Lindsay Smith Boam (Photo Credits: Lindzrs Media Photography)
Iron Maiden hit the UK last Thursday as part of their European Book of Souls Tour with a sell-out gig in Nottingham.
After so many fantastically successful years in the business and so many hugely impressive live performances, each time they tour you do wonder if they still have ’it’ and if they can still bring it big, after all their combined age is 363!
Founded in 1975 and still performing over 40 years later – Is the Iron machine ready for the metal scrap heap?
Download last year saw the guys bring the ‘Book of Souls’ to the masses, even the rain momentarily halted to allow the music to hail down on the crowd.
So, to Nottingham, Shinedown opened the proceedings with an up-tempo sing-along set with loads of audience involvement. Positivity from every angle and a genuine appreciation from the Maiden fans for a rocking start to the evening. They are a good band and I will make an effort to go and see them again.
Anticipation heightened, the lights dimmed, the Troopers cheered braying for the Irons, this is a show – not just a gig, involving all, not just the band. Sound desk guy knows exactly how the sound should be – no disappointments there, guitars, drums and Bruce’s voice clear and powerful from the word go.
The size of the set, the ever-changing backdrop of Eddie in various guises and the pyrotechnics enhance the incredible musicianship and Bruce’s theatrics snare you in to every storytelling lyric.
There is even a personal appearance by Eddie fighting dramatically with Bruce only to have his heart torn out and thrown in to the ever-appreciative crowd.
Children of the Damned and Number of the Beast from early 1980’s, Fear of the Dark (a personal favourite) from 1992 splatter through the more recent Book of Souls tracks – each track fitting together, no matter from what era or album and performed by a group of guys who gel in the most spectacular style – well oiled, smooth and entertaining. A cracking encore with the crowd singing every word, heads nodding, and fists in the air – a great sight and an arena packed with energy to match that of the bands.
These guys look super fit and with the amount of energy expanded during the set, they must be. Adrian and Phil getting lost in riffs, Steve playing to the crowd, mouthing lyrics in unison with the fans – one side of the stage to the other, Janick with his leg and foot up on the speaker – not the monitor.. that’s way too easy!! Jigging around and throwing his guitar around like a bull fighter with a cape, Nicko’s tireless energetic skin bashing…to Bruce running around the stage amassing his troops whilst maintaining his vocal – wow!
Bruce informed his home crowd (he’s a Worksop boy) that this spectacular set will be consigned to Maiden history after this tour which I hope means another album in the making and another tour.
So in answer to my own question of should they be consigned to the scrap heap of metal? Absolutely and totally not. Their fan base is enormous, the age range of their fans diverse to say the least including many younger fans, and their music is timeless rock - If you get the opportunity please go and see what I mean – Up the Irons!
If Eternity Should Fail
Speed of Light
Children of the Damned
Death or Glory
The Red and The Black
The Great Unknown
The Book of Souls
Fear of the Dark
Number of the Beast, Blood Brothers and finally Wasted years.