Betraying their earlier nerves, Iron Maiden delivered a headline performance that was nothing short of spectacular - a deafening, colourful feast for the eyes and ears. It marked the end of a satisfying first day of rock at the Leeds Festival.
The show was a tribute to the band’s early history, and was mostly drawn entirely from their first four albums. Defying their age, all of the band members were impressively energetic. A high spirited Bruce Dickinson was running up and down ramps for the entirety of the 90 minute set and seldom stopped to catch his breath.
A touchingly diverse range of ages stood open-mouthed at guitarist Steve Harris dazzling virtuoso fretwork – compromised only by the high jinks of bandmate Dickinson who, in a moment of extreme metalness, attempted to strum the guitarists strings with his microphone, breaking one in the process!
Later on, the singer-cum-clearly-frustrated-comedian couldnt resist quipping: “He’s lost his plectrum – its in there somewhere“, as Harris’ fingers disappeared into another breakneck speed solo.
At the end of the set, the bands giant 20ft undead mascot, Eddie, hobbled onstage with flashing red eyes.
Tonight’s show was the band’s first since their unfortunate experience at Ozzfest in the States on August 20, which saw them pelted with eggs and their set sabotaged – allegedly – by event boss Sharon Osbourne. Maiden continued their dignified silence on the episode at Leeds, to the surprise of many.
The setlist was:
Murders In The Rue Morge
Run To The Hills
Where Eagles Dare
Die With Your Boots On
Phantom Of The Opera
The Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Iron Maiden headline Reading on Sunday.