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04 December 2003: Iron Maiden & Funeral For A Friend - Arena, Nottingham, England, UK

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I'd never been to the ice arena to see a gig before. The type of so called artists that this venue usually attracts leaves me cold, and I'm not usually very keen on indoor stadium gigs, finding them a little uninspiring with over inflated beer prices and shitty security guards.

However when the mighty maiden announced a date, this venue was much more preferable to the NEC Birmingham (I absolutely despise that venue and will only go if no other suitable alternative is available). And I have to say I really enjoyed this gig. We arrived at the venue and proceeded to the entrance preparing to be mauled by some gorilla who struggles to string two grunts together but no, the security people were polite, considerate and not at all intrusive. So far so good. Inside the venue all the staff were very helpful but the beer was still expensive, although not as bad as the cursed NEC.

We entered the arena proper and I was delighted to find that the venue isn't just a cavernous hall but quite a nice arena with a decent sized stage and a good view from the floor.

Anyway on with the review of the bands.

Funeral For A Friend

Perhaps a strange choice of support. I believe that Bruce had them on his Rock show on BBC 6 music and thought they deserved a break and so offered them the slot. They were OK, not really my thing but they seemed competent enough. I don't know anything about them or any of the track titles so I can't go into much detail other than I don't think I'll be buying the album.

Iron Maiden

Now to the main event, Maiden are quite rightly metal gods and they were to prove just why they are. The set was a mix of the early classics such as "The Trooper", "Wrathchild" and "Hallowed be thy Name", mixed with more recent cuts "Afraid of the Dark", "Brave New World", etc.

As you would expect with Maiden the stage show was great with projections of some of the artwork so beloved by maiden fans and of course an appearance by Eddie.

Bruce had a rant about Kerrang, something he seems to do regularly and I think it's a bit unnecessary. Iron Maiden are not short of a few fans and don't need to get into petty squabbles with the music press, so I'd rather have more songs and less rant.

The encore consisted of "Number of the Beast" and "Run to the Hills", guaranteed crowd pleasers and that's exactly what they did.

Cheers

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© Simon, livemusicreview.co.uk

The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the livemusicreview.co.uk team.

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