On a hot and steamy Saturday I ventured out from my southern New Jersey home into Brooklyn. Anticipation was high was I was headed to see Ghost and Iron Maiden for the finale of Maiden’sBook of Souls Tour.
It was a whole new world for me as I had never been to Brooklyn nor had I ever seen the legendary band Iron Maiden before. Sure I had heard many stories about their epic shows, but would the show hold up to the hype?
I knew it was a rare treat to see the final show of any tour, but to see the final show of a tour that had traveled the globe for a year and a half was epic. I had seen the opening band Ghost three times previously and had become a pretty big fan. I was still in the concourse when the prerecorded music, “Masked Ball”, began to play. Ghost hit the stage with Papa Emeritus in full regalia; full black and white makeup and his dark gown resembling that of the Pope’s. They opened playing their newest single “Square Hammer”. They were the perfect warm up band for Iron Maiden as they set the dark and eerie feeling in the venue.
Before long, Papa Emeritus had taken the robe off and was adorned in a black tuxedo. The stage show incorporated large stained glass window backdrops and fog machines. The band did an amazing job warming up the crowd and finished with Monstrous Clock. If you are into the horror genre in music, Ghost is an excellent band that has fluid vocals, spine tingling sounds, and a truly immersive stage show. Yet as good as they were, they were not the main course.
After a lengthy intermission during set up it was time for the legendary Iron Maiden to take the stage. The arena went dark, and suddenly cauldrons of fire lit the stage. Bruce Dickinson appeared taking the top of the stage. His head bowed as he sang one of the band’s newer songs, “If Eternity Should Fail”.
The crowd was electric and you could feel the energy in the large arena. Iron Maiden delivered an amazing show. 58 year old Dickinson impressively jumped from one side of the stage to the other giving the crowd everything he had. He expelled every ounce of energy and sweat into a performance that spanned for forty years into two full hours of metal magic.
The thing that struck me the most was how much they gave to their fans who gathered here from around the world. The band’s mascot Eddie was present in many forms. He was appeared in various backdrops behind the stage, as a giant entity that followed the band through some of their songs. At one point Eddie emerged from the back of the stage, standing at least fifteen feet tall and began to battle the band! In the end Dickinson saved the day by ripping Eddie’s heart out and thrusting it into the cauldron of fire.
Some of the highlights to this show were “Children of the Damned”, “Wrathchild”, and the ever famous “Trooper”. They ended the set with their self titled song Iron Maiden. The band marched back onstage for their well deserved encore. The first song up, probably their most famous, “The Number of the Beast”. They followed this with “Wasted Years” and finished the entire show with “Blood Brothers”. At the end of “Blood Brothers” Dickinson stripped down to his underwear and threw out every piece of clothing he was wearing to the ravenous crowd who even wanted his socks!
This is a show I know that I will never forget. As the house lights came up and Monty Python’s “Bright Side of Life” played over the house speakers I knew I had witnessed something special. I’m glad that I was able to witness the spectacle, the grandeur, the metal that is Iron Maiden!
Iron Maiden’s setlist:
02. “Speed of Light”
04. “Children of the Damned”
05. “Death or Glory”
06. “The Red and the Black”
07. “The Trooper”
09. “The Great Unknown”
10. “The Book of Souls”
11. “Fear of the Dark”
12. “Iron Maiden”
13. “The Number of the Beast”
14. “Blood Brothers”
15. “Wasted Years”