Iron Maiden close Download Festival 2007

Rock veterans roll out a tank for spectacular stage show

Iron Maiden pulled in the biggest crowd of the weekend as they closed Download Festival 2007 with a spectacular stage show tonight (June 10).

The rock veterans powered through a set peppered with a host of tracks from their 2006 album ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ and classic songs from their backcatalogue for their fourth appearance at Donington Park in 19 years.

Kicking off with ‘Different World’, the band went on to perform former Top Ten hit ‘Run To The Hills’ along with Iron Maiden classics ‘The Trooper’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’, ‘Number Of The Beast’ and ‘Children Of The Damned’.

Speaking before the band took to the stage, bassist Steve Harris told NME.COM: “Our first performance at this event back in 1988 was probably our best because naturally it was our first one. But we’re really looking forward to playing here tonight because we’ve only done four shows before this one. So its going to be a bit nerve wracking and edgy but that’s good because I think we need a challenge like that.”

He then explained the thinking behind this year’s set: “We decided to go for a mixture in the set because we didn’t want to play the same songs as the last tour and with it being a festival we wanted to mix it up a bit. I’m looking forward to playing ‘The Evil That Men Do’. That always goes down well. Its going to be a great day for Maiden fans.”

During the performance singer Bruce Dickinson told the crowd: “It is 25 years since we released ‘Number Of The Beast’ and this song is very special to me because it is one of the first we rehearsed when I first joined the band. It is a song that brings a tear to the eye.”

Iron Maiden then launched into a rousing rendition of ‘Children Of The Damned’.

As promised a giant tank featuring Iron Maiden‘s famous mascot, Eddie, was brought on stage as they performed ‘Iron Maiden’.

Later they brought on another giant-sized version of the mascot which played guitar during ‘The Evil That Men Do’.

Iron Maiden played:

‘Different World’

‘These Colours Don’t Run’

‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’

‘Wrathchild’

‘The Trooper’

‘Children Of The Damned’

‘The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg’

‘For The Greater Good Of God’

‘Number Of The Beast’

‘Fear Of The Dark’

‘Run To The Hills’

‘Iron Maiden’

‘Two Minutes To Midnight’

‘The Evil That Men Do’

‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’

That’s it for this year’s Download Festival, but you can get all the news, reviews, blogs and pictures from the event – plus those from Isle of Wight, which also took place this weekend – at NME.COM/festivals now.

Photo Gallery | Blog | Main Stage Review

Dimebag Darrell Stage Review

Plus make sure you check out next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from June 13 – for exclusive coverage of all the weekend’s action.

See what Steve Harris had to say to us about their performance here.