Thanks, Iron Maiden, thanks for all. Thanks for understanding your fans' need, for recognizing your mistakes, for giving us your best concert we have seen in Italy since 10 years. Thanks to made me cry, and I was not the only one.

Arriving very early in Milan Forum, it was immediately clear that the atmosphere was of a great event. All sold out (the last sold out in Milan at an Iron Maiden's gig was in 1991), more than 15,000 fans filled the palace since the earliest hours of the day. There was something strange in the air, seemed that all the fans felt inside each one the sensation that our favourite band is not yet at the end.

It was so. Simple stage, simple but efficient lights, a great energy around the auditors. Some banners supported Bruce and Adrian's return (sorry Blaze: you are a wonderful person and a good singer, but Maidens ain't your business), the comments between fans before the performance were very curious about the three guitars togheder.

There was not so much time for thinking: 30 minutes before the expected time, the service lights turned off and Megadeth are ready to reverse on the palace an hurricane of notes, making a very great metal concert, full of energy. Dave Mustaine, in good form, excited the fans (very numerous) such as the other band components, first of all the new italian drummer, very fast and sharp. Megadeth are very followed in Italy, and they know it very well: rich tracklist, full of their great successes, with "Peace sells… but who's buying?" for the worthiest ending. The band left the stage under a storm of clapping hands, more than 5 minutes!

30 minutes break, and then, in the dark, a big screen at the top of the stage showed the images of "Ed Hunter", the Maiden's videogame, under the notes of "Transylvania". Immediately the audience explodes, the song arrives at the refrain and, immediately, Eddie in the screen picks up an aircraft and flies in the air. A lamp of lights, a second of silence and then... the Churchill's speech introducing "Aces High". It was the most exciting intro I've ever seen in an Iron Maiden concert. All persons in the palace remembered the famous "Live after Death" intro, and the atmosphere became magic. When the band started the first notes of the song, the excitement was at the top. Bruce, in superb health, short hair, all black and simple clothes, jumped immediately at the top of the stage and the fans saluted him with an hurricane of clapping hands. Bruce didn't change in this last years. He is always one of the best entertainer-frontmen, moving always with theatre manners. He answered with a great commotion to this welcoming back (somebody swears that he cried...) and started singing the song. The sound was not perfect. The area wasn't able to contain the power of Maiden's amplifiers and the result was of a dark sound. Considering that everybody in the audience sang with Bruce, for the first songs the sound engineers worked a lot to balance the volume.

Anyway, this energy around the band, this partecipation and of course this incredible starting tracklist (Aces High, Wrathchild, 2 Minutes to Midnight and The Trooper) made this an unforgettable concert. Since the first song was clear the great feeling between Dave and the renewed Adrian, Steve and Nicko, and Bruce with all. Janick, a little apart from them, played a good rithmic leaving Dave to the solos. But seemed that Janick was more interested to entertain than to play. He has a great attitude to move the guitar, throwing it in air, and so one. It's enough to note that Dave and Adrian stayed very close for all the show, while Janick was a little separated. Only "Hallowed be thy name" and "Powerslave" (the real big surprise of the tracklist) joined them all at the top of the stage.

This was a promotional tour for the videogame, of course, but was a big pleasure to listen to again the band's successes. So, apart from "Man on the edge", "Futureal" and "The Clansman", all the songs was for the memory of the ancientest fans (me included). It was with surprise and commotion that all the auditors welcame "Phantom of the Opera", the just above mentioned "Powerslave", "Killers", "Wasted Years", "The Prisoner", "Run to the hills". Naturally, the unmissing Eddies (the first engaged a fight against Janick, the second Ed Hunter appeared during "Iron Maiden") gave to the show the obvious particularity. The most intense moment of the performance was however "Fear of the dark"; stage lights as stars, Bruce at the top of the amplifiers, estabilishing a real connection with his old fans.

Bruce, apart from a right speech against a person that pointed a laserlight in his eyes (a long, long list of "fuck" in his words!!!) didn't miss the occasion to explain, under the fans' pleasure and agreement, that the band didn't join again for nostalgia; they look at the future and gave the date of next summer for the new tour dedicated to a new studio album. We wait impatientely. This performance was an occasion for the fans to rebuild feelings with the loved band (a lot of fans expected those returns, it was a too easy prophecy) but was also an occasion for the band itself to understand what is the correct path to follow.

Thanks Iron Maiden, I say it again. The future is enterely to write.

ANTONIO (Genova-Italy)

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