at Trondheim Rock Festival 2008, Second Edition, July 22, 2008

Authors: Andreas Nergård and Kristian Nergård

July 22nd was the date Iron Maiden was to headline the second day of Trondheim Rock Festival in Trondheim, Norway. The first day took part over a month earlier with Judas Priest as headliner, but where only 4000 showed up to see the Metal Gods, 23,000 came to see Iron Maiden. That number made Iron Maiden’s first show ever in Trondheim the biggest concert the city has ever seen. Trondheim Rock Festival has turned out to be one of the most significant reasons why Trondheim is the number one Rock City of Norway. It would be a night to remember, but before Maiden rocked Lerkendal Stadion, it was time to be warmed up by Avenged Sevenfold and Lauren Harris.

Lauren Harris

Lauren Harris is, as you may have guessed, Steve Harris’ daughter. There are, however, no traces of her old man in the music she plays. Her musical style is a crossover between PowerPop and good old fashioned 80s styled Blues Rock. As the first warm-up, Lauren Harris and her band played a total of six songs, all from her debut album Calm Before The Storm (2008). Songs like “Like It Or Not” and “Steal Your Fire” are both good songs that are reminiscent of 80s Rock N’ Roll with a twist of something new, but unfortunately miss Harris’ voice was a bit monotone and plain, and she was unable to light a spark in the crowd like a good warm-up act should.

There was a nostalgic feeling coming from the music and the band’s appearance. The bass player, Randy Gregg, looks like a complete clone of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx from the Dr. Feelgood era. There was nothing wrong with his stage performance, as he kept running around all the time, rocking hard. Her backing band consists of solid musicians with years of experience, and they proved that they’re hired for a reason in spite of the sound problems that continued throughout the night. During their short set, the guitar fell out during a solo, you could only hear the cymbals and hi-hat from the drum section, and the bass sounded only like a rumble. However, Guitarist Richie Faulkner turned out to be the most impressive part about Lauren Harris and her band. He played some really cool and melodic solos that showed both skills and innovation, and it was a thrill to listen to him in spite of the huge amount of feedback that the sound crew was unable to kill.

Avenged Sevenfold

Next was American Heavy Metal/Metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold. These guys were far more experienced than young miss Harris and knew how to get the crowd in the right mood for Rock and Metal. The band will have kept it going for ten years next year and they recently released their fourth album Avenged Sevenfold (2007).

Drummer “The Rev” entered the stage at the same time as the organ intro for “Critical Acclaim,” from the already mentioned Avenged Sevenfold album, started. Then the rest of the band entered and the majestic twin guitar intro started. It’s easy to hear that they are inspired by Iron Maiden, because twin guitars seem to be a common part of their music. From the twin guitar intro, they went on to the crazy scream part that really kickstarts the song. Despite the fact that there were a noticeable number of Avenged Sevenfold fans among the audience; the band knew who the crowd was there to see. As the band started playing the intro to Iron Maiden’s “Flash Of The Blade,” vocalist M. Shadows shouted “No, no, no, the next band will play that!” The band was awesome despite that the sound was horrible. The bass sounded like a rumble here too and the cymbals from the drum section and the vocals dominated the “soundscape,” which really does a number on your ears.

In the middle of their set vocalist M. Shadows started reading t-shirts and banners the fans had in the front and he suddenly said “Fuck me, Bruce? You better show that to Bruce when he gets here.” It must be said that M. Shadows did a tremendous job onstage. His singing was flawless and he was all over the stage, making sure that everyone in the crowd knew what kind of band was on. “The Rev” had some vocal parts too. His high-pitched vocal parts on album sounds great, but he missed the notes totally in the live setting and it sounded just awful. Avenged Sevenfold played a lot of great songs, mostly from their latest self-titled effort. The hit single “Almost Easy” was highly welcomed among their followers, as well as by those that didn’t know them that well. Songs like “Scream” and “Gunslinger” were also played, both from the latest album. The highlight from their show was another new song entitled “Afterlife,” which contains some awesome riffs and melodies. There wasn’t much attention paid to the older stuff, the opener from their break-through album City Of Evil “Beast And The Harlot” was one of the few old songs that were played.

Iron Maiden

The stage was built just like the legendary Powerslave Tour back in the 80’s with pyramids and an Egyptian theme, and they hit it hard with an amazing pyro show. As expected, you could hear Churchill’s speech before the band entered, and when they opened with “Aces High” one couldn’t help but feeling awe as goosebumps rose on the skin. Next was “2 Minutes To Midnight” and the epic “Revelations,” but when they played “The Trooper” and Bruce Dickinson, dressed in a uniform, waving Union Jack, the crowd went nuts.

As usual, Iron Maiden had a huge amount of changing backdrops at the back of the stage. The backdrops functioned as a hint to the album of which the song they would play was taken off. During “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” they had a backdrop showing the inside of a ship. As the band entered the slow part in the middle of the song, the rig with lights would be lowered first on the right side and then on the left side and so forth, to simulate that the ship was being moved by huge waves. On top of this one could hear the sound of woodwork creaking, a sound that enhanced the experience. Before starting this song vocalist Bruce Dickinson was talking a bit about the bird that is mentioned in this song; the albatross. He told the story of how guitarist Adrian Smith came to Trondheim three days earlier than the rest of the band with the intentions of doing a lot of fishing. During those three days he had spent almost 20 hours of fishing without catching any. Bruce concluded that it must have been the albatrosses that had taken it all. In Norway, of course, there are no albatross, but it seems like the bird has made some impact on Bruce, because during “Heaven Can Wait” he suddenly pointed at a seagull and shouted “Oh, Albatross!”

The band seemed to enjoy themselves on stage and showed what a tremendous live act they are, all the way through the two hour long show. Bassist and band chief Steve Harris was all over the stage as always, and singer Bruce Dickinson sure had the charismatic appearance any Metal vocalist should strive to have and made sure the fans got what they came for. The thundering rhythms of Nicko McBrain created the roughest energy for the show and the guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith gave everyone a thrill with their passionate solos. The obligatory visit from mascot Eddie came as well, during “Iron Maiden” he entered the stage in an enormous mummy version, and during “The Clairvoyant” he came as Cyborg-Eddie.

There were only two negative things about the concert:

1. The sound crew seemed to struggle during Maiden’s performance as well. At the beginning of the concert the guitars were more or less absent, one of Adrian Smith’s guitar solos drowned in the mix (though they turned up his guitar towards the end of the solo). During “Wasted Years” the sound vanished completely for a second before coming back with a loud “BANG!” This was a noticeable problem this night and it’s quite a shame that a band of Iron Maiden’s caliber have to suffer because their sound crew don’t deliver the goods.

2. Janick Gers constant need to behave like a fool on the stage. You could hear murmurs like “What’s he doing?” and “I wish he wouldn’t hump his guitar like that” among the audience when he went horseback riding with his guitar. Iron Maiden has no real need for three guitarists and Janick Gers is not even THAT good.

As you may already have noticed there are NO pictures from this concert to be found in this review. That is due to the fact that we were not granted a photo pass for the show. Only the big newspapers with lots of money were allowed to take pictures. We saw this at the Tool show at Øyafestivalen last year too and it seems to be a growing trend among the biggest bands. They milk the tabloids for money, and the tabloids give them a shallow review and the highest score on the dice. Sites like Metal Express Radio, which is a site by Metal fans for the Metal fans, gets nothing. In the end, it’s you who read this that are ripped off. It’s time for the biggest bands to start acknowledging their fans again.


  1. Intro (Churchill’s Speech)
  2. Aces High (off Powerslave)
  3. 2 Minutes To Midnight (off Powerslave)
  4. Revelations (off Piece Of Mind)
  5. The Trooper (off Piece Of Mind)
  6. Wasted Years (off Somewhere In Time)
  7. The Number Of The Beast (off The Number Of The Beast)
  8. Can I Play With Madness? (off Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son)
  9. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (off Powerslave)
  10. Powerslave (off Powerslave)
  11. Heaven Can Wait (off Somewhere In Time)
  12. Run To The Hills (off The Number Of The Beast)
  13. Fear Of The Dark (off Fear Of The Dark)
  14. Iron Maiden (off Iron Maiden)
  15. Moonchild (off Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son)
  16. The Clairvoyant (off Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son)
  17. Hallowed Be Thy Name (off The Number Of The Beast)


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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