IRON MAIDEN’S HEAVY METAL LEGACY REMAINS FIRMLY INTACT

O2 Arena, London - Saturday 11th August 2018

They came, they saw, they conquered! Iron Maiden tore the roof off London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night for the final show of their peerless ‘Legacy Of The Beast’ tour. Bigger, bolder and brasher than ever before, this gigantic Heavy Metal spectacle is now etched on our retinas for eternity.

Words: Johnny Churchill
Pictures: Steve Ritchie

So let’s take you on a theatrical journey through the legacy of the beast.

IRON MAIDEN

It starts in the foyer of The O2, which is packed with Iron Maiden t-shirts worn by fans of all ages, drinking Trooper ale and soaking up the friendly atmosphere. Once inside, as the lights go down and UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor’ fades, we wait for the onslaught and it doesn’t disappoint. ‘Aces High’ blasts out as Bruce Dickinson appears in leather pilot hat and goggles, while a full-size replica Spitfire flies overhead. It’s one hell of an opening statement.
It’s just the start of a war-themed beginning to the set and the evergreen Nicko McBrain, hidden behind camouflage netting at first, delivers a stunning performance from the off, as the band race through an epic ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ and ‘The Clansman’.

iron maiden

Bruce’s voice sounds superb; the air-raid siren power is still there and the whole band seem to have the energy of a teenager on Mephedrone. Steve Harris sprints round the stage in frenzied bursts, while the triple guitars of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers deliver magical moments of Metal throughout the set. Whether it’s gigantic riffs or classic solos, they nail it. Dave Murray in particular seems inspired tonight.

The legacy setlist is a wet dream for fans old and new. Bar a couple of tracks here and there, this resembles the 1984 ‘Live After Death’ track listing and to ram this point home, we’re treated to ‘The Trooper’, with a 10-foot high soldier Eddie on stage with sword, battling the band, and then ‘Revelations’. This is one of Iron Maiden’s most iconic moments and a genuinely unique track; the riffs, the peerless vocals and the theatrics never get old.

www.Ritchie.Photography-Iron Maiden-6.jp

The pace drops a little for ‘For The Greater Good Of God’ but it’s straight back up again for a dramatic ‘The Wicker Man’ and an epic ‘Sign Of The Cross’ which sounds absolutely colossal. The long middle section allows Janick Gers and Dave Murray to trade solos while Bruce runs around in monks robes, waving a huge illuminated cross at anybody within sight.
Maiden still rely on old school painted backdrops and props, rather than video screens, allowing each song to tell its own dramatic story, but they also manage to create a real ‘wow’ moment when the backdrop transforms from warzone to cathedral, complete with Eddie themed stained glass and chandeliers. It looks stunning.

iron maiden

The theatrics continue with ‘Flight Of Icarus’, a long overdue reinstatement to the setlist. Bruce appears at the back of the stage with flamethrowers on each arm, while a massive statue of a winged Icarus dominates the stage, until it crashes to the ground surrounded by pyro as the song ends.
Crowd favourites ‘Fear Of The Dark’,’‘The Number Of The Beast’ and ‘Iron Maiden’ close the main show, before a gold-plated encore of ‘The Evil That Men Do’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and ‘Run To The Hills’ and with the band on this form, it’s a joy to behold. ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ in particular, one of the best Heavy Metal tracks of all time, has never sounded better. It may be 2018 but the legacy of the beast remains very much intact.
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If you’re a new fan seeing your first Maiden show we can confirm that you’re ruined for life because you’ll never see anything to top this. If you’re an old-school fan, you can rest assured that everything is right with the world while Iron Maiden defy the ravages of time and continue to leave their fans wanting more.

Support on the night came from the excellent Killswitch Engage. It’s a tough job opening for Maiden but the Metalcore veterans played a blinder and even found time to include their fantastic cover version of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’, the perfect trad-Metal warm up.

iron maiden

Setlist:

  1. Aces High
  2. Where Eagles Dare
  3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
  4. The Clansman
  5. The Trooper
  6. Revelations
  7. For The Greater Good Of God
  8. The Wicker Man
  9. The Sign Of The Cross
  10. Flight Of Icarus
  11. Fear Of The Dark
  12. The Number Of The Beast
  13. Iron Maiden

Encore:

  1. The Evil That Men Do
  2. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  3. Run To The Hills

Iron Maiden
O2 Arena, London
Words: Johnny Churchill
Pictures: Steve Ritchie
Saturday 11th August 2018

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