Heavy Metal Reviews

Location: KöPi-Arena Open Air Gelände, Oberhausen

e-Trado GmbH

Iron Maiden with Sabaton and Ghost

Oberhausen Open Air

(6th Jul 2013) British metal legend IRON MAIDEN brings it‘s classic 88 tour “Maiden England“ back to life. The band‘s stage design will be close to the legendary tour in support of the group‘s record “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son“. And the setlist will be close to the setlist of these days. There won‘t be any tracks taken from the reunion records or Blaze Bayley‘s era as IRON MAIDEN‘s singer. There will be only 80‘s track, with the exceptation of the classic tune ‘Fear Of The Dark‘.

The band‘s support on this concert is VOODOO SIX, which I didn‘t catch due to a late arrival at the venue, GHOST and SABATON. First band I get to see play is the Swedish outfit GHOST. You don‘t know who these musicians are because they won‘t tell anybody. The musicians are wearing black robes and maskes, they even don‘t have different names, all are called ‘Nameless Ghouls‘. Only singer Papa Emeritus‘ face is more known, but hidden under black and white paint, so his head looks like a bare skull. To be honest, I didn‘t know this band before their show. But their blend of occult rock, 80‘s heavy metal and BLACK SABBATH is quite good. Tunes such as ‘Year Zero‘ are brilliant and enjoyable. The only ‘bad‘ thing about GHOST‘s show is the weather. The sun is shinning and it‘s hot in front of the stage, not the best circumstance for a performance like this. It would have been even better in a club or at least in the dark.

Following this mysterious performance is SABATON. The Swedish metal crew seems to have a lot of fans in the crowd, which isn‘t surprising. SABATON‘s blend of 80‘s European metal and 90‘s US-power metal got more and more popular among the scene. It isn‘t my cup of tea, I have to admit. Nevertheless the group puts on a good live show. There‘s a lot of movement across the stage and the fans seem to enjoy the show as well. The setlist is a nice mix of all the band‘s records. For fifty minutes this Swedish five-piece rock hard for their fans. I‘m sure they gained one fan or two more during their energetic live performance. To the discomfort of many fans: the sound in the back of the venue wasn‘t very loud. Sometimes the talks around you were louder than SABATON‘s music.

But the crowd is waiting for IRON MAIDEN. The stage design reflects the ice-images of the popular “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son“ cover. Even many of the backdrops, which change for every song, show many famous single covers covered in ice and snow. As usual before the band enters the stage UFO‘s song ‘Doctor, Doctor‘ blasts through the venue‘s speakers. The group itself kicks in with ‘Moonchild‘, a song which IRON MAIDEN don‘t play that often. The crowd gets wild from the very first second and they won‘t slow down until their heroes finally leave the stage. Bruce Dickinson and the rest are in a good mood today and seem to enjoy playing all the classic songs, including some rare tracks they haven‘t played in a long time such as ‘Moonchild‘, ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son‘ or ‘Wasted Years‘. Of course there are enough classics like the ones of ‘Run To The Hills‘, ‘The Number Of The Beast‘, ‘Phantom Of The Opera‘, ‘2 Minutes To Midnight‘ or ‘Fear Of The Dark‘, which is the only song which appeared on a record released after “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son“. Unfortunatly, there is no song takem from “Killers“, too.
The band‘s iconic Eddie comes to stage, as well. During ‘Run To The Hills‘ a big walking figure of Eddie enters the stage and ‘fights‘ against guitar player Jannik Geers. There are some other Eddie sculptures during the set, too, and of course he appears on every backdrop in a different version. After the band‘s classic tune ‘Iron Maiden‘ they leave the stage. But they return soon afterwards for the encore of this great show. IRON MAIDEN deliver three more tracks: ‘Aces High‘, ‘The Evil That Men Do‘ and ‘Running Free‘. After the last chords of ‘Running Free‘ faded out, the outro ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life‘ plays along and the band leaves the stage, promising to come back soon.

Text © by Sebastian Berning