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Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 28, 2011    
 
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Iron Maiden - Singapore Indoor Stadium (Singapore) - 15th of February 2011.

Although loved by some and loathed by many, business travel can offer some unforeseen benefits, and this time it did not disappoint. On assignment for my day job (and no, journalism is unfortunately not how I pay the bills), I was afforded the chance to witness history in the making…for the first time ever in their illustrious 30+ year career, Iron Maiden performs in Singapore! This gig represented the second stop on the latest leg of the tour in support of their latest release, 'The Final Frontier'.

As I'm sure most of the readers of Fireworks & Rocktopia are unaware, Singapore audiences are traditionally known to display their appreciation with only subdued exuberance. However, tonight was much different as the event was greeted by crowd of rabid fans, travelling from as far as Shanghai, China to witness the proceedings. Indubitably, everyone on hand was ready to 'Up The Irons' with voracious fervor at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The band Rise To Remain was on hand to open the evening's festivities and delivered an albeit short but engaging set. A member of the 'Nu Metal' scene, they proved to be a very capable band and encourage anyone a fan of bands like Shadows Fall, Trivium and In Flames to check them out.

Although not sold out, Iron Maiden performed to a near-capacity crowd. Despite my distance from the stage (I purchased my ticket late!), my compromised vantage point did not affect the experience. I would argue that there is not a bad seat in this fantastically designed venue which can host as many as 10,000 humans (and should be considered as a model by which future venues around the world are designed). The sound of the venue was absolutely superb and the FoH (Front of House) mix was near perfect.

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In keeping with the theme of the album, the stage sported a space-aged theme, complete with Nicko McBrain neatly buried behind his massive drum kit. UFO's 'Doctor Doctor' was the house tune that ushered the band onstage with cheers from the audience enough to evoke goose bumps. As a founding member, motivational and overall creative force of the band, Steve Harris was in sublime form, pounding out his trademark basslines with alacrity, locking in tightly with Nicko McBrain's bombastic stylings. Similarly, Bruce was full of energy throughout, perhaps due to the fact that a majority of the show catered to material post-2000, or perhaps due to the fact that this was only the second show of this leg of the tour. The evening concluded with a tendentious delivery from Nicko with the words, "Good Night Singapore…"

Although criticism is only minor, my biggest disappointments were completely non-musical. First was the merchandise booth. The wares on display were limited to not much more than a few (overpriced) T-shirts, baseball cap and tapestry. My only other negative remark would be concerning Eddie's onstage appearance. A quick stage crossing amounting to no more than one minute is all that was to be seen during their eponymously titled song.

Although I felt that the set was a bit rushed in spots (perhaps due to the strict Singapore curfew of 11PM) with the older material suffering the most, the later songs were performed with greater care. Taken as a whole it was a fine set that reflected a band that, after more than three decades of writing and touring, is still firing on all cylinders and was well worth the price of admission.

All of whom I spoke with after the show agreed and were more than satisfied with the performance. If the majority is pleased, there is nothing more to say, as they exit feeling satiated that their money was well spent. Thankfully, Iron Maiden continues to be a bastion of British Heavy Metal, performing it to millions of fans around the world and delivering a high-calibre show. I offer my accolades to the band for finally bringing their talents to Singapore, who obviously waited quietly for the better part of 30 years to enjoy this spectacle. Regardless of how you may feel about their later material, I recommend anyone and everyone to check out Iron Maiden on this current tour in support of 'The Final Frontier'.

Brent Rusche

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