Concert Reviews

Iron Maiden (Legacy Of The Beast Tour) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 24, 2018    
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Iron Maiden (Legacy Of The Beast Tour) - Genting Arena, Birmingham (UK) - 07 August 2018

I have never been an advocate of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era, the reasoning being that the bands it spawned were not as good as those from the "Old Wave Of British Heavy Metal". When you talk of UFO, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Judas Priest and bands of that ilk, it's a pretty hard job to meet that level and sustain it. In fact, the only two bands I can name from that NWOBHM era are Saxon and Iron Maiden, and as we all know, only one of those became huge, and that band were here tonight.

Before them, we had Killswitch Engage who, for me, were a frustrating band to watch as the music was very good and their vocalist, Jesse Leach, had a good voice, that is when he sang. As people who have read my reviews before will know, the scream/shout/growl thing is not for me, and the fact that a decent voice is often used less in favour of it is a bit of a shame. It would be fair to say that guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was who the eye settled on as he was all over the place and never stayed in one position for more than a couple of seconds. I suppose in one way, it's a bit of a double-edged sword supporting bands like Iron Maiden because, no matter how good a show you put on, you are going to pale into insignificance by what is about to follow. They did, however, finish their set by doing a cover of Dio's 'Holy Diver' which was a good move as they were joined by most of the hall.

Set-list: Strength Of The Mind, A Bid Farewell, Life To Lifeless, Hate By Design, Always, My Last Serenade, Beyond The Flames, Rose Of Sharyn, The End Of Heartache, My Curse, In Due Time, Holy Diver (Dio cover).

It was then time for 'Iron Maiden Massive Productions Presents The Legacy Of The Beast', a show apparently inspired by the mobile phone game of the same name, and which also apparently would be divided into three sections – war, religion and hell. The show kind of started with UFO's 'Doctor Doctor' that was played over the PA (see what I mean about the NWOBHM?). This stirred the audience because Maiden fans knew what it meant. However, before the band came on, we got a well-known Winston Churchill speech and video, the hall then went dark and the band finally appeared on a camouflage netting covered stage (you couldn't even see Nicko McBrain's drum kit) under a replica Spitfire for 'Aces High.' They don't mess about these lot, do they? This was the thing I realised. They are a performance band who play songs that have to be performed. I don't think there was anything played that was under five minutes and the majority of the songs were considerably longer.

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 1

Bruce Dickinson came on wearing a WW2 flying helmet (probably original too knowing him) before he changed to one of those hats that cover your ears (don't know the name) for 'Where Eagles Dare'. As it turned out, today was no ordinary day as it was Dickinson's 60th birthday, and after this was brought up, he gave us an emotional speech that referred to the spitfire and mentioned all the people who died at a third of his age flying them in WW2.

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 2

He then proceeded to wave his sword about while wearing a birthday cake hat for 'The Clansman' before fighting 'The Trooper'. Dickinson adopted the characters for all of the songs, black robes when the church windows appeared for 'Revelations', the hooded cloak and illuminated cross for 'Sign Of The Cross' and a beaked silver mask and green lantern for 'Fear Of The Dark.'

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As is usual, Janick Gers ran around like a four year old and took out his frustrations on the speakers at the side of the stage. One technical point was that where we were sat, the guitars during lead breaks sounded a little too far up in the mix and Gers' guitar sounded quite "mushy". A big part of the show though were the large inflatables which appeared at the back of the stage; a giant silver angel for 'Flight Of Icarus' (which unfortunately twisted its left ankle as it was going up, this lead to frantic shaking of the air tubes to try and correct it, while on stage we saw Dickinson armed with flame throwers) and "The Beast" which appeared for the closer of the main set 'Iron Maiden'.

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 6

Dickinson announced that they would depart for a couple of minutes before returning, but that fell apart when McBrain came to the front and, mentioning Dickinson's birthday again, stated, "He's the old git of the band now"? to which Dickinson responded "Stop muckin' about and get on with the fucking concert". They then, without Dickinson actually leaving the stage, continued with 'The Evil That Men Do', 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' (which found Dickinson behind bars with a noose swinging over his head) and the last number 'Run To The Hills', for which the Arena joined in.

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 4

To add a bit of icing on the (birthday) cake, they played Eric Idle's 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' as people left the arena, to which the majority, once again, joined in with as they waved their arms in the air – class!

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 3

Having watched all this, and being a lover of theatrical shows (the first one being Genesis' 'Lamb Lies Down' tour in 1975), I came away being impressed and, probably more importantly, I have decided to check out at least some of their albums which I haven't got because I realised that, whether they are classed as NWOBHM or not, they were, most probably, the very first Prog Metal band. Who'd have thought?

Iron Maiden - Legacy Of The Beast Live 5

Set-List: Intro Doctor Doctor (UFO), Churchill's Speech, Aces High, Where Eagles Dare, 2 Minutes To Midnight, The Clansman, The Trooper, Revelations, For The Greater Good Of God, The Wicker Man, Sign Of The Cross, Flight Of Icarus, Fear Of The Dark, The Number Of The Beast, Iron Maiden.
Encore: The Evil That Men Do, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Run To The Hills, Outro Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Monty Python).

Review and photos by Andy Brailsford

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