After posting some pics of the two Maiden gigs in Dortmund on our social media channels, now a few more words about the two evenings in the venerable Westfalenhalle.
Monday already showed that great things were approaching: During the British Lion concert at the FZW, it was obvious after just a few moments that Mr Harris continues to enjoy being on a stage and celebrating a loud evening together with the audience. Since his second band now has a lot of solid songs, the playing time of 100 minutes flew by – for those who haven’t seen British Lion yet: If you like melodic metal and hard rock, you should definitely drop by next time. The whole band was very eager to play – and seeing Steve in a small club is simply something very special.
On Tuesday, there was a perfect set-up already in the afternoon when Sven – singer and lead guitarist of Biwo – stopped by to pick up 2 crates of Dortmunder beer. The well-deserved prize after his band had won the German Underground Pearls tournament on our blog. Of course, we mainly discussed Maiden – both of us have already experienced many concerts of the NWOBHM legend and had an idea of what was ahead of us.
About the first evening: Although I was quite late, I managed to find my way to the fifth row on Tuesday – it was surprisingly relaxed. I followed the concert directly under the big gun with which Bruce was later to send Eddie running. At the same time, I had a premium view of Janick throughout the gig, mobile and agile as ever. I had known the setlist for some time, so there were no surprises for me on that level. Nevertheless, there was no stopping me for songs like “Caught Somewhere In Time“, “The Time Machine“ or “Death of the Celts“. If you are already completely sweaty after half of the set, you are definitely at the right event. But the highlight was still to come: “Alexander the Great“! Words are needless here – this was a dream come true! Since Eddie’s boys were all in top form, I’m already looking forward to listening to a live version of this epic masterpiece regularly in the near future. The entrance fee was worth it for that alone! The fact that this was followed by more of a standard programme was not a problem for me, as there were numerous songs to listen to beforehand that I had never had the chance to experience live before. The idea to open the encore block with the likewise excellent “Hell On Earth“ was brilliant. The closing tracks “The Trooper“ and “Wasted Years“ demanded everything from the crowd once again – and I was almost scared when I saw my face on my smartphone at the tram stop… no idea how I made it home in that state. The battery wasn’t flat, it was non-existent….
About the second evening: But of course it continued the following day. I was very happy that my friend Flo from Hamburg made his way to Dortmund – the last time we had seen each other was in April at my Visigoth weekend in the Hanseatic city. The crowning glory was the fact that Flo had won first to the barrier tickets, so we were among the lucky ones who were allowed into the hall first. I’ve often had very good spots close to the stage when seeing Maiden, but I’ve never been this close – directly in front of Bruce in row 2. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again, dear Flo! On this evening, I especially enjoyed the excellent view of Dave and Adrian – what could be better than watching these two masters perform their magic. Maiden, of course, delivered a top performance on Wednesday as well, which will not be surpassed by any band this year. Fortunately, Nicko also looked amazingly fresh that night, so I hope to see Eddie and the boys again possibly in 2024 or 2025.
To conclude, I really enjoyed the setlist – the mix of new tunes and old was excellent. Adding shorter numbers like “Can I Play With Madness“ or “The Prisoner“ turned out to be a very good idea too. The stage show was also excellent: not overloaded, but very tasteful, with bangs at the right places. The sound was fine in front of the stage on both evenings – unfortunately you can have bad luck here when you see Maiden… Furthermore, it is always nice for me to experience concerts in my living room, the Westfalenhalle. Sure, the venue is getting on in years, but it has charm and is unique in its construction. Maiden and Dortmund – it just fits! Celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary here would be a dream – but then please with “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son“ and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner“ on the setlist. A good support band wouldn’t be bad either…