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Iron Maiden, Lauren Harris @ Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL (USA)

IRON MAIDEN, LAUREN HARRIS
in Wednesday, 11 June 2008 at Allstate Arena
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

Well, I have seen IRON MAIDEN live every time they have set foot on Greece except from their first time during the legendary tour supporting The Seventh Son album. This band is still one my favorites, even though they have stop producing new (and good?) music and have flooded the market with DVDs and 'best of' albums.

I made my way to the Allstate Arena with the help of the clean yet windy weather thinking whether this 'Somewhere Back In Time' tour would have some special treats for me. After I entered the stadium I went to buy a t-shirt for me and my girlfriend and found out that that there was a really long human line in the merchandise stands. The had a wide variety of t-shirts with covers from  IRON MAIDEN 's glorious days with Somewhere In Time, Powerslave, The Number Of The Beast among others. I chose the t-shirt that was exclusively designed for the Chicago concert just before they were sold out!
Unfortunately, there was an opening act that night and was no other than Harris' daughter Lauren. Apparently she will be following the band through the rest of the live dates (most of them). I decided to give her a second chance since her album was kind cool without her annoying high pitched screams. Well, there was absolutely no change; the lady has hot looks and a very good on-stage presence but her voice is still becoming annoyingly high pitched. I managed to enjoy Steal Your Fire and then waited patiently for the end of the setlist. Lauren and her band did well on-stage but they did not manage to connect to the audience that was anxious to see the British band.

So, after a 20 minute wait the lights went out and UFO's Doctor, Doctor was the first thing that we heard from the speakers. After that there was a video from the band's arrival at Chicago showing the MAIDEN airplane. The anxiety was rising and Churchill's Speech with the accompanying dogfight classic video were next. After some firework explosions the opening guitar riff of Aces High brought the band on-stage! They were looking absolutely great! Bruce was doing some his trademark 'runs' and 'jumps' capturing the audience attention for the very start. The stage was based on the Powerslave album artwork and had two big screens on the sides. The sound was amazing from the start with some minor problems on the vocals' volume that we resolved in no time. Without stopping MAIDEN hit us with 2 Minutes to Midnight where the crowd (there were about 15,000 metalheads) became really loud! After that Bruce took sometime to salute the US fans and preamble the next song Revelations. By this time I was staring to think that maybe this time IRON MAIDEN would pay me in full for all these years that I was looking for something special. Indeed, Bruce wore his soldier outfit and came on stage waving the British flag saying without words that is was time for The Trooper. Behind the stage the banners where following the setlist changing the artwork accordingly. The next song found me almost ecstatic because Wasted Years is one of my favorite tracks! After this the stage turned red and the devil appeared sitting on his thrown while the trademark lines from New Testament were announcing The Number Of The Best. During the chorus lines burst of flames were coming from the back of the stage raising even more the stadium's temperature.

I was extremely curious to listen to the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner that is pretty difficult on the vocals. Well, Bruce was almost perfect because he did loose some of the high pitched music notes but the whole stage show compensated us. The stage was looking like a ship's deck and one of the line of lights was lowered to imitate the move of a mast. Bruce was wearing a black cloak enhancing his theatrical performance. During the slow part of the song, the stage was filled with 'cold' smoke creating an almost thriller atmosphere. More fireworks and this Epic song found us shouting our lungs out with enthusiasm!

I could go on and describe the rest of the show but I think I will spoil the surprises that feature the Eddie's 'explosive' appearance from an Egyptian sarcophagus or his Somewhere In Time outfit!
The band did one encore that was loudly demanded by everyone who was in the stadium! AS you can see in the setlist the encore was at least excellent and even more 'explosive'.

I am happy to say that all the clouds gathered in my mind before the show were push away by IRON MAIDEN who finally pay the proper respect to their past. Just don't miss this tour because you are getting a true live 'best of.' As for me I will check again the band in their August appearance in Greece! Until that day Up the Irons.

Setlist:

01. Intro: Churchill's Speech
02. Aces High
03. 2 Minutes to Midnight
04. Revelations
05. The Trooper
06. Wasted Years
07. The Number of the Beast
08. Can I Play With Madness?
09. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
10. Powerslave
11. Heaven Can Wait
12. Run to the Hills
13. Fear of the Dark
14. Iron Maiden
————————-
15. Moonchild
16. The Clairvoyant
17. Hallowed Be Thy Name

(photos by Eddie)

LAUREN HARRIS


IRON MAIDEN

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