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Short and effusive, this recording shows the best incarnation of the early Iron Maiden, with the addition of guitarist Adrian Smith in a cheetah skin vest, the classic era string department was complete. The songs were already there, they just had to rock on. Every song featured here is a classic, the opener “The Ides of March” is played in the speakers just before the bands kicks in the stage, to set the mood. Immediately they start with “Wrathchild” a song I’m not a big fan of, but it is one of the band and crowd’s favorites. The audience’s reception is amazing, if you take notice that the band have released just one album at the time of the concert (December 21st, 1980) which also means that some of this songs were unreleased at the time, the ones featured on the “Killers” album.
The song that album is named after is the third track of the album, one of the first vicious and galloping riffs they wrote, an absolute winner. The guitar harmonics and the beginning are priceless, and played just like it sounds in the album. “Transylvania” comes up next, with all of its tempo changes and bass fills. Fast paced and heavy, another classic. The twin guitar leads section after the solo is priceless and executed perfectly. “Phantom of the Opera” is the first epic Arry composed and arranged, it fucking rules. Those creepy melodies from the beginning and the fast and fierce verse riff can’t be matched. The show’s closer was “Iron Maiden” the punkiest song by the band, I don’t love it but I still think is a pretty solid song and don’t mind to hear it on every show. There is not a lot of crowd interaction in between songs, they just came to play that day and let the music do the talking… at the end of the show some Eddie’s appear on the stage and some smoke is displayed.
The band’s stage presence was strong since that day, lots of headbanging from Harris and Murray, a cool looking guitarist that laughs while playing (Smith) and a frontman with a very strong personality enjoying their brightest moments. The bands image is very 80s obviously, Harris wore a silly colored spandex and the like, funny shit. Their performance is 100% accurate every note is played without any feedback or weird string-scratch. Pauses are done coordinated, the way it should be. The recording itself is top notch, music feels so live and realistic, just as if you were in the same room with the band! Production is crystal clear; this recording is the best of their early live albums.
Iron Maiden has always been known for their ferocious music and live shows, and this video captures the energy and music very well. This release features the classic line-up of the Killers, and every song on the tracklist for this is video is a classic. This is probably one of, if not the best, live representations of these songs.
Maiden is a very tight band here with a lot of raw energy, the twin guitars of Adrian and Dave are awesome, they really wail on this release with Steve's bass thundering right along with Clive's drums for that classic Maiden sound. Also, Paul Di'Anno really shines on this release, his vocals are excellent and fresh here (although, in my opinion, he IS the best Iron Maiden vocalist). The audience is really great and supportive on here, screaming right along with Di'Anno on the songs. "Phantom of the Opera" and "Transylvania" are two big highlights here, they just make you want to bang your head until your neck breaks! "The Ides Of March" and "Wrathchild" are a great kicking start to this too, they get you going, and the assault doesn't stop until the end with "Iron Maiden" which just leaves you begging for more.
The only complaint here is that the show is relatively short, but this is understandable as they only had one album out at this point, but this show is perfect the way it is. An interesting note here is that the version played of the song "Killers" has completely different lyrics from the album, because the song wasnt completely finished at the time of this show. All in all, get this concert! It's now available on "The Early Years Part 1" DVD.