Views from the Pit: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier tour 2011

The Gods of Heavy Metal finally arrive in Singapore, more than 30 years late.

When LAMC announced last year about the possibility of heavy metal Gods, Iron Maiden, heading towards Singapore as one of the stops of the Final Frontier Tour 2010-2011, fans went rabid, snapping up tickets from the day it was released. The day finally arrived on 15th February, their debut performance in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Fans started queueing since the night before, with hopes to get the front rows at the show. Even then, by 1 PM the next day, the queue was disappointing, with only 2 rows of people waiting eagerly under the scorching sun. However, as the time of the concert drew near, more people arrived as the skies turned dark. It soon started to rain and the crowd were moved into the shelter, with unclear instructions and atrocious crowd control leading to instant chaos and curses and swears hurled towards security. Further unclear instructions were given out, causing people who have already dried themselves to get drenched once more. It was only after a few huge confusions that fans were finally let into the stadium at around 7 PM.

A band of Maiden’s stature certainly needs no opening act, and it was therefore surprising to see the banner of the opening band, Rise to Remain (featuring Bruce Dickinson’s son as frontman) on the stage. It was not long after fans started entering the venue that the band started their show. The mismatch with Maiden‘s music, with the breakdowns, the screams and the whiney vocals in their music aside, Rise to Remain‘s set felt almost like a filler time for people to move into the venue. The donning of a Taake shirt by singer Austin certainly did not help matters as it felt almost blasphemous, seeing a metalcore frontman in a black metal shirt (the black metal elitist side of me seeps out…). Austin certainly has huge shoes to fill, considering father Bruce’s reputation in the international heavy metal scene. While some of the fans in the front were going crazy with the intense shoving, moshing and crowd surfing, people at the back waiting for the real show to begin were taking a breather from the earlier chaos, sitting down and taking a break before Maiden gets the show going. The real cheers came when the band announced their final song as it marked the moment that everyone has been waiting for…

Setlist:
1. Satellite 15… The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight
4. Coming Home
5. Dance of Death
6. The Trooper
7. Blood Brothers
8. The Wickerman
9. When the Wild Wind Blows
10. The Talisman
11. The Evil that Men Do
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Iron Maiden

Encore:
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed be Thy Name
16. Running Free

More cheers started emitting from the crowd as Satellite 15 played over the PA, complete with 3D animations played on the screens at the both sides of the stage. As Satellite 15 ends and The Final Frontier began, the crowd went insane as the members of Maiden finally grace the stage. Iron Maiden had previously promised that this tour will showcase not only works from their latest opus, The Final Frontier, but also a number of classics from their discography. Songs like 2 Minutes to Midnight and The Trooper certainly brought the loudest cheers, with the most epic moment of the set being Fear of the Dark, which never fails to bring the crowd to sing along with the tunes. The highest point came as Maiden played their closing song, the self-titled Iron Maiden, when the new incarnation of Eddie came on stage, and Janick Ger’s teasing by throwing his guitar towards Eddie. A guitar was eventually passed to Eddie, with Eddie “playing” along with the band for the final riffs of Iron Maiden.

Throughout the show, Bruce proved what it meant to be a frontman, and not just the singer of the band with his numerous antics. Constantly dancing to the tunes, jumping and doing a mid-air split, coming on stage in a military-styled uniform and the Union flag was only a small part of what he was capable of doing to charm the crowd. Perhaps the perfect example would be on Dance of Death, where he sings and acts out the emotions of the song, yet not losing any of his pitch, further proving his capabilities as one of heavy metal’s greatest voice.

Of course, how could we forget his famous ranting onstage? As he mentioned about his experience earlier in the day of having another Englishman telling him how dead the crowd in Singapore was going to be, he was greeted by cheers, proving the notion wrong. On the closing song of the encore, Running Free, the band also got the crowd to participate with the shouting of “Running Free” during the chorus, and as the final moments of the song arrived, Bruce asked the crowd if they were ready, only to be greeted by uncertain cheers by some, to which he commented “Awww fuck! Come on, are you guys ready?” and it was only then that a definite cheer was heard. There was even a short moment where Bruce poked fun at the strict (and even ridiculous) laws of Singapore. As the show came to an end, the band promised the crowd that this was not going to be the only time they will head to Singapore (and I certainly hope so as well!), ending the concert with the lighting up of the stadium and Monty Python‘s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” over the PA system.

One thing that caused the show to falter slightly was the sound of the show. While standing in the middle of the pen gave a bad sound, standing nearer the back gave a more decent sound, while not perfect. At times, Bruce’s vocals could not be heard, and so were each of the guitarists’ solos. However, this did not stop Iron Maiden from giving a kick-ass show.

Few bands actually manage to jerk a tear in me (probably not even other metal legends like Metallica), but Maiden certainly did and it was almost like a spiritual experience, watching the band who have crafted classics like “The Number of the Beast” and the likes performing live onstage in front of me. Despite the crappy experience before the show, Maiden more than made up for it and this is one show that will certainly go down in Singapore’s heavy metal history.

Iron Maiden’s gonna get… All of you!!!

Related articles:
Album Review: Iron Maiden – Dance of Death
Album Review: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
Album Review: Iron Maiden – El Dorado (single)
Interview with The Iron Maidens (The world’s only female tribute to Iron Maiden)

Iron Maiden on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
YouTube

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

15 comments

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  1. Oh my god, Singaporean fans should stop giving a damn on what T-shirt a person wears! I can like metalcore and still wear a god damn Taake tee. It's petty issues like this that makes the Singaporean scene SHIT.

  2. i do believe though that issues like this are not prevalent ONLY in the singapore scene.

  3. Doesn't mean we have to follow the ways of others. We should learn to respect other genres more. I myself am guilty for hating certain genres but I don't go around criticizing the fella for wearing an Anthrax tee or what not. Just my 2 cents

  4. And so we have to follow everyone else all over the world. Right. Using the word blasphemous….wow. I really don't know what to say anymore.

  5. and, so it's fine if Britney wears a Taake tee, and your favourite metal dude stars dressing up like elton john? So one day one of our leaders decides to wear some SS pride shirt for rally it is fine cos it is his secret hobby? It should be absolutely ok for cos it is a 'petty issue'. 🙂 Think about it this way:It is still borderline ok if you wear it, but not if you are performing, and image is part of the whole package on stage. Whether you like it or not, image is very important to one, and even more if he's decided to walk a route of a public figure. I don't really know what is suitable for Austin, but wearing the lastest maiden tee would be really sweet, but some of my friends are tougher, they said he's playing metalcore so he still shouldn't. *shrugs*

  6. of course, it's perfectly fine for people like rihanna to throw horns nowadays.

  7. I think how a band looks like and presents themselves on-stage matters to people a little too much nowadays. A band can have a silly name and partake in cross dressing for all I care. As long as they write and play good music, I couldn't give a damn.And besides, think of it this way. By Austin wearing a Taake tee, doesn't that mean he himself is a fan of the band and is trying to show his support for the band? Honestly speaking, I was only aware of such a band till I read your review. Doesn't that make him wearing such a tee a good thing? Like Austin or not, the guy's just doing what every band out there should be doing; supporting each other despite of their differences.

  8. At least we know Austin listens to Taake…if Britney wore it, I don't even think she can read it lol. Like it or not, Austin isn't out there to follow his dad's legacy. Perhaps he wants to create his own legacy. Let him be. But saying it's blasphemous for him to wear a Taake tee…that is so wrong.Ah, fuck even George W. Bush throws the devil horns.

  9. What i derive from all this is that it's all about the image. Im starting to get a feeling there is some double standard going on here…."so it's fine if Britney wears a Taake tee, and your favourite metal dude stars dressing up like elton john?" Well, seriously, i cant give more of a damn who wore what. It's not anything if anyone wants to wear an outfit that looks like it came from the closet of elton john. It's all very elitist in singapore i realize. In that respect, at least, the heavy metal tribune and the singapore metal horde are the same. Always thinking they have the right to judge people. Which i find to be very ironic, because it reminds me of mainstream culture. Very vicious, very elitist. It's because of people like you guys that we all just wallow around in our own filth, when we can do much better things in our lives. Austin produces great music, so i really can't give more of a shit if he goes up there stark nude, as long as he performs."of course, it's perfectly fine for people like rihanna to throw horns nowadays."Again with judging people. "the horns" was never created by Dio, he too took it from somewhere else.

  10. @One Final Breath: Ah ah, now you're making the same kind of prejudice against britney that you said we made. I could ask you the same, how'd you know if austin knows what he's wearing? I will need you to learn a little bit more about taake and understand why we are making such a statement here. I believe in you!Sure we're open to whatever legacy he wants, but I still feel that image is really important, you like it or not, he will always be associated with his dad. Which is a good and bad thing, might need to work extra hard, might need to work lesser, who knows? (we're not his son haha)and people will ALWAYS judge you by your cover first. agk. george throws it for another reason, come on, google is your best friend. @Andrew: At least 'One Final Breath' is bringing me some perspectives, you're just missing the whole point. You're pretty 'elitist' yourself to criticize Sir Elton John. Didn't you just judge him? Same thing, just because you think his wardrobe is shit doesn't mean the world thinks so. It is because of people like you who are not upfront about being judgmental. He's a great fashionista. Just cos we think it is wrong for austin to wear a taake shirt doesn't mean you have to agree, and I am not saying you are not allowed to talk about your disagreement. It is absolutely ok to feel that way cos you feel it, and you feel the need to say it. So don't be judgmental and say that we are judgmental. I just realised that I am pretty pointless. lol. OK in short, we all all judgmental so don't start pointing fingers. So similarly, I guess you are same as them like you've mentioned, not us tho (trying to keep up with your expectation of our elitism here)? Very vicious, maybe not elite enough hurhur. I can't really give a shit if he went up naked tho. In fact I'd be VERY interested to see it! But maybe wearing a taake shirt, or some hippie bikini, is way out of order in our opinion. There is a reason why SCHOOL A ppl will fuck up the SCHOOL B boy who wore their SCHOOL B Shirt. It's about pride. (bad analogy but I cannot think of any better normal analogies, maybe u shud research on cultures) If image wasn't important then you will be missing out a lot of hot chicks out there, or religious people will be running naked.I'm just illustrating that everyone is judgmental, and criticise to an extent, and we all had our own image faux paus, and a tribune cannot be all positive and censor the negatives and the politically incorrect (I am sure we have had enough of censorship and PC bullshit), and of course, we welcome all your comments and feedback, but just don't expect us to sit by and shut up about it 🙂 Hope you all might understand. Anyways, it is very healthy to have a discussion but let's aim to progress and mature every time we add a rebuttal. Hope I am not tripping too many live wires right here. :Dkay, i'm tired, hope I'm not being too stupid.

  11. what i actually find ironic and almost hilarious is, when you guys talk about respect for the artist you choose to talk about my point about the shirt he's wearing instead of talking about the people who sat at the back of the pit… and about the respect for the band part? hey, at least i had the respect to even talk about the band here. also, whether Austin actually wants to be compared with Bruce or not, there is bound to be comparisons.and so if maiden start dressing like trannies and not have the backdrops and props on the stage it's fine i suppose… believe it or not, watching maiden is not only about watching maiden the band per se, but more of the overall package. when we mention maiden live, i believe what you see is an epic show with superb showmanship and excellent backdrops and props. but i guess people nowadays are satisfied with maiden performing on a bare stage (since songwriting and music are the only important elements, showmanship and overall image not anymore!)we arent judging anyone. if you dont like what you see, then why bother reading in the first place? if we had been judgmental, we wouldn't even mention Rise to Remain in the first place.i believe hoest would rather not have a -core band "promoting" his band anyway.

  12. Well sure, a band's image can be important at times but here's the thing. Austin's wearing a black METAL tee performing with his METALcore band. I'm fine if you think Metalcore isn't ''real'' metal but thing is, they still belong in the heavy music subculture. So my point being, what's so blasphemous about that? It's not like Austin is wearing that Taake tee while spinning remixes at clubs. The guy's just paying his dues and showing his liking for the band. Isn't that the reason why all of us wear band tees?And yea, it's not that you mentioning RTR's performance at the concert wasn't appreciated. It's just that you had a one-sided and bad opinion on the performance. You can say they can't write good parts all you want. That's your opinion. However, I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that they are good at their instruments. They were very tight at what they played and they didn't mess up despite all the shit they were given on that night. People around me were constantly shouting ''fuck off'' and they didn't budge. An opening band's job is to warm up the crowd for the main headliner act. Isn't that what they did? Honestly speaking, I agree that RTR being an opening act for a crowd that has a bad opinion on Metalcore isn't the best idea. You however can't deny the fact that they did a pretty damn good job at it

  13. Sorry I wanted to add something, deleted the previous post^ I did think that the maiden fans were pretty rude when they told RTR to fuck off tho haha. I do think there is a reason why iron maiden approved this metalcore band to open for them.But I still think it is as inappropriate as miley cyrus wearing maiden tee to perform her nursery rhymes. I don't think the issue here is about us 'despising' metalcore or not, it is just inappropriate image wise, nothing to do with whether pop or metalcore is 'lesser than metal'.

  14. zamir: if you really do want an explanation from my personal pov on why it's so blasphemous, here you go. black metal was born as a form of rebellion against the trend, and its ironic that a band playing trend music is wearing a shirt of a band coming from a genre where the ideology is precisely against trends. it is as ironic as people who proudly buy and don Che Guevera shirts – printing shirts and making money off an anti-capitalist icon? seriously?to end this argument, i just wanna say that whether you agree or disagree with me, my stand does not change. you may think that the band's image doesnt matter (whether they decide to perform nude on stage or cross dress on stage) and it's only the music matter, but i believe that for the premium price that the audience is paying, the band's image will certainly matter. oh well, not like RTR were the headlining band, all of us were there for maiden anyway.

  15. What ever it is, I love metal, I love punk. Taake is awesome, Iron Maiden is awesome, RTR is cool. Now let's all go live happily ever after. The End.

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