Iron Maiden shows off the all-mighty power of metal in Vancouver

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      At GM Place on Thursday, June 24

      Just over two years ago Iron Maiden touched down at the Pacific Coliseum on the whirlwind Somewhere Back in Time world tour—during which it played 23 concerts on five continents in 45 days—and tore the roof off the place. They started that show with guns a-blazin’ via the galloping ’80s epics “Aces High” and “Two Minutes to Midnight”, and went on to include the rifftastic thrasher “The Trooper” and the tunefully engrossing “Wasted Years” in the set. Those are four of the band’s best songs, proven crowd pleasers, so it’s surprising that they’ve all been deleted from the current tour and replaced with four tracks from 2000’s middling Brave New World album. It just didn’t make sense. In fact, it was bloody insane! No wonder Bruce Dickinson hit the stage wearing a black tank top emblazoned with the words PSYCH WARD.

      “Welcome to the final frontier!” bellowed the iron-lunged singer as he quickly started plugging The Final Frontier, the band’s 15th studio album, due for release this August. Surprisingly, again, Maiden previewed only one track from that album, “El Dorado”, which has already been released as a free download. Though not as memorable as the band’s best work, the new tune does motor along nicely and allow speedy guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers to get their freewheeling jollies.

      Dickinson was his typical outgoing self. “There are music fans and there are heavy-metal fans, and then there are Iron Maiden fans!” he hollered, doing his best to get the sold-out audience riled up. At one point he asked the fans how many of them were attending their very first Maiden show, and an awful lot of them screamed and pumped their fists. But since that’s precisely what old-school Maiden fans are prone to do, the survey results were somewhat questionable.

      The singer also took time out to remember fallen rock hero Ronnie James Dio, who died of stomach cancer last month. The assembled masses needed little encouragement to send a message skyward via the “devil horns” hand gesture Dio picked up from his Italian grandmother.

      Apart from 1981’s “Wrathchild”, the only song from its ’80s heyday that Maiden offered up during its regular set was “Iron Maiden”, the closing track on its self-titled 1980 debut (which featured original vocalist Paul Di’Anno). On that tune the band’s 10-foot-tall mascot, Eddie—decked out to resemble the titular fanged beastie in Predator—lumbered across the stage and started swatting at Gers, then headed back over to mess with Murray. It was only after a roadie came out and comically hooked Eddie up with his own white Strat that the towering troublemaker left the other guitarists alone. Those unwieldy Predator hands made it difficult to strum, so the accommodating Murray reached up and rubbed the neck of his guitar against the neck of Eddie’s to create a sound that the most hard-core Maiden fans surely found quite pleasing.

      During the three-song encore—which included the classic tracks “The Number of the Beast”, “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, and “Running Free”—Dickinson donned a British bobby’s hat and introduced the band, which also includes drummer Nicko McBrain and founding bassist-songwriter Steve Harris. Then he took the black toque he’d been wearing all night and tossed it into the crowd, where fully grown men battled desperately for possession of the sweat-soaked souvenir.

      Such is the almighty power of metal, right, Ronnie?



      Benjamin Bregg

      Jun 25, 2010 at 11:08am

      Song #3: Wrathchild is from 1980
      Song #13: Iron Maiden 1980
      Song 14 Number of the Beast. 1982
      Song 15 Hallowed Be Thy Name 1982
      Song 16 Running Free. 1982

      Four Tunes from the earliest parts of their 30 + Year Career. The last time they were here, you said it yourself. They played all the hits. They also were then not touring on a new album. They were in between.

      Of the 16 tunes they played last night. Four were old.
      Maiden have ALWAYS been about their new music.
      And why not?
      they are skilled writers, unlike many of today metal posers.
      They have 15 albums in 30 years of recording.
      To only play old stuff, when that's what they just did in 08 would be boring.
      They could cash in and just play hits, but then suddenly they would be as lame as The Eagles, just doing it all for the money.
      No Maiden do it for themselves. that's what makes them Maiden.
      Today, I have had many of my friends say to me that because of the more modern set they played last night. they want to go revisit those albums. (remember those? albums)

      Steve, you are way off base.
      If people are seeing Maiden for the first time, well, welcome...but the band has an amazing modern history as well as their early career.
      How many bands, can claim that?
      They are staking their claim in saying we are a modern band.
      As they did 8 years ago when they played the Coliseum with Queensryche, and Halford.
      Maiden have not slowed down.
      It's the fans that must catch up.
      You want hits?
      Buy a hits package, or one the several brilliant DVD's that the band has done to capture their live shows over the years. Stay at home and listen to them. Maybe fire up your Pac man video game too, watch tv on your tube tv. and call me later to tell me about it using your dial land line phone.

      Change is inevitable in life, and in music. Maiden forge on because they are intelligent, skilled, and dedicated musicians and performers.

      when you have your next job selling shoes...Maiden will still be rocking.

      time to hang it up steve.
      by the way the name of the first tun in the set was WICKERMAN. and the people on the floor new every fucking word to it.

      Gen Eric

      Jun 25, 2010 at 11:40am

      So, in order to write about a genre of music like metal for The Straight, one where the fans are usually passionate, should you lower your writing style to generic slather in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator? Steve Newton's review of -and blathering 'updates' from- the show last night prove his lofty, down-the-nose distance from a genre of music he obviously doesn't care about. Jesus, Georgia Straight, if you're going to bother covering a Maiden show, why not send a writer who halfway gives a shit? This is the most twaddling 'review' of a concert I've ever read. Seriously, it reads like a fucking Wikipedia entry. Thanks for the non-review, Steve.

      metal mike

      Jun 25, 2010 at 12:09pm

      took my 15 yr old daughter to her first concert. We have listened to the best of the beast album many many times. It was an utter disapointment that only 3 of the top 20 songs they have were played. until the 3 song encore, the set choice was brutal . great stage and sound but the set choice sucked.

      Scott A

      Jun 25, 2010 at 12:23pm

      Actually... They started the show with "Wicker Man" and "Ghost of the Navigator" as a one and two, and didn't play "Two minutes to midnight", nor did they play "Aces High" or "The Trooper"

      And it wasn't a "Wasted Years" set, it was a "Brave New World" set, which included some new material from their upcoming album


      Jun 25, 2010 at 12:40pm

      steve newton neglected to enlighten us on the, " dream theater " show. this is typical one-dimensional canadian ignorance. if a reporter isn't going to do his job, then let somebody else who WILL !!!

      maiden fan

      Jun 25, 2010 at 1:09pm

      all the olde stuff was played last time they were here. the show was awesome. More than happy to hear some newer maiden and not just run to the hills and the trooper. been there done that. some people looked stunned that they did not know the songs, look online and you will see that they are doing newer material for the entire tour. in case you missed it the somewhere back in time tour was 2 years ago. get with the times the 80's are over,

      up the irons!


      Jun 25, 2010 at 2:19pm

      Kudos to Iron Maiden for refusing to be a "legacy" act that complacently churns out the hits every time they tour. Their post-1999 output holds up as well as any of their 1980s material, and the band knows it. Seriously, who wants to hear then plod through "Run to the Hills" and "The Trooper" for the thousandth time when there are thrilling newer songs like "Ghost of the Navigator" and "Brave New World"?

      What separates Maiden from every other metal band from their era is, to this day they are still making relevant music.


      Jun 25, 2010 at 2:19pm

      Hey Metal Mike, Seriously dude, you took your 15 year old daughter to an iron maiden concert? Hope she turns out okay.


      Jun 25, 2010 at 3:17pm

      it was a great show and an awesome setlist as any real Maiden fan would know
      "80s heyday" ? their last three albums have all gone GOLD or more in sales you ignorant know nothing


      Jun 25, 2010 at 3:50pm

      Having seen them on the Powerslave Tour in 1984, Seventh Son, Brave New World, Somewhere in Time and last night I can draw from 3 decades of shows. Yeah, the last tour had the hits and i was a bit leary of the new stuff (I knew the set list prior to the show), but man, the new stuff translates sooo well live. It was refreshing and great to hear the new stuff live. I for one did NOTwant to here Trooper, Beast or Run to the hills again