Jul 27, 2019

Concert Review: Iron Maiden Legacy of the Beast Tour- Barclays Center NY 7/26/19

Iron Maiden took its "Legacy of the Beast Tour" to New York City for two incredible nights at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The opening night was another amazing theatrical experience filled with powerful music & an energy that never stopped.

The tour began in Europe in May of 2018, going through mid August 2018. It picked up again for the North American dates, on July 18th 2019 in Sunrise Florida, just outside of Fort Lauderdale. 



Iron Maiden drummer, Nico McBrain lives in Boca Raton & has a small restaurant called "Rock & Roll Ribs" in Coral Springs, Florida. Excellent food with lots of Maiden paraphernalia around. They also serve imported, Iron Maiden Trooper beer in bottles as well as the Light Brigade version. A few of the Maiden guys spend lots of time in South Florida as well.

If you don't know Iron Maiden or have never been to one of their shows you don't get it & don't understand. This is a mega band with an incredible loyal fan base around the world. 

They have been around since 1980, released 16 studio albums & have sold somewhere between 90 & 100 million albums world wide. With a history of very little, if any, radio airplay or media attention, they are still one of Heavy Metal (as well as Rocks) biggest artists. Iron Maiden have performed in 59 countries & have played well over 2100 concerts. The show still goes on selling out world wide. My first Iron Maiden concert was my first concert ever, 1983 on the World Piece Tour at Madison Square Garden. My friend Kevin was with me & we were together for this one 36 years later?! This was my 7th Iron Maiden show.

The bands core line up always remains intact, with founder Steve Harris on bass, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith & Janick Gers on guitars. Nico McBrain on drums & the multi talented Bruce Dickinson on the vocals. 

It's really amazing how these guys can keep up the energy for two plus hours while delivering thundering heavy metal rock & roll. The guys now in their sixties never wear down. The crowd also hangs in there, trying to keep up with the band- can you imagine? The crowd, now mixed in ages from us original Maiden veterans to a younger generation, even some folks there with their small kids.

An Iron Maiden show is a theatrical experience, this production was Maiden's most elaborate to date. With multiple backdrops changing for nearly every song. Most of the giant art work featured their mascot Eddie in different scenarios.

Singer, Bruce Dickinson is the perfect front man, leaping around the large stage, changing costumes, as well as identities throughout his performance. He portrays a pilot, a soldier firing a musket, a prisoner in a cage, a frightened man with a mask & top hat holding a lantern for "Fear of the Dark". He swings swords, shoots fire from the hip, dons a black cape holding a lighted cross & is always in charge of the audience. He raises his arms & says "Scream for me Brooklyn"- they respond to the command.

This show is somewhat of a greatest hits if you will, since there is no new album to promote. The band picked from its back catalog focusing on their classic period.

The show opens with "Aces High" (a song about an air raid during the Battle of Britain from the pilots perspective)

 A giant WWII  Spitfire plane hangs above the stage, "rolling, turning, diving". Bruce Dickinson belts out the lyrics, while donning an aviator hat with googles, similar to a WWII pilot. This was one of two songs from the 1984 "Power Slave" album. The other- "2 Minutes to Midnight" was the third song of the night, another real popular crowd favorite.




The most songs from any album came from 1983's "Piece of Mind" album, first there were incredible versions of  "Where Eagles Dare" (based on the 1968 Clint Eastwood movie) the second song of the night, keeping the incredible energy up from Aces High, what a start to a show. Also from "Piece of Min" was "Revelations" where the stage was transformed to almost gothic cathedral setting, with fire lit chandeliers & stained glass, featuring different Eddies.


Then the "Piece of Mind" classics, "Trooper" & "Flight of Icarus". "Trooper"(song about the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War from a dying soldiers perspective) is where the crowd gets to see the Iron Maiden Mascot- Eddie. 

A giant Eddie wearing a British Military uniform, complete with boots & back pack, prances on stage taunting Dickinson. He then has a sword fight (in good fun) with Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson fires a musket at Eddie & waves a giant US Flag during the song as the crowd screams along the "wo oh oh oh" parts!

For "Flight of Icarus" (a song loosely based on Greek Mythology character- Icarus who while imprisoned with his father, makes wax wings to escape but flies too close to the sun). This song is super special because prior to the "Legacy Tour" starting in 2018 it had not been played in concert since 1986. The ever theatrical Dickinson sings the song (with lots of fan participation) while holding two flame blowing guns at his hip. A promo video of the tour features this song.



Second most used album of the night, was three songs from the classic "Number of the Beast" album. Of course it's title track, maybe their most popular song (?) as pyro & red flames turned Barclays into the fiery pits of hell, as everyone sang along to the 666 lyrics. 

Also from "Beast" the legendary "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (which some consider one of Metals greatest songs) returns to the set list, after being dropped for the second leg of the Book of Souls Tour in 2017. This song about a prisoner awaiting to be hung at the Gallows pole, features Dickinson singing in a cage with a swing noose behind him awaiting to be hung.


The show closed with yet another Maiden classic, third song from "Beast", the galloping "Run to the Hills" (a song about European settlers & Indians battles in the old west). At this point the crowd was euphoric.

Before the encore, it is a tradition they play their title song Iron Maiden, a song that has been played at every concert since the release in 1980.

Maiden are certainly not a thrash band, but this song is early thrash metal & hold up to anything in that genre. This song featured a tremendous gigantic Eddie head appearing behind the band above the drum kit. Up the Irons! 





- Iron Maiden Set List 7/26/19


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

encores:
The Evil That Men Do
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run to the Hills


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