Having cleared all of the other stages (as royalty are entitled to do), Maiden powered through a set that was - dare I say it - poorly formed. There was too much new material early doors and too many of the essential hearing tracks right at the end. Perhaps the festival writers knew theyd be faced with a massive exodus if Run To The Hills and Number Of The Beast were first out of the traps, given the rain and the excruciating pain of the car parks after the event?
Even more unforgivably, Maiden werent loud enough. For Rammstein and Sabbath, the volume was definitely cranked up and was probably audible from the hundreds of aircraft taking off over the campsites. Even Disturbed managed a similar level, but Maiden just werent at that level.
In volume only, that is.
Obviously they were still great: they come ready made with exceptional musicianship. Theyre technically brilliant without effort, but they put the effort into their showmanship and it really pays off in audience reactions. And when your leading man can turn up looking like hes a Dad wandering around Marks & Spencers on a Saturday, and not lose any of his cool, you know youre on to a winner.
Some will say Download need to freshen up their act and change the top of the bill, but when Maiden are so consistently rewarding, and sell so many day tickets, its hard to argue with the logic.