Iron Maiden at Download Festival 2013 review

The rock gods headline Donington Park for a record breaking 5th time

Iron Maiden at Download Festival 2013 review

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Gavin McInally - 16 June 2013

Signalling their imminent arrival with a flyover from a Spitfire plane, the 90,000 gathered Maiden maniacs below can only look on in awe as Dickinson and co. jump on stage in an explosion of pyrotechnics and went straight into their first song, which unfortunately is not 'Aces High' but 'Moonchild'.

With that the Maiden England World Tour at Download Festival 2013 has officially begun.

"Welcome to Monsters of Rock 1988" teased Maiden's legendary frontman Bruce Dickinson as he questioned how many of the fans before him were born, or even in nappies when his band first toured the classics from the current Maiden England setlist. Iron Maiden are currently touring the world playing a selection of gems from their 1989 video of a concert they played on their '7th Tour of a 7th Tour' tour.

Dickinson, who had to pull out of his scheduled charity ride into Donington yesterday (June 15) due to health issues, certainly sounds fighting fit from on top of the stage, he can still make enough noise to make the sound system seem almost unnecessary.

'Can I Play With Madness', 'Two Minutes to Midnight' and 'The Prisoner' are belted out with the '80s approved burst of flames but the freezing winds of Castle Donington drain some of the life out of what should have been a memorable performance.

'Wasted Years' is lost on everyone beyond the immediate sound system and as the set dragged on the number of fans accepting defeat and heading for the exit increased.

A horrific guitar jamming session caused further damage to the enjoyment of the spectacular sea of heads gathered to pay tribute to the heavy metal pioneers.

'Fear of the Dark' provided another startling example of why the Donington statesmen are worshipped but it didn't detract from the fact that the set was a real "I was there" performance for the devotees and a "I Wish I wasn't" for the remainder of the dwindling crowd who had not bought 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' on vinyl.

Download thanks Iron Maiden for managing to bring their epic Maiden England World Tour to Donington. Also for their now record breaking fifth headline slot at the english rock festival. It wasn't their finest hour, but certainly not their worst. It wrapped up a successful second night, which produced performances that twinned with the messy weather, from the youthful brilliance of Kvelertak to the soggy sounding Mastodon.

Iron Maiden 'Maiden England' at Download Festival setlist:

Can I Play with Madness
The Prisoner
2 Minutes to Midnight
Afraid to Shoot Strangers
The Trooper
The Number of the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Run to the Hills
Wasted Years
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The Clairvoyant
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden

Aces High
The Evil That Men Do
Running Free
*Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (PA)*

Click here for highlights from our Download Festival coverage.


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