Concert Review: Iron Maiden "Book of Souls" Tour- Brooklyn, New York

34 years ago (1983) I saw my first concert, it was Iron Maiden on the "Piece of Mind" Tour at Madison Square Garden. 34 years later, I see Iron Maiden at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Who would have thought?

This is the sixth Maiden show I've been to through the years. I always carry the 1985 Iron Maiden "World Slavery" Tour patch, I bought then, with me at each new show.

Iron Maiden is a musical family, only the fans & the band understand it. Never receiving  any radio, media air play or exposer, but still the band has sold over 90 million records & have toured performing nearly 2500 shows selling out all over the world.

Probably due to the tremendous art work of the band's mascot Eddie, almost everyone at an Iron Maiden concert wears an Iron Maiden t-shirt. I had to buy the Brooklyn Eddie logo shirt!

Now as us fans have gotten older, it's amazing how many families with children are at these shows. It's also amazing how many young people have jumped on board who were not even born when the band started out. But after all they are still active & a current band so it makes sense.

Different from many other shows of top name main stream classic rock acts, when going to a Maiden show you feel you have much in common with other attendees. This is a smaller tight knot, loyal group & we're still doing it- "UP THE IRONS"!!

*Where else would you see a band member (Janick Gers) greeting his friends right outside the venue & have no one notice, I did but wasn't sure & blew the opp.

This show was one of the final shows of a very successful two year "Book of Souls Tour". This, the third time this tour has hit the New York area over the past two years. It's Maiden's first time in Brooklyn & the first show sold out so fast another was quickly added.

The Book of Souls Tour has played 117 dates in 36 countries around the world & is the bands longest tour since the mid eighties. The band travels around on their own air plane "Ed Force One" which is piloted by non other than Bruce Dickinson.

The band was nothing less than outstanding, everything Iron Maiden has always been. The style is the same with some new flavors added, but one thing is clear Iron Maiden is the greatest Heavy Metal band ever, they took the mold of Black Sabbath & Deep Purple & took it to the standard classic Heavy Metal is. Everyone after followed.

But not only that, beyond Metal this is an incredible rock band & one of the best live bands you'll ever see. The band is so tight & loose on stage, you can see how much they are enjoying, smiling & goofing around at times, then getting a game face while one of three excellent guitarists play a lead.

Those three guitarist are Adrian Smith, Dave Murray & Janick Gers, all whom share lead guitar duties.

Steve Harris, the bands founder, main song writer, occasional producer & backing vocalist is the heart of the band with his signature galloping bass style. Considered one of Metal's bassist along with the amazing Nicko McBrain, who is cited as one of metals most influential drummers.

The front man Bruce Dickinson is one of the worlds best showman & front man. Dickinson is very theatrical in his performances, famous for dressing like in an "English Red Coat" & waving the Union Jack while singing Trooper.

He donned a pharaoh style mask while performing Powerslave & battled (jokingly) with a giant Eddie (Book of Souls image) on stage ripping his heart out, squeezing ooze out of it & then tossing to the crowd. He also wore monkey mask behind his head during Death or Glory, why? well the lyrics say "climb like a monkey out of hell where I belong".

Dickinson is a very athletic guy, as he is seen running & leaping all over the huge stage. All this while belting out the vocals in his high pitched operatic singing style. Ys, he too is considered one of the best in his field & set the standard for high pitched Metal singers.

The huge stage had an old world Mayan civilization design. As Iron Maiden is always writing songs about historical events, the theme here is the disappearance of ancient civilizations.

The stage is complete with ramps & different levels for Dickinson to leap around on. There were large banners of Eddie in various scenes in the current Book of Souls style.

And as I mentioned a Giant Eddie came on stage & messed around with the band, as it has become more of a funny scene than anything else. Toward the final numbers a huge inflatable Eddie head (in Mayan guise) came out over the drum kit peering at the crowd.

The set list focused on the current Book of Souls album with many classics covering the bands career mixed in. If any of the thrash metal fans didn't think Iron Maiden can do that too, a thrashing performance of Iron Maiden (the 1980 song off the 1st album) closed out the show before the encore. 

All in all an amazing, excellent show, one of the best!

Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY  Friday Set List:

If Eternity Should Fail
Speed of Light
Children of the Damned
Death or Glory
The Red & the Black
The Great Unknown
The Book of Souls
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden

encore: Number of the Beast
Blood Brothers
Wasted Years

The opening band was Ghost, an interesting band from Sweden. The five musicians in the band, wear identical steel faced masks & are known as "nameless ghouls", with no one seeing who they actually are.

They are a changing hired line up fronted by the groups singer, song writer & business leader; Tobias Forge, who goes by the stage name Papa Emeritus, a demonic Pope figure, donning full Pope attire & a synthetic face mask.

I was familiar with these guys prior to the show & was excited to see them. The band is excellent, putting on an entertaining stage show with damn good music. Ghost have been recognized by Revolver Magazine for best metal song of 2016 "Square Hammer' & also won a grammy in 2015 for "Cirice".

Ghost set list:
Square Hammer
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Year Zero
Mummy Dust
Monstrance Clock


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