Date: July 19, 2017
Opening Acts: Ghost
One of the top Metal acts of all time Iron Maiden, 4 decades into their career show no signs of slowing down. As one of the final shows for their current ‘The Book of Souls’ tour, the band still has that vibrant energy and enthusiasm that helped them forge and shape a genre in the 70s, that lead to inspiring countless of other metal bands.
The set on this night’s primary focus was 6 songs deep from the current album, including a fully tied in stage show exploring the ancient Mayan civilization. They told the story from the opening of the stage set in smoke, fire and a Mayan temple clad stage opening with “If Eternity Should Fail” and “Speed of Light”. With some classics breaking up every 2 songs and a rotating backdrop that probably changed every song, they also continued the story with “Death or Glory,” “The Red and the Black,” “The Great Unknown,” and closing out the new album cuts with “The Book of Souls.”
The show wasn’t totally about the new album, while they stage production was ‘Book of Souls’ themed, they managed to pull out 8 other classic Maiden tunes like “The Trooper,” “Powerslave,” “Fear of The Dark” while closing out the regular set with “Iron Maiden.” While it’s easy to take a bunch of song titles at face value, the stage production really was top notch here, between detailed video accompaniments for the tour themed songs, to Eddie lumbering about stage, to the pyro, the backdrops and the giant inflatable Eddie and Baphomet, in addition to Maiden’s energetic stage presence, you really got your bang for your buck. The finished out with an encore of “The Number of the Beast”, “Blood Brothers” and “Wasted Years”.
Opener Ghost was no slouch either. Having garnered quit the buzz in the metal world the last few years I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of the crowd made a point to venture in early to see what they were about. Lineup changes aside, the band had a very powerful flawless performance. They opened with “Square Hammer” from their recent EP, before driving into other songs like “Ritual” from the band’s Opus Eponymous album, with the remainder of the tunes like “From The Pinnacle to the Pit,” “Mummy Dust,” “Cirice,” “Absolution” from their last full length Meloria while also playing ‘Infestissumam’ tunes like “Year Zero” and closing with “Monstrance Clock.” Overall even as the opening band they had a pretty good stage set up with risers a big back drop as well as a costume change mid set from Papa Emeritus. Got to say this Maiden/Ghost pairing was a very good idea and the fans loved it.
Bottom Line is bands need to learn more from legends and make tours special like this. While they didn’t get to play a lot of songs from their storied legacy, Iron Maiden’s attention to detail in combining the music and stage aesthetics and performance is always a must see for any fan of music.