In metal, there are so many great live bands but few deliver the kind of religious experience that IRON MAIDEN regularly delivers. The Maiden England World Tour hit Southern California last night with the band reprising the 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour, complete with the stage set up and setlist modeled after that tour.
The enthusiasm, anticipation, and sheer positive energy at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre was just so special. And when the band finally took the stage with “Moonchild,” the place exploded. The roar of the crowd was deafening. MAIDEN didn’t waste much time in between songs as they kept going into song after song. “The Evil that Men Do” and “The Prisoner” followed quickly afterwards. For MAIDEN purists, the removal of “Still Life” and “Infinite Dreams” may have been a disappointment. However, the band replaced these songs with the underrated “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” and the favorite “Fear of the Dark.” Also, it should be noted that the setlist is mostly based on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour rather than being a facsimile.
MAIDEN performed flawlessly as usual with Bruce Bruce running around the stage all night. Nicko wasn’t really visible behind his monster kit unless you saw him flash a big smile on the jumbotrons or had pit tickets. The crew did a great job with the live mix as every instrument was nice and clear (at least from where I was seated).
Most everyone in the crowd was singing along to every word and had huge smiles all night long. We all screamed our lungs out when Bruce kept saying, “Scream for me Irvine!!!! Scream for me Irvine!!!!” My throat was getting a little sore during the course of the show. Haha. I was sitting next to a guy who got most excited when they played songs featured on the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games. Blasphemy! No wonder he left a little past half way into the show.
They played one encore, which included “Aces High,” “The Evil that Men Do,” and “Running Free.” We all hoped for a second encore but the band were probably en route to their hotel before the house lights came on.
At the end of the day, the show was an absolute religious experience. It’s amazing how easily I recalled all the lyrics that were imprinted on my memory so many years ago. These are the kinds of shows that are rare and don’t happen too often. Make sure you don’t miss it.
“Can I Play With Madness”
“2 Minutes to Midnight”
“Afraid to Shoot Strangers”
“The Number of the Beast”
“Phantom of the Opera”
“Run to the Hills”
“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”
“Fear of the Dark”
“The Evil That Men Do”