Glasgow SECC - Iron Maiden - Greg Provan

The Gods of Heavy Metal themselves have returned to Glasgow – they have not lost their knack for masterful showmanship. Indeed; Dickinson was ceaseless in his bluster and guile, sometimes capering like an amorous baboon, at others with an ebullient insouciance no previous health concerns could lament. No, the pilot millionaire vocalist was at his indefatigable best. The head-scratching genius of the guitar work was handled with studied brilliance by Smith whilst Jers tried to steal eyes away from the front man, them frolicking, baiting one another – all the while stalwart bassist Harris and drummer McBraine brought up the rear, dependably.

Gone are the days since Maiden were prominent in the single charts – these days a shallow accomplishment – but it's worth remembering Book Of Souls claimed number one in the album charts. A fine achievement for the perennial rockers in such a cynical musically redundant age.

While Metallica wrestled for their crown as the kings of the big four, and Guns N' Roses ran unchecked, with their own dangerous degenerate brand of rock, Maiden were always there. Many bands tried to supplant them, would-be usurpers, but while others wavered, withered or wasted away Maiden have proven their indomitable longevity.

Fans from different generations lined up for the sell-out concert, some whispered about how many of the old songs would be played, others about when Eddie would appear, but these mutterings were subsumed by Wrathchild. The stentorian 80's track gratefully received. Rumours were abound about Hallowed be thy Name, an unfortunate impending court case meaning the fan favourite was too be eschewed. The dejection was long forgotten as Children Of The Damned was unleashed. Best song of the night, the chilling Powerslave bewitched the crowd - Dickinson with his customary death mask frenzying the fans with his ghostly mythical masterpiece.

Everyone wondered when and how Eddie would be wheeled out. He came from below literally rearing his gigantic tortured countenance and scarified upper torso from behind the band staring deathlessly from lidless demonic eyes. The crowd forgot themselves, forgot everything but the immortal mascot and ululated their homage to their false idol with the hunger of corpulent vampires in a blood bank.

Emotional anthem Blood Brothers cemented the conjugation of band member and fan while Wasted Years was the poignant goodbye, a goodbye to the legions of loyal fans. Maiden have indeed been going for years...but none of them 'wasted'.

Greg Provan