The gripping last gasp of an arctic polar vortex held Toronto hostage until the screams of Iron Maiden‘s Boeing 747 “Ed Force One” shredded the last vestiges of ice and snow — Eddie had finally arrived and none would deny his metal glory!
Not just “Eddie” had decided to land in Toronto, Maiden have such a rabid following that fans from all over the world have descended into the frigid city of Toronto to bow to their Metal God. Fans from as far away as South America, England and Finland congregated at Iron Maiden Trooper Beer Event(s) hours before the show.
The three-guitar sonics of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers were a lesson in symmetry, tempo, technique and style. Gers was especially theatrical with his guitar-slinging theatrics (guitar players can take a few lessons from Gers).
The rhythm section of bassist Steve Harris and drummer Nicko McBrain thundered along like a well oiled machine.
And, of course lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson (who’s cancer scare was well publicized) soaring vocals filled the arena like a WWII air siren.
Iron Maiden have been in existence since 1975 (with Dickinson joining the band in 1981), and since then, Maiden have more than survived the turbulence of music trends, no radio airplay, demolition of the music industry and the decline of rock music in general.
What is amazing about Iron Maiden (aside from survival) is the band is even more popular than before. With world-wide arena & stadium sell outs, high attendance and record merchandising revenue (many of the merchandise tables were sold out of Maiden swag). It seems Maiden are the exception and not the rule — marketing brand executives take note!
Maiden‘s recent release (and first double LP) “The Book of Souls” featured heavily in the setlist, with many of the songs over 8 minutes long. It comes to no surprise that the new material was very well received with many on their feet from the first song from the LP, “If Eternity Should Fail”, “Speed of Light”, “Tears of a Clown”, “The Red and the Black”, “Death or Glory” and “The Book of Souls”
With such a vast, deep Maiden catalog, there were many stand outs in the setlist including “Trooper”, “Powerslave” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, along with the self-titled track “Iron Maiden” from the very first Maiden album and fan favourite “Fear of the Dark”.
Of course, a Maiden show would not be a Maiden show without “Brand Ambassador” Eddie making an appearance, this time as “Aztec Eddie”. Closing the show were encore numbers “The Number of the Beast”, “Blood Brothers” and “Wasted Years”.
Though Maiden have been around for more than 40 years, they continue to defy critics and the music industry alike. Like a fine wine (or ale), Dickinson and company continue to break new ground, gain new followers and demonstrate that rock (and heavy metal) are very much alive or in Eddie’s case — eternal.
- Doctor Doctor (recording)
- If Eternity Should Fail
- Speed of Light
- Children of the Damned
- Tears of a Clown
- The Red and the Black
- The Trooper
- Death or Glory
- The Book of Souls
- Hallowed Be Thy Name
- Fear of the Dark
- Iron Maiden
- The Number of the Beast
- Blood Brothers
- Wasted Years
- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
(recording of Monty Python song)
Images courtesy of bkonthescene