Iron Maiden are currently traversing the globe on the second leg of their gargantuan, The Book of Souls World Tour. Promoting their 2015 album of the same name, the Maiden crew strolled through Southern California this past weekend, playing a gnarly show at The Glen Helen Amphitheater with 25,000+ die-hard fans. View our entire photo gallery here.
The bay area thrash legends in Exodus, and the power metal kingpins in Kamelot made special appearances earlier in the day, warming up the crowd for the evening of madness that awaited. The adorably satanic rock stylings of Ghost, complete with huge choruses of their own, got the audience in the chanting mood before Bruce, Steve, Dave, Adrian, Janick and Nicko [+Eddie] came out and rocked everyone off their feet. As night fell and the sweltering SoCal heat finally began to subside, Iron fucking Maiden took the stage and unleashed their patented, high flying heavy metal masterclass of a performance; complete with enough pyro, fireworks and absolutely scorching guitar solos to keep everyone in the crowd sweating all night long.
The boys opened with The Book of Souls first track, “If Eternity Should Fail” and the bodies of crowd surfers immediately began shooting over the barricade near the stage. Iron Maiden are one of those rare legendary old school bands, that not only continues putting out quality new material, but keeps generating new, younger fans with every release. Case in point, “Blood Brothers” from their 2000 comeback album Brave New World. It’s been 17 years since that album dropped, 17 years is the same amount of time that separates Piece of Mind from Brave New World. Songs from this modern era like “Blood Brothers” have officially become Maiden classics in their own right, which explains why the lunatics in the lawn seats lost their minds when the band played it in their encore. “Death or Glory” seems poised to earn a similar fate, judging by the intense crowd participation. Maiden hit the perfect balance between new jams and old school, switching it up between deep cuts like “Powerslave” and recent jaw droppers like “The Book of Souls.”
The band was in exceptional form as usual. Bruce Dickinson took a moment between songs to chat with the audience and remind everyone that they aren’t robots up there and don’t rely on high tech gadgetry to enhance their performance. “What you see is what you fucking get,” he said proudly. What we got, was six metal icons shredding the hell out of their respective instruments, all while leaping around stage and fighting a giant Mayan zombie [hi Eddie!] to boot. Nicko Mcbrain's left hand chopped his ride cymbal to pieces the entire evening. Steve Harris' trademark galloping basslines whipped the crowd into a frenzy while the guitar trio of Murray, Smith and Gers lit up the night with their mind-boggling guitar pyrotechnics. Not to mention Bruce singing his lungs out and keeping the massive crowd in the palm of his hand from the get go.
At this point, Iron Maiden in 2017 is a nigh unstoppable force. The band could play a show on Mars and hordes of shirtless long hairs would not only make the trip, but find a way to start bonfires on the Red Planet’s surface. The band ended the night with “Wasted Years” and wished everyone in attendance a happy Fourth of July weekend, even though Bruce personally felt the wrong side won that one. LOL’s aside, nothing beats an Iron Maiden gig in the summertime. There was even a rad fireworks display afterward…but that was just more of their crazy fans in the parking lot shooting illegals into the air. If/when Iron Maiden comes to your neck of the woods, do not hesitate on catching the kings of metal in concert.
Up The Irons.
View more photos of this gig in our photo gallery.