Photo Credits: Chandra Prakash
Higher on Maiden received what one would say, a sonorous Indian invitation, with the microphones and the drum kit decorated with the customary garlands and needless to say, thousands of screaming fans. This UK band has been officially labeled as Iron Maiden’s only tribute band and the night of 12th March validated that.
The setlist was dynamic and progressive, as the band opened with ‘Moonchild’. Pure, unadulterated Iron Maiden songs were covered with utmost precision. With Big Dickinson’s theatrics that kept him on a par with Bruce Dickinson in addition to his operatic vocals, and Adrian Muth’s incredible stage presence, the fans seemed to be unnerved by the intermittent pauses due to drummer Clive Blurr’s illness.
Apart from Swifty Harris’ galloping bass strumming, one did not fail to notice his striking resemblance with the Iron Maiden legend, Steve Harris. Guitarists Adriam Muth and Dave Hurry alternated with the lead solos, therefore producing a scintillating effect. Clive Blurr’s speedy single pedal drumming was impeccable despite the short breaks he had to take.
The fans had a whale of a time when the band covered Maiden’s most popular songs that were mostly taken from The Number of the Beast. With everyone screaming out “666, The Number of the Beast!” and going as insane during ‘Transylvania’, nothing could be compared with the audience’s response to the quintessential ‘Fear of the Dark’ and ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’.
As soon as the ‘The Trooper’ had begun, a pit was forming. Occasionally, Swifty Harris and Dave Hurry were playing against each other. The harmonizing guitars and the extended lengthy solos were just as impressive, with no glitches whatsoever. Songs like ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Run to the Hills’ that required a fast tempo bass was done exceptionally well.
Meanwhile, Big Dickinson knelt down to the enthusiastic audience, while Adrian Muth got the crowd roaring with laughter. With people shouting the lyrics out loud, crowd surfing, moshing, jumping to catch Dave Hurry’s plectrums and headbanging, the show was kept alive. The low sound levels and the five minute pauses did not drain their spirits, and in fact, the gig moved some people to tears. While the audience expected the band to cover ‘Dance of Death’, Higher on Maiden ended their performance with ‘Run to the Hills’, which was equally enjoyable. All in all, this was a perfect tribute on Steve Harris’ birthday, considering they played his best songs!