Bruce Dickinson has shared how he sees his role knocking out old Iron Maiden songs for ageing rock fans:
"I feel like that sometimes on stage, that you are an intermediary between one world and another — the audience are in one world, the band are in their world, and as the singer, frontman, whatever, your job is to kind of bring the two worlds together, but not get them tangled up. Keep it under control without people realizing that, actually, they're in a safe place. Keep the audience in a safe place, but let everybody feel out of control. And so that's the way I feel often on stage.If they turn up and expect to be told what to do, how are they actually brutal? Unless you tell them to kill you for staring at your shoes? And why would you do that?
"Standing there looking beautiful is not performing. Performing comes from engaging. And it's hard work; you've gotta work to do that. Audiences are brutal — I mean, they will eat you alive — because they all paid good money to be entertained, and they turn up expecting to be told what to do. They may disagree with that, but actually they do. They turn up to a show, and they go, 'I came here to be…' you know. 'This is gonna be good. This is gonna be good. What do I do now?' And the band guide them; you guide them, you guide them, you guide them to a great place, where they go, 'Wow! What a great experience. Wasn't that cool? And we did this. And we all sang, and we all chanted.' But if the guy comes up on stage and goes, 'I'm gonna stare at my shoes and it's all about me,' they're gonna kill you. 'Cause it's not all about you, dude — it's about the music, and it's about them; it's about the audience."
It's a slightly odd view of what he's doing - opening some sort of portal to a netherworld, while simultaneously having to be the health and safety guy making sure the audience don't cross over. Which they wouldn't do unless he told them to.
Really, he's mainly just choosing when Run To The Hills appears on the set list, isn't he?