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IRON MAIDEN
Valle Hovin - Oslo, Norway
July 24 2008

Marilene, Andrew, Andrés, Ross and a friend

Iron Maiden are very big in Scandinavia and after seeing the Ullevi DVD from the 2005 tour, I wanted to see them there. As Swedish shows were sold out, I planned a trip to Norway. I visited a few places in the country (including Spitzberg and the far North) before attending the 2 shows of the Somewhere Back in Time Norwegian Tour, in Trondheim (July 22) and in Oslo (July 24).

Steve Harris in Oslo
Oslo is an amazing city. I think I've never seen so many people with Iron Maiden clothes walking the streets of any city in the world. There was even a lot people selling t-shirts in the streets (unofficial ones, of course).

Lots of bars and pubs were holding warm-up parties and aftershows before and after the concert.
There I met Andrew and Ross from the UK, two Metal Travellers who came to see Maiden in Oslo.
There something to clean on the stage....
The Valle Hovin is a speed skating rink during winter and a stadium for concerts and events during the summer. Other bands having played there include Metallica, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.

I took the subway to Helsfyr, had a couple of beers in front of the venue and got in.
Our favourite trooper in Oslo
This time I saw the opening act, Avenged Sevenfold. They delivered a very good show, much better that the one I saw at the Graspop Festival in Belgium a few weeks earlier.

I managed to get to the first pit and on the left side of the audience I found Andrew and Ross from the UK, and met a few other Metalheads, which you can see on the picture above on this page.
Steve harris in Oslo
The audience went mad when "Doctor Doctor" started; a lot of people were singing the lyrics. Then the screens began to show the film of the tour with " Transylvania" as a soundtrack.

Finally, the most awaited moment came as we heard Churchill’s voice saying “We shall go on to the end…”
“Aces High” started with fireworks and everyone was singing the chorus of this one, just as the following tune, “2 Minutes to Midnight”.

Andrew and Ross had a flag from Essex (where they live) and the Dave Murray saw it from the stage.

Bruce said this is the biggest tour they've ever done. There were 24 000 people in Oslo and 23 000 in Trondheim, so in 2 days the band has played in front of 47 000 people in Norway.

Iron Maiden playing The Number Of The Beast in Oslo, 2008
This is even more amazing when you know that Norways whole population is about 4 700 000 inhabitants... This means that about 1% of the Norwegian population has seen Iron Maiden in 2008! Amazing, they really like Metal in Norway.
Lights down during The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
The backdrop changed and we all knew what was coming next: “The Trooper”, with Bruce Dickinson dressed with a 19 th Century military Uniform and waiving the British Flag.

To introduce the next song Bruce talked again about the huge Somewhere Back in Time World tour, which has taken the band to 4 continents, and told us that there hasn’t been a single Wasted Year!
Comes the Rain...
And after that, the Devil’s statue appeared on the left side of the stage for “The Number Of The Beast”. There was a lot of fire and pyrotechnics during that one. It was followed by "Run To The Hills”, that was sung very loud by the whole Valle Hovin!

Time to talk about birds and albatrosses! Norway is a country with a long sailing tradition, so it was again very special to hear “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” there. This 13 minute-long song is great and the performance very theatrical, with a ship’s deck as a backdrop, Bruce dressed with a cape, the lights coming down the stage during the middle break, and fireworks and other visual effects during the solo.

And when it’s over and you still can’t believe what you’ve just heard, they hit with another epic song, “Powerslave”, where there’s also some fire on stage and Bruce wears his famous bird mask.
The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner... Of course we had a lot of jokes by Bruce Dickinson. This time it was about people seeing the show for free from a tower crane just outside the venue , where some construction works were ongoing. He told the audience twice to say "Hello!" with our hands to this people. He also stated that the band will come back soon with a brand new album.
So many people on stage for Heaven can wait!
I’ve never seen as many people on stage during “Heaven Can Wait” as in Oslo. There were some 40 persons over the whole stage between Steve Harris and Adrian Smith. Usually they stay around Steve Harris but here they were all over the stage. Of course everyone at Valle Hovin was singing!

After “Can I Play With Madness” Iron Maiden played the only song not belonging to the 80’s: “Fear Of The Dark”.
All 3 guitars

There’s no backdrop but a black curtain when they play “Fear Of The Dark”.

It’s one of the greatest live Iron Maiden songs and of course I enjoyed it and the reaction of the audience was great. But I still think that they shouldn’t have played on this tour. It could easily be replaced by another single from the 80’s like “Infinite Dreams”, “Flight Of Icarus” or “Stranger In a Strange Land”.

Iron Maiden's gonna get you...

Time to meet Eddie, who is coming as a mummy out of his sarcophagus.

The theatrical performance on this tour (just like the one from the “World Slavery Tour” back in 1984 and 1985) is one the best Iron Maiden has made.
It’s a very big Eddie over the band, with fire all around when the sarcophagus opens and fireworks from the eyes of the mummy at the end of the “Iron Maiden” song.

...No matter how far

Time for the encores, starting with “Moonchild”, one of the biggest surprises of the tour. It was followed by “The Clairvoyant” with Eddie showing up again as in the “Somewhere In Time” cover, and finally ending with “Hallowed be Thy Name”.

There was still daylight by the end of the gig, which was quite weird. I have to say that this was the best Iron Maiden performance I’ve seen on the “Somewhere back in Time Tour”.

Moonchild

The best crowd I’ve ever seen for Maiden was Colombia, and Poland in 2005 would be second, but the performance of the band in Oslo was the best I’ve seen on this tour. Ross agreed with me on that point, and he’s also seen a few shows from this tour.
Then Andrew screams “To the Pub!!”, and we finished the night at the Deville’s rock Bar in Oslo. Great concert, great crowd, great party!
What can I say? Maiden in Norway was 100% satisfaction!

Somewhere in Time Eddie during The Clairvoyant

Setlist Iron Maiden Oslo, Norway, July 24, 2008:

01. Intro - Churchill's Speech
02. Aces High
03. 2 Minutes to Midnight
04. Revelations
05. The Trooper
06. Wasted Years
07. The Number of the Beast
08. Run to the Hills
09. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
10. Powerslave
11. Heaven Can Wait
12. Can I Play With Madness?
13. Fear of the Dark
14. Iron Maiden
——————————
15. Moonchild
16. The Clairvoyant
17. Hallowed Be Thy Name

Links:
Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden Tour Travel Guide

Thank you and good night. From Iron Maiden, from Eddie, and from the Boys