It was an ocean. A pulsating, yawing, bucking, swaying mega mass of humanity losing it to the metal thunder of Iron Maiden. There were little currents that ran through the ocean defying the laws of squeeze as they pushed through the seemingly impenetrable fortress. Statewise representation was easy to pick out with large segments of the North-East making the arduous journey to see their Gods live, or atleast through a cloud of dust, smoke, humidity caused by sweat caused by humidity and noise, unadulterated noise.
When we first heard that Maiden was coming to town (somewhat like Santa Claus) we reacted with a sense of disbelief. This has come from years of rumours of everyone from Metallica to John Lennon (bless his soul) was coming to town. Disbelief became doubt and doubt anticipation which finally morphed into ecstasy. For 6 grown blonde men in tight clothes and flowing locks, belting classic metal tunes on a large stage, with a 20 foot Eddy shooting us down? HELL, YEAH!!! We revel in that kind of cheese.
Their first three songs from their latest album, A Matter Of Life And Death, were performed in the same order (Different World, These Colours Don't Run and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns) showing a new more progressive drive in Maiden's composing. With 3 virtuoso axemen in the lineup this is hardly surprising. They later played The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and For The Greater Good Of God (???) from the same album. All this was well and good, but me and the 30,000 thousands others squashed together were blood thirsty for the good stuff, the stuff that we've grown up on, the stuff that would make our heads roll off our necks. The super frenetic Trooper took our lives and there wasn't a single voice that didn't scream along the introductory speech to Number Of The Beast.
But nothing was to compare to the moment when Eddy made his first appearance, in a monster tank towering to the light rigs hanging above the stage. He stepped out of the war machine later and walked (to our glee) amongst the musicians mowing us down with a WWII machine gun. It was too much to bear.
The other heady incident was the instant the majority of the crowd realised that Fear Of The Dark was going to be played. The chants that followed probably shook the heavens and if the anti-Maiden brigade is to be believed, raised the devil himself to come and possess our bodies.
At one point, Bruce Dickinson let himself get a bit emotional and revealed that Maiden would be back in less than 17 months as he was overwhelmed by the fan base in India. Ho hum. Luckily there wasn't too much room or time for more soppiness and we could "shred our heads" once more to Run To The Hills and 2 Minutes To Midnight.
There was the customary encore scene, with the customery slightly embaressed faces (The "We know that you all knew this would happen but we have to do it anyway" kind). The show ended aptly with Hallowed Be Thy Name reaching a dizzying crescendo and little niggling thoughts about our mangled neck muscles.
I screamed like a 15 year-old white girl for Britney and I'm proud of it. Because Iron Maiden can't be fought and Iron Maiden can't be bought!!!