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You wanted the best? Both Iron Maiden and Anthrax did their damnedest to give you exactly that


Photo: John-Son

Dansk version

It's impossible not to love Iron Maiden. Actually it ought to be obligatory.

Even though the ageing metal maidens kicked off in rather rusty fashion when this year's headline act opened Copenhell 2014.
"Moonchild", "Can I Play With Madness" and "The Prisoner" got the band off to a rather shaky beginning and drummer Nicko McBrain simply doesn't play as well as he used to. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though – he could simply have had an off night Wednesday.

However, if the crowd wants a party that's what they're bloody gonna get. Just trust front man Bruce Dickinson with that assignment. The 55-year old still delivers with unbridled energy on an astounding level and never – as in NEVER – takes no for an answer.

We got a crushing cavalcade of classics from the Heavy Metal Giftshop's top shelves and of course Iron Maiden hit their stride and the magic we know so well with “2 Minutes To Midnight".

Can I Play With Madness
The Prisoner
Two Minutes To Midnight
The Trooper
Number Of The Beast
Phantom Of The Opera
Run To The Hills
Wasted Years
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden
Aces High
The Evil That Men Do

Caught In A Mosh
Got The Time
In The End
Fight ‘em Till You Can’t
I Am The Law

The ingredients in the cauldron that boils up aforementioned magic gelled completely and perfectly in a breathtakingly beautiful “Fear Of The Dark", a formidable fluent "Wasted Years", an epic "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" and – not least – good old "Phantom Of The Opera". The last mentioned for a while took me back to April 1980 when I experienced a rather unknown band called Iron Maiden in the now sadly defunct Marquee Club in London.

Wednesday's concert was yet another good one for the annals – not least because of an excellent performance by Adrian Smith whose fluent leads were brilliant all the way.

Having said that, another bunch of veterans were to drag Copenhell's Wednesday up to the five star mark.

Enter: Anthrax who in the early evening hit the stage with "Caught In A Mosh" in a manner so exuberant that it was only fitting that they played "Madhouse" immediately after. We were sure getting there.
30 years into their carreer the New York City thrash veterans really are better than ever. They proved that two years ago when they first played Copenhell and they hammered that fact home Wednesday.

Said hammer was wielded by drummer John Dette – stand in for regular drummer Charlie Benante who's nursing an injured hand.
Dette really did whip and swing Anthrax upwards and upwards, peaking with – among others – “Indians", a brilliant cover of AC/DCs' “T.N.T." and one helluva potent “Antisocial" complete with guest appearance from Volbeat's Rob Caggiano who of course was in Anthrax for many years before he joined Michael Poulsens' troops.

Antisocial? Rather the complete opposite. A wonderful and heartwarming (now there's a word you don't see in a metal review every day!) performance that really sent you away happy.

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