Scream for me Dublin!

Iron Maiden, 3Arena, Dublin, 06 May 2017


Way back in September 1990 I attended my first Iron Maiden concert.  I was a fifteen year old Heavy Metal Fanatic and this was a big deal for me.  I remember vividly the sense of excitement and the feeling of camaraderie as we walked in our thousands—clad in denim and leather and the obligatory white sneakers—along the quays towards the old Point Depot.

Twenty seven years later, I’m partaking in the same pilgrimage and the air is charged with that same sense of anticipation.  It’s a beautiful day in May and Dublin is swarming with metal fans.  Loud rock music is blaring from Lanigans and other pubs along the quays as we make our way to the venue.  The mood is high and the atmosphere is that of a carnival.

Eddie overseeing proceedings

Maiden are known for their elaborate stage shows and The Book of Souls Tour does not disappoint.  The stage is beautifully decked out in Mayan themed imagery that matches the artwork of the latest album to the finest of details.  The video intro which leads into If Eternity Should Fail, the opening track from The Book of Souls, is enough to drive the capacity crowd into near frenzy and by the time the band hit the stage, the 3Arena is a cauldron of noise.

The set list is one of the best in recent years and classics like The Trooper and Wrathchild sit nicely alongside new tracks like The Book of Souls and The Red and the Black without interrupting the flow of the show one iota.  Children of the Damned was one of the highlights of the night, in my opinion and the version of Powerslave was absolutely masterful.  Death or Glory from the new record is fast becoming a fan favourite, evidenced in Dublin by the thousands of voices singing along with Bruce Dickinson, who takes the opportunity to show that he doesn’t take it all too seriously, singing the whole track while wearing a monkey mask.  Those who know the song will know why!

All the necessary elements needed to make up a great Iron Maiden show were there:  Steve Harris machine-gunning the front row with his bass, Bruce Dickinson ping-ponging about the whole stage like a man half his age, the scrap between Eddie and Janick Gers, and a huge, brooding Baphomet overshadowing the band during The Number of the Beast.

Is this metal enough for you?…

The fact that Iron Maiden, after so many years of recording albums and touring around the world, can still fill huge venues and present a set list containing nearly fifty percent brand new material is incredibly impressive.  It demonstrates how relevant the band still is to the world of rock music and how committed and hard working they are as musicians.  Their fans of course realise this and that’s why Maiden are still at the apex of the metal pyramid.  Here’s hoping that there will be another album and another tour.

Up the Irons!


Ian O’Sullivan

Metal fans are violent, sour & dumb – Don’t ya think?

Well, the research would suggest otherwise

Let’s face it: Metal fans get a bad rap. They’re generally regarded as being unkempt, uncultured, loutish, and dour. And with that racket they listen to they must be a bunch of violent morons, right?

WRONG! Various academic studies in recent years have confirmed that metal fans are not guilty of all the offences listed above, and more.

Earlier this year, University of Queensland’s School of Psychology honours student Leah Sharman and Dr Genevieve Dingle conducted a study to monitor the effects of heavy music on a person’s mood and behaviour. The results showed that, in comparison to listeners of other music genres, metal fans were mainly calmed and inspired by their music! — despite the fact that the genre is awash with violent lyrics and imagery.

Cannibal Corpse, the world's top-selling Death Metal act.
Cannibal Corpse, the world’s top-selling Death Metal act.

Another study published this year found that, among its subjects –  fans of various musical genres in the 1980s, it was the heavy metal fans who turned out to be generally more content and happy in later life. Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians and Fans, published in the journal Self and Identity (via Pacific Standard), found that while “metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky ‘sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll’ lives, the metalhead identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes”.

That’s all well and good, but they’re still stupid right? Nope. Apparently quite the opposite:

In March of this year it was revealed that a disproportionate number of members in the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick in England (a body of 120,000 students which represents the top 5% of academic achievement), list heavy metal as their favourite kind of music.

There’s also a metalhead among the team that recently discovered water on Mars. Nepalese-American grad student Lujendra “Luju” Ojha, one of the discoverers of recurring slope lineae, the lines of flowing salt water that were observed on Mars, used to play in a metal band himself!

So, there you go: Metal fans are calm, happy and smart. Maybe YOU need more metal in your life!