lauren Harris’ band could be compared to Joan Jett, i.e. a not very original kettle of rock music clad in tight leather and merely something to drink a couple more beers to.  

Rating: 50

Iron Maiden

Expectations are high as usual when Iron Maiden take the stage a quarter past nine. As I expected, Different World from ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ opens the ball. Thinking back to the comeback tour with Bruce after the release of ‘Brave New World’ where they played the first five songs from said album, I’d somehow anticipated something like this. I’d even sort of put together the five tunes from the fine ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ that I could see them play.  

Next song, These Colours Don’t Run, is also on the list. Fine. Works great live. Then Brighter Than a Thousand Suns is aired. Hm, wasn’t exactly on my list, but ok, then. Beginning to need an old song to make this a real Maiden night.  

And then comes the shock; Bruce announces that they’re going to play the entire frigging ‘A Matter of Life and Death’! The cheer from the crowd isn’t really overwhelming. Everybody around me is looking at each other in slight panic. And it’s no joke, Mr. Dickinson not joking at all – Harris’s troopers work their way through the entire bloody album!

A bold move, some would say, arrogant, others could interject. I’m more inclined to say a bit disappointing, though I’d be hesitant when saying it. You see, everything is executed perfectly, I’d say even better than on the album, because the groovy parts stand out better and more powerful. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Screech, for example, is just perfect in every way. The same can be said of most of the songs, in fact.

But only when, finally, the first notes of Fear of Dark tear through the PA, the crowd, myself included, really stand behind the band, you know, REALLY feel like this is Maiden. And a fantastic version of the band’s immortal anthem song, Iron Maiden from the first album brings tears to many a balding fan among those circa 8000 souls in Aalborg Gigantium. And then it ends. Just like that. TWO old songs?!  

No, not quite, Iron Maiden does show mercy, three encores are served: Two Minutes to Midnight, The Evil that Men Do and finally Hallowed Be Thy Name.

It’s as if I’ve been to a really good concert but not really to an Iron Maiden concert. I so awfully missed a couple of my old friends, Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, for example, and…well, so many others. I can’t help feeling that I’ve been cheated a bit although I in the back of my mind know that I experienced a unique band displaying a massive amount of self-confidence in their musicianship.

Hard to rate, but: 80

Attending: Jørgen Ditlev, Kenn Jensen & Thomas Nielsen
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen