Iron Maiden
Live at Donington



by sunsinger USER (16 Reviews)
August 30th, 2005 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Before Bruce Dickinson left Maiden for a solo career, he played with mixed feelings onstage and reassured himself and the band that he was still fully committed at the time. Maiden were a well-established band and their latest release was loosely aimed at attracting younger fans, and covering the deep-seated turbulence of the band with a positive musical emphasis.
To finish The Fear of the Dark Tour, they played at Castle Donnington and sold 68,500 tickets in advance. After the tragic deaths of two boys during Guns N' Roses set of Donnington '88, the capacity number had to be lowered, even though it was the mosh pit where the brutal deaths happened and remained the only capacitated area of the entire festival. After the more diverse metal bands of this year's Donnington performed their set, Maiden came on, and performed a set taken with pride, recorded, released and reviewed.

The trademark chants of "Maiden, Maiden" bring Donnington to life and opener Be Quick or be Dead is played so eloquently, it could be mistaken for a studio version. Be Quick or be Dead was from their last studio album at the time, Fear of the Dark. At many points in this album, there's a strange feeling that the album of Live at Donnington was a little over-produced and deceiving to the sound quality. Unlike Live after Death, Bruce's voice stays on top form without any lapse in quality.
Bruce also has the crowd involved in a lot of the songs here, and performed the set with a minimal amount of that 'more talk, less play' ethic that many new bands tend to follow. In comparison to Rock in Rio, it doesn't seem as exciting; for example, Fear of the Dark is played with less intensity (although, I'd like to see any band play a better live version than Rock in Rio's).
Another attribute I should point out is that Fear of the Dark isn't Maiden's most successful album, but still sold well at the time. One reason being that it was released in 1992, when Nirvana were known as the world's biggest band in great contrast to 1982-1984. The second reason being Iron Maiden had gone for a different look in order to appeal to Generation X with varying results and a horde of annoyed fans. The set consists of both old fan favourites and diverse new material that will either have you skipping tracks or embracing the early 90's set list.

The crowd are as loud and passionate as ever when Iron Maiden ends with the audience still crying out for more´┐Ż four more to be exact. After Nicko finishes the final song with a short drum solo, the band return with Hallowed be thy Name and the crowd participation makes for a worthy competition for Maiden themselves. Then a particularly frenzied version of The Trooper shows off Maiden's expressive live act.
Bruce spends the short moments between Sanctuary and Running Free presenting the band and thanking the crew. Before Running Free ends, Bruce thanks the supporting acts and their incredible efforts, then has the crowd screaming "I'm running free yeah, I'm running free" loud enough to last until the next British tour. It all finishes with Bruce and Nicko thanking the audience over and over again before a minute of the fans final appreciations.

Before buying this album, you should at least listen to the Fear of the Dark album since this set was the final show for the corresponding tour. Besides the perpetual thought of "was there more studio time than sound checks and encores"", this should be a definite addition for Tailgunner and Trooper fans.

Best Tracks: Be Quick or be Dead, Wrathchild, Iron Maiden.

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"It's been a looooong day... and the night is about to get longer"...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 30th 2005


I dont really like any of Maidens material in the 90s but im sure this was a great show. Good review.

August 30th 2005


This must be a great show. But Rime of the Ancient Mariner isn't on there. Solid review.

August 30th 2005


Thanks for the kind words, guys.

August 30th 2005


reli good review man good job. It wuld have been so sweet to see that concert although i was at the toronto concert maiden played a couple of weeks ago. Again reli good review.

October 7th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

this was a pretty good live show, but i think rock in rio was better

smart blockhead
October 15th 2005


I'm considering what live Maiden albums to get and I think I'll check out Rock In Rio or Live After Death. Good review.

October 15th 2005


live after death is way better than rock in rio so i say choose live after death

November 23rd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

You think too much time was spent in the studio on this? If only.

The instrumental sections sound like they might be tweaked, but the vocals are all live for sure. The sound's too uneven on the release for otherwise to be possible. I feel you can hear Dickinson's voice get a lot better on some songs than others - the weak songs weren't touched up, which is more of a tell of polish than the good songs sounding great.

Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2014


Afraid to Shoot Strangers is immense.

Digging: Leonard Cohen - Live In Dublin

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