Words & Photos by Marco Denzer

Iron Maiden began their world tour to promote their most recent studio production, Book of Souls, in the state of Florida in February of 2016. And 17 months later, after traveling across North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe performing 117 concerts in 36 countries, returned to the United States to conclude the enormous feat that a production of this magnitude entails.

At approximately 6:00 PM in the evening the anticipation in the streets near Barclays Center in Brooklyn was very obvious: thousands of fans of the band began arriving via public transportation, cars, and on foot from areas neighboring the arena. On the streets, mixed with the locals that frequent the area, one could easily distinguish the crowed of rockers dressed in concert merch with the various mutations of “Eddie”; the epic and beloved creature that characterizes the British sextet. Some of the older fans wore T-shirts from previous tours as though they were badges of honor and loyalty to the band. While some of the younger generation of followers, many of whom were minors that attended the concert with their parents, wore the more current “Book of Souls” T-shirts. All of them fans nonetheless, because generational differences and age didn’t matter.

Soon after Ghost, the supporting band on the final leg of their world tour finished their opening set, Iron Maiden started the show at 8:50 P.M. with the song “Doctor Doctor” from legendary British rockers “UFO”. The crowd became euphoric immediately, because the main event was about to begin, and after a brief video and musical interlude the opening bars of “If Eternity Should Fail” were finally heard. As the song’s introduction continued playing, Bruce Dickinson slowly appeared at the highest point on center stage, from pitch darkness… as a wizard reciting a spell and stirring his cauldron. The rest of the band burst on stage with a loud blast of pyrotechnic flames at the first verse, and heat from the enormous flames was felt at point blank.

That’s how, with a very dynamic stage entrance, Dickinson and his comrades Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, and Janic Gers (guitars and backup vocals), Steve Harris (bass and backup vocals), and Nicko McBrian (percussion) kicked off a spectacular concert that included 15 songs. Covering the lengthy expanse of their career, Maiden carefully selected from their extensive discography to select the songs they included in the night’s setlist. They performed six songs from Book of Souls, two from The Number of The Beast, and one each from Iron Maiden, Killers, Powerslave, Piece of Mind, Fear of The Dark, Somewhere in Time, and Brave New World, respectively. It was an extremely well-calculated and executed touch of grace aimed at pleasing everyone in the audience; both young and old alike appeared to be extremely happy with the repertoire and energy of the performance.

There’s no doubt that Iron Maiden is a first rate band in every aspect. However, to attend one of their concerts is an impressive experience that makes the following very clear: In spite of the fact that just two years ago the career of its energetic and tireless vocalist, and consequently the future of the band, was extremely uncertain as a result of the cancer diagnosis he confronted. The truth is that it’s absolutely amazing the see how, with Dickinson at the helm, the rest of the band also pours their heart out during the show. Each of them demonstrates they truly have a blast playing for their audience; they do it with love and lots of fun, running, jumping, and dancing around non-stop from beginning to end. They share an extremely contagious and fun loving energy with the crowd that is unequal.

As the night came to a close, Bruce sincerely thanked their technical staff “for making this chapter of the Book of Souls possible”, and he also told the audience they were already working and planning for the future. “We’re working on some things that I can’t mention yet… but they are very good and we’ll return to share them with you as soon as possible”, said the vocalist who by now was absolutely drenched in perspiration, and he proceeded to undress down to his boxers. He then gave (tossed) all his clothing to the fans – hoodie, pants, tank top, boots, socks, everything! And they bid farewell until next time.

1. If Eternity Should Fail
2. Speed of Light
3. Wrathchild
4. Children of the Damned
5. Death or Glory
6. The Red and The Black
7. The Trooper
8. Powerslave
9. The Great Unknown
10. The Book of Souls
11. Fear The Dark
12. Iron Maiden

13. The Number of The Beast
14. Blood Brothers
15. Wasted Years


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