It’s been almost 2 years since Iron Maiden released their well acclaimed 16th studio effort “Book of Souls.” Well 36 countries and a year and half later, Iron Maiden wrapped up their worldwide tour with back to back sold out shows at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. This is the first time the band has played Brooklyn since its club days as they played Lamour’s back in the early 1980’s. BackstageAxxess were there to cover their 117th and final show. As any show to wrap any tour goes, it could be unpredictable and you can say in parts, it sure was.
As the intro song “Doctor Doctor” plays by UFO, the crowd starts jumping and getting revved up as the bans is just about to take the stage. With a stage that encompasses Mayan theme, the show starts off with vocalist Bruce Dickinson at the top of the stage with singing into a bellow of smoke coming from a pedestal. The rest of the band then appears for the track “If Eternity Should Fall.” With guitarists Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and the ever so energetic Janick Gers moving about. Each six stringer were on cue playing off each other band not missing a beat. Gers is known to dance, throw his guitar around and play his guitar in various positions, and he did that.
Dickinson himself was all over the stage using every inch that he could. He ran around a ton and wore a few masks throughout the set. He wore a monkey mask and tried to pass out bananas to Murry during “Death or Glory.” before tossing them out to the audience. Then then proceeded to toss out the monkey mask he used for the entire tour as well. In fact, Dickinson tossed out more souvenirs for the fans but more on that later. He then wore a wrestling mask for “Powerslave.” Dickinson sounded terrific. He has shown no ill effects from the cancer he battled just over 2 years ago.
Besides the powerful & melodic riffs the band is known for; they also interject the acoustic guitar when needed. Gers did this at the beginning and end of “Book of Souls” and Smith did this for “Children of the Damned.” Iron Maiden is Iron Maiden without its ring leader bassist Steve Harris. Harris is the straw that stirs the drink for the band. His timeless bass playing flows through and charges the band and their fans throughout each show. Even though you can’t see him for most parts of the set, drummer NickoMcBrain plays off Harris and sets the tone for the band and that allows the others to do what they do. He did stand up at the end of the 1st part of the set and at the end of the show to throw out signed drum heads, drumsticks and wristbands.
What’s an Iron Maiden show without an appearance of the most famous mascot in music…Eddie. Edie made his appearance during “Book of Souls.” Gers makes his way in and out under his legs while playing the guitar. Then Eddie confronts Dickinson on the other side of the stage. Dickinson leans in and grabs his heart out his chest and then sprays the contents all over the stage before tossing it out into the crowd.
Lots of pyro accompanied parts of their set especially at the beginning and for the title track “Book of Souls.” Dickinson gave a nice speech at the end talking about they don’t care what religion sexual orientation or anything like that. If you’re a transsexual and worship Darth Vader that’s fine and are welcomed to the family. Then that segued into the last track “Blood Brothers.” After this song, Dickinson then proceeded to thrown almost every part of clothing into the audience. Cargo pants, sweatshirt, boots and even socks. Yes SOCKS! He said “you sure you want these?” Really?” he said to the crowd. Then the sweaty soiled socks made their way in as Dickinson was left in pretty much boxer shorts to the amusement of his bandmates.
Most bands who release new music tend to only play a few tracks (at the most) and laden the rest of the set with classic tracks that everyone is more familiar with. Iron Maiden is one of the few exceptions to that rule. Usually the band is known for going heavy on the newer tracks and spraying in a few hits. This again was the case as they played 6 tracks off “Book of Souls.” Regardless of how the band constructs the setlist, their fans are still there and support them.
Attending an Iron Main show is like no other. Fans travel from all around the world with their custom-made Iron Maiden flags and show a true kinship with one another. It was a tremendous wrap up and Dickinson made comments that they are already to work on the next project. We all can’t wait to see what is up next for one of the greatest rock bands on earth!
If Eternity Should Fall
Speed of Light
Children of the Damned
Death or Glory
The Red and the Black
The Great Unknown
The Book of Souls
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
We would like to thank Todd Nakamine from Funhouse Entertainment Group for the credentials to review the show.