Review and Photos by:Brandon Marshall


"We've outgrown this venue a bit in Spinal Tap fashion. We have ten trucks and can't bring in all the special effects", Stated Iron Maiden front-man Bruce Dickinson at the sold out Comfort Dental Amphitheatre on August 13th in Denver Colorado. Iron Maiden concerts are just as much about the music as they are the stage show, and Iron Maiden delivered both to the nearly 20,000 + fans in attendance for what would be the highlight of the 2012 summer concert season for many.

 As Maiden fans young and old eagerly awaited for one of the top premier touring acts and metal band that have achieved icon status to take the stage, “Doctor Doctor” by UFO provided the opening intro for the mighty Maiden to take entrance. “Seven deadly sins, seven ways to win, seven holy paths to hellllll, and your trip begins” was the call the audience had been waiting for, and the trip truly had begun for fans on the Maiden freight train. Iron Maiden charged onto the stage in an explosive way, while Dickenson made his entrance in grand fashion and took control for nearly two hours. 

 Designed to resemble Iron Maidens 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour, the stage set looked as if Iron Maiden was playing on the Ross ice-shelf in Antarctica. With a u-shaped podium at the back of the stage, the massive platform was designed like an ice-burg along with various art-work from the Seventh Son era that incased legendary mascot Eddie in a frozen tomb. Maiden displayed a nostalgic show with a selection of songs that have not been performed in-front of a live audience in over two decades. A good portion of the set-list contained nearly half of the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album that included "The Clairvoyant", “ The Evil that Men Do”, “Can I Play With Madness, “Moon Child” and the title track  “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, a point in the show that featured the first of several appearances ’from Eddie. With heart in hand, Eddie rose from behind Nikos drum-kit, and seeing the album cover come alive was spectacular, one of the many points in the set that displayed stellar production and set the stunning arctic atmosphere and feel for what this particular tour was about. The only post Seventh Son of a Sevenths Son material that was played had been “Fear of the Dark” and “Afraid to Shoot Strangers”.


When founding member and bassist Steve Harris wasn’t handling back-up vocals, Harris was at the edge of the stage most of the night pointing his bass only a few meters away from the fans that were lucky enough to be in the front row. Nicko McBrain could hardly be seen, well hidden behind his drum-kit, Nicko never missed a beat. Dave Murry and Adrian Smith on guitars played in perfect from and with style as Janick Gears wind-milled his guitar and indulged high kicks as if they were no big deal. Most artists who roll though Denver struggle with the altitude at over 1.8 kilometers, but Maiden took no issue. Despite being in their mid-50’s, Iron Maiden displayed the stamina and high octane energy of a band ½ their age and gave everything they could with music and theatrics.


Dickinson, never shy with the stage banter, "I can smell it from here, man. Fuck, I'd rather smell my own farts.” Dickinson said in reference to the plumes of marijuana smoke that bellowed throughout the venue, “Tell me what it's like at the end of the set. You'll never know." Apparently someone forgot to tell Mr. Dickinson that Marijuana is legal in Colorado. "Let's see what we can get out of you if we turn up the heat." As massive pyro flames shot up from the stage during “Run to the Hill” that also gave Eddie another cameo dressed as General Custard while Janick Gears battled Eddie with his guitar. During the chorus, the crowd was louder then the 6 members on-stage. For “The Trooper”, Dickinson hung back and took up residence at various points of the stage and gestured with theatrical melodrama while wearing his red coat styled military smock and waving a union flag.  We all knew what was coming when the intro of "The Number of the Beast" came over the speakers, and the crowd's energy rose to meet the beginning of the song. Joining the band was Old Scratch himself, or at least a gargoyle-like creature with glowing red eyes made out to be the Devil. The creature's head moved back and forth like the horned one was scanning the audience while the stage was in-flames. Maiden also performed some pre-Dickinson material with “Phantom of the Opera”, “Iron Maiden” and closed out the set with “Running Free” per usual.



Iron Maiden is a band that doesn’t need to rely on their “hits” to bring in a crowd, and I for one would be pleased to hear some of the modern Maiden era material, but between the 2008-2009 Somewhere Back in Time Tour and Maiden England Tour, it is refreshing to hear songs that many Maiden fans have not heard in decades. While tour dates yet to be announced across the globe, Iron Maiden will bring this unique tour around the world and Maiden England Tour is not to be missed by any fan. For myself, I was far more impressed with this current tour then I was with Somewhere Back in Time Tour. After the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour was completed in 1988, Iron Maiden scaled back production and showcased stripped down live shows for a number of years, so this raises the question, what will Iron Maiden do next if this will be the last tour based off of older albums? Whatever they have planned, it will be spectacular in the true Iron Maiden fashion.








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