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Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden playing Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena
Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Iron Maiden's 'Somewhere Back In Time' Tour Hits Melbourne

By Tim Cashmere
Thu, 07 Feb 2008 06:16:33 +1100

The inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond was a funny place to be last night. It felt like there were more Iron Maiden t-shirts than there were people and there was a buzz in the air about Iron Maiden's first Melbourne show since 1992.

As the sun fell lower on the horizon fans flocked to Rod Laver Arena, many being told to check in their chain wallets and studded belts before passing through security and 15,000 people queued for t-shirts and beer.

The audience (many of whom were already in upright "rocking out" position ten minutes before the band actually hit the stage) eagerly chanted "Maiden! Maiden!" when the lights were finally dimmed and Winston Churchill's famous "We'll fight them on the beaches!" speech was played.

Maiden launched into 'Aces High', letting the crowd sing along (front man Bruce Dickinson had little choice - the crowd was drowning him out by their own unrehearsed choir). The vibe didn't stop with the excruciatingly catchy 'Two Minutes To Midnight'.

These two classics from 1984's 'Powerslave' album set the tone for a brilliant set that covered Iron Maiden's early career.

In fact, the only song not from the 80s was 1992's 'Fear Of The Dark', from the album of the same name.

A few Maiden mainstays made appearances through the show, Dickinson waved the British flag during 'The Trooper', the cyborg "Eddie" shot at the crowd with a semi-ridiculous laser during 'Iron Maiden' - which closed the main set - and of course the band played on a semi-replica of the band's impressive World Slavery Tour stage.

I couldn't help but chuckle during the long and quiet "middle bit" of 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' as I imagined a miniature Stonehenge dropping from the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dah-warf, but it wasn't just the band (and their great choice of songs) that made this night a great gig, it was the audience who could sing anything when cued by the band's charismatic front man.

While the set list was identical to their opening night in India last week, no amount of song predictability could take away from the sound of 15,000 people screaming for Bruce Dickinson.

And on that note, there is something oddly satisfying about hearing Bruce's catch phrase "Scream for me Melbourne!" and doubly so when the last word happens to be the city you love and live in.

Last night's show was more than a concert, it was an event, a performance and a dazzling display of the ludicrous indulgences of traditional heavy metal music. Whatever it was, I'm sure glad I was there.

The complete set list for Iron Maiden live at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne on February 6, 2008 was:

Churchill's Speech / Aces High (from 'Powerslave' - 1984)
2 Minutes to Midnight (from 'Powerslave' - 1984)
Revelations (from 'Piece Of Mind' - 1983)
The Trooper (from 'Piece Of Mind' - 1983)
Wasted Years (from 'Somewhere In Time' - 1986)
The Number of the Beast (from 'Number Of The Beast' - 1982)
Run to the Hills (from 'Number Of The Beast' - 1982)
Rime of the Ancient Mariner (from 'Powerslave' - 1984)
Powerslave (from 'Powerslave' - 1984)
Heaven Can Wait (from 'Somewhere In Time' - 1986)
Can I Play With Madness? (from 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' - 1988)
Fear of the Dark (from 'Fear Of The Dark' - 1992)
Iron Maiden (from 'Iron Maiden' - 1980)
Moonchild (from 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' - 1988)
The Clairvoyant (from 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' - 1988)
Hallowed Be Thy Name (from 'Number Of The Beast' - 1982)

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