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Belgrade Arena - Belgrade, Serbia
February 10, 2009

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Belgrade Arena and Iron Maiden - Beogradska Arena Since Iron Maiden announced that show, I had been waiting for it!

I spent 5 days in Serbia - including its autonomous region and self-declared independent country, Kosovo - (plus one day in Germany where I saw Lordi live in Filderstadt). So, soon you'll also have some pictures from that trip on the travel section of this website.
Metal Traveller in Belgrade Arena for Iron Maiden This concert was special and symbolic for several reasons.

First: On February 10 1999 Iron Maiden announced their reunion with Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith. Exactly 10 years day by day before this show.
You can see the news here on the Iron Maiden website archive or here at Kheldan's Iron Maiden pit (not updated since 1999).
Woah… Ten years! I can’t believe it!

Second: This was the only European date for the final leg of the Somewhere Back in Time Tour.

Third: This was the first date of the final leg of the tour. Iron Maiden's 2009 tour kicked-off in Belgrade.

Fourth: Belgrade is the only place where Maiden have ever player The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, back in 1986.

Fifth: This one only regards me. I’m 28, and this was my 28th time seeing Iron Maiden.
Adrian Smith and Janick gers from Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009
Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 Where should I start?

I arrived from Novi Pazar on the previous night, slept at the very nice Downtown Belgrade Hostel, met my friends that were coming from Budapest, we wandered around Belgrade and we headed to the Venue.

Beogradska Arena is located in the newest part of the town, accurately called Novi Beograd.
It opened in 2004 and is one of the largest arenas in Europe.
Apart from sport competitions, it has held the 2008 Eurovision song contest and concerts by Lenny Kravitz and Queen.
Steve Harris and Janick Gers - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 First thing to note was the huge security service in front of the arena.
Reportedly there were 560 people ensuring security for the concert. That’s a lot!

Maybe it explains the high ticket price.
The fan pit ticket was something like 45€.
That may seem normal or even cheap for people in Sweden, the UK or Norway, but in Serbia it’s expensive.
When Maiden played in neighbouring Croatia in summer 2008 the ticket was about 25€, which is more reasonable.
Dave Murray from Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009

I was lucky to win a “first to the barrier” from the Iron Maiden fan club.
This was the first time I had something like this.
I entered the arena with Nestor (a guy from Spain who was in Belgrade for the show) some other 50 contest winners one hour before the rest of the crowd.

I got on Steve/Janick side and suddenly I thought: It’s been almost 9 years since the last time I saw Maiden from the barrier.
This was in Essen, in November 2000. Damn, I’m getting old!

Half an hour after Lauren Harris show, UFO’s Doctor Doctor began.
Everybody started to sing and each second I had less space in the front row. Transylvania began with a film about the tour, which contained a lot of the new images from the forthcoming movie Flight 666.
Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 Then the lights went down and Churchill’s Speech began, soon followed by fireworks and Aces High! Iron Maiden were there again and it feels good to be there!

The first variation on the set came with Wratchild, right after 2 Minutes To Midnight. Bruce said previously that they were changing 5 songs for the final leg of the tour.
Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith with his double guitar playing Children Of The Damned - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 They often play Wratchild on tour, so Children Of The Damned was the first real surprise.

Adrian Smith got his double red Jackson Guitar for it.
This song is not often played live.
They played it on 2002 Clive Burr’s shows in London, as well as on the A Matter Of The Beast 2007 tour.
I had already seen it live, but I know this was a privilege.
Scream For Me Belgrade!

Well, let’s keep on with the surprises: Phantom Of the Opera.

Absolutely everyone was expecting that one!
It’s one the best Maiden and metal songs ever, and they did an amazing version of it.
By the way, Bruce started to sing the first verse a measure earlier, but he quickly got it right.

After Phantom Of The Opera, Adrian Smith began playing Wasted Years, but Bruce announced the next song was The Trooper!

That’s the kind of things that make a concert unique and it’s always fun.

Nicko! There's Something For Dinner! - The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Then Bruce began talking about birds. He asked “Is there anyone here on the Serbian Navy?”. That’s a tough question!
Since Montenegro declared independence in 2006, Serbia is a landlocked country. They used to have a strong navy, but I don’t know what happened to it? Did they sell it? Gave it to Montenegro? Do they still have navy facilities in Montenegro? I don’t know.
But right at this moment, someone from the audience threw a plastic chicken to the stage. Bruce began playing with it, talking about albatrosses and finally throw it to the drums “Nicko! There’s something for dinner!”

The Rime Of The Mariner had been played for the whole Somewhere Back In Time Tour, but as here they played Phantom Of The Opera, I thought they were going to skip it. I was wrong, they played it, and one more time I was in a total ecstasy while hearing it. The lightshow didn’t came down during the interlude, but we had all the fireworks
Powerslave - Bruce Dickinson and his mask - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 Other fireworks came for Powerslave, and Bruce was of course wearing his mask.

Then everything came so fast that I didn’t even see the end of the concert coming: Run to The Hills, Fear Of the Dark, Hallowed Be Thy Name and… what? Already Iron Maiden?
The Trooper: Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009

During the song Iron Maiden the sarcophagus and the big Eddie mummy didn’t appear.
The band said that they will be bringing all this on the ED Force One plane this time, but maybe they didn’t have enough space.

Anyway, we had the cyborg Somewhere In Time Eddie coming on stage with the Somewhere In Time album Background and a rain of fireworks. That’s impressive!

The Trooper: Bruce Dickinson with the UK Flag - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009

Oh, I haven’t talked about the lightshow yet.
Well, as usual with Maiden, it was great.

Lauren Harris had very few lights so I was afraid that Maiden didn’t have their complete lightshow. But they did.

The sound was also incredible although quite loud. The musicians aso delivered as usual a great performance.
Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009

The came the time for the encores.
They didn’t bring the devil on stage for The Number Of The Beast, but they played a great version and all the fireworks were there.

Then they played The Evil That Men Do, which replaced The Clairvoyant from the previous legs of the tour.

At this point I was wondering “They have already played Run To The Hills and Hallowed be Thy Name… How are they going to end the show…? Maybe Running Free?”

No, Bruce said “This is a song that we haven’t play for a long time” and so they went on with Sanctuary.
This song is a great live tune and I was happy to hear it again!

Don't touch my guitar!

Some people might be disappointed about the setlist.

I don’t think it’s fair: They played Phantom Of The Opera, Children Of The Damned, and kept tracks like Wasted Years and Powerslave which have been demanded for years!

OK, they could have replaced The Trooper, Wratchild, Fear Of The Dark and The Evil That Men Do for Moonchild, Heaven Can Wait, Stranger In a Strange Land and Killers.
But they didn’t and that’s still fine.
An Iron Maiden show is always something incredible, no matter what they play.

Janick Gers and Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009
Well, after that I spent some time with my friends from France and the people I met from Serbia and Spain.

We saw Steve Harris signing autographs but there was so many people so I decided not to go.
On the morning after I took my plane back home…And I missed the Iron Maiden at the airport for 20 minutes! There I would have loved to see them, as well as the plane.
Eddie and Steve Harris - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 Another great Maiden concert.

After having gone Somewhere Back In Time for over a year, they promised a new album soon.

I’ll be waiting for it!

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Eddie and Janick Gers - Iron Maiden in Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009

Setlist Iron Maiden – Belgradska Arena, Belgrade, Serbia – February 10, 2009

01. Intro: Churchill's Speech
02. Aces High
03. 2 Minutes To Midnight
04. Wrathchild
05. Children of the Damned
06. Phantom of the Opera
07. The Trooper
08. Wasted Years
09. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
10. Powerslave
11. Run To The Hills
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Hallowed Be Thy Name
14. Iron Maiden
15. Number of the Beast
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Sanctuary

Want to play? Janick Gers from Iron Maiden - Belgrade Arena, Serbia - February 10 2009 Links:

Iron Maiden Website
Iron Maiden Serbia fan club
More pictures from Belgrade
Iron Maiden on Metal Traveller's Flickr
Iron Maiden Wallpaper website
Iron Maiden Tour Travel Guide
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