One of the bands that were solely responsible for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden brought their Legacy Of The Beast tour to the O2 Arena in London. And good lord, did they rock the joint.
The all too familiar speech by Winston Churchill echoed through the arena, before the band got things started with Aces High, with lead singer Bruce Dickinson, underneath a spitfire, running and leaping around whilst blasting out his still incredible vocals.
That lead nicely into Where Eagles Dare, with the interchanging guitars of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, providing the already revved up crowd with some quality playing, whilst bassist Steve Harris and drummer Nicko McBrain were equal to the task of keeping up with their rhythm and lead counterparts.
“SCREAM FOR ME, LONDON!!!”, Dickinson informs the crowd before they launch into the classic, 2 Minutes To Midnight. A song that’s never lost it’s edge since it’s release back in 1984. A touching and poignant reflection of tribute to the Royal Air Force by Dickinson is well appreciated, as was The Clansman, especially by the Scottish members of the crowd but by everyone in the arena as a whole.
The Trooper is the next Iron Maiden classic to be belted out, and Trooper Eddie makes an appearance to battle Dickinson in a sword fight, in which the intrepid front man wins the battle by blasting Trooper Eddie with a shot from the good old Union Jack. Another number from the Piece Of Mind album comes in the shape of Revelations, before they go into For The Greater Good Of God, from the A Matter Of Life And Death album. And they don’t scrimp on a single minute of either song.
Bruce Dickinson promised the crowd to let the music do the talking, and they certainly did with an ear splitting rendition of The Wicker Man, before it gets holier than thou for The Sign Of The Cross, a song from the Blaze Bayley era album, The X Factor. Another early classic comes in the form of Flight Of Icarus, with Dickinson having a whale of a time with a flame thrower, before the background Icarus comes back down to earth.
The ever energetic lead singer then dons a mask and top hat for the always crowd pleasing, Fear Of The Dark. An absolute Maiden classic from the 90’s, which gets followed by THE Iron Maiden classic, The Number Of The Beast. A song that has everyone singing it’s memorable chorus, before they launch into their signature tune from the very beginning, Iron Maiden. And the crowd respond with a raucous shouting of the bands name at every opportunity.
The encore begins with an outing of The Evil That Men Do, from the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album, before all 4 guitarists line up in unison at the front of the stage for Hallowed Be Thy Name, as Bruce Dickinson stands aloft of Nicko McBrain, who really put a shift in on the drums. The show comes to a close with another defining Iron Maiden classic, Run To The Hills. And there isn’t a single fan of the band who forgets to sing every word to that song.
Iron Maiden have certainly seen off the competition over the decades by various heavy metal bands, and it isn’t hard to see why they have been such an influence on the likes of Metallica and co. In their 60’s they may be, but this legacy has a lot more to give in years to come. Iron Maiden is gonna getcha, no matter how far. And that’s a promise.