Iron Maiden: They didn’t play the hit.
The Roskilde line up this year was a young one. The Arctic Monkeys, the Strokes, Kings of Leon: they are all the new generation of rock and roll bands, tomorrow’s legends to be. Iron Maiden on the other hand are the elder statesmen, the old men in the company of boys. As the last band in the world to still have their own private jumbo jet, it is safe to assume that Iron Maiden know how to put on a show. They are legendary: the only Metal band to have an enduring hit.
It was a good show. For six wrinkly old buggers, Maiden are surprisingly agile. I took note of the rather homo-erotic display of flexibility, the David Lee Roth spandex stretches. Hell, David Lee Roth probably pilfered his moves from them in the first place. God knows what these Olympic feats of stretchy leg work had to do with rock and roll, but they do look very impressive. From a distance it was easy to forget that Iron Maiden have been around for so long: they attacked that stage like teenagers. Still, they didn’t play the hit.
The thing that really pulls Iron Maiden together is Bruce Dickensen. Rumor has it that the rest of the band don’t get along with him which is why they keep him up front flying the plane so they don’t have to talk to him. After thirty odd years, who wants to hang out on a long haul flight with a guy you can’t stand? That’s the word on the street anyway. Maybe it isn’t true and they get along together like a big happy family. But if Bruce is unlikeable, the one ace up his sleeve is the sheer power of that incredible voice. If Iron Maiden are a pack of old geezers, Bruce sounds like he is in his prime. Get rid of Bruce, and the age would catch up to Iron Maiden pretty damn fast. Still, he didn’t sing the hit.
In the end, Iron Maiden cancelled their interviews. What would we ask them anyway that they haven’t been asked before? But I do have a question and I want it answered. I am not alone either. Why, oh why, did you not play Run To The Hills? Seriously?! That is probably the only song that everyone knows! It’s a seminal rock classic. Frankly, playing a recoding of the Life of Brian soundtrack might have been funny in 1988 but it is just bloody frustrating now. I am of the opinion that if a band has a hit then it is bad bloody manners not to play it. The fans have paid for that jet, perhaps a hundred times over: Iron Maiden owe them the hits.