“Scream for me, New York City…scream for me, New York City!!” So, there’s this little band called IRON MAIDEN. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Well my best buddies Joe, Mike, and I got together for the fourth time along with roughly 20,000 of our metal brothers and sisters to welcome them back to Madison Square Garden in The City That Never Sleeps after a six-year absence. I’m not sure of the exact attendance figure and frankly I don’t care. The place was packed, you couldn’t get another person in there with a shoehorn, and we were all there to witness one thing: IRON MAIDEN, the undisputed Kings of Live Metal.
Touring behind new album The Book of Souls, the six-piece (Steve Harris – bass, Janick Gers/Dave Murrray/Adrian Smith – guitars, Nicko McBrain – drums, and Bruce Dickinson – vocals) unleashed a monster two-hour performance that featured classic anthems as well as six new songs. The stage setup was arguably their best since the Powerslave-era, with a Mayan jungle backdrop, lots of pyro, and a couple of appearances by Eddie.
Dickinson was everywhere at once; running, jumping, and flying about like it was his last concert on earth. The boys were as tight as they’ve ever been on songs like “Speed of Light”, “Tears of a Clown” (dedicated to the late Robin Williams), “The Trooper” and “Children of the Damned”, one I have never heard live in person, so this was a show highlight for sure.
The video screens spread throughout The Garden were able to capture the looks of pure joy and excitement on the faces of each band member as well as the delicate surgery being performed during each and every guitar solo. This band has one of THE best axe attacks in the world, which propelled “Fear of the Dark” (Mini-Amps favorite song!), “The Red and the Black”, and “Iron Maiden”.
As we got deeper and deeper into the setlist the crowd just got louder and louder, roaring at the end of each song. Dickinson had the audience in the palm of his hands whenever he addressed the masses as well as while singing.
For the encores we were treated to “The Number of the Beast”, quite possibly the best I’ve ever heard them do it live, followed by “Blood Brothers”, before which Dickinson regaled us with a moving speech about how that is what we we all are. Finally the incredible night had to end with “Wasted Years” which sounded amazing and left us spent. I’m not sure how after all this time IRON MAIDEN can still play the way they do, and I’m floored at how Bruce Dickinson can still hit the notes he does. As I said earlier, they are the Kings, and no one, I mean NO ONE can touch them live right now. Miss this tour at your own peril!
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO