Iron Maiden -
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.C., New York, USA, Friday, July 21st, 2017
Set List: If Eternity Should Fail/Speed Of Light/Wrathchild/Children Of The Damned/Death Or Glory/The Red And The Black/The Trooper/Powerslave/The Great Unknown/The Book Of Souls/Fear Of The Dark/Iron Maiden.
Encore: The Number Of The Beast/Blood Brothers/Wasted Years.
“Scream for me New York!” Each city waits to hear these words bellowed by Iron Maiden front man, Bruce Dickinson. Reviewing an Iron Maiden show may seem like an easy task but for an avid Maiden fan, like myself, there are not enough words to describe what a phenomenal experience an Iron Maiden live performance is. Still, I will gladly, accept the honour of doing so and hope I can do this band justice.
In an era of social media saturation and record labels turning their backs on harder rock acts, Iron Maiden have survived unscathed and still manage to sell out massive arenas worldwide. They defeat the rhetoric stating music fans no longer crave good old fashioned rock music, they obviously do. I am around musicians and music fans quite often, but, I will say that Maiden fans are the most loyal and friendliest of the bunch. Having been a mainstay in the European markets, over the years Iron Maiden have reached North and South American shores with the same fervor.
For those who came on board in the beginning, the first time we put an Iron Maiden album on a turntable, we were immediately hooked. The pulse of an extraordinary bassist, dueling guitars and a hard edged signature British 'metal' sound; satisfied the 'rocker' crowd that were not enamoured with the current status quo.
While MTV was making news and the music industry became more visual obsessed, Iron Maiden stayed true to form. They submitted videos along with everyone else but there were no scantily clad women, hair sprayed locks, or eye liner here; their videos represented who they were and it worked perfectly for them.
Now in their 60s, the six band members still perform with an energetic zeal that puts younger folk to shame. If rock and roll keeps you young, Iron Maiden are a flawless example. Their elaborate stage set doesn’t often allow them much leeway with the set list but their song choices resonate well with the crowd. Boasting three technically gifted guitarist, Iron Maiden are able to authentically replicate what they create in studio.
On this evening, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the lights dimmed and the roar of the sold out Barclays Center spectators was ear-splitting. The band appeared on stage via an entrance in their stage set. Off and running they launched into the opening notes of 'If Eternity Should Fail' which is the opening track of their most recent offering; 'The Book of Souls'.
The album not only returned the band to the sound that made them famous but was also a turning point due to the uncertainty of Bruce Dickinson’s illness. Dickinson stated he chose to complete the recording before seeking medical attention. With much relief to the band and their fans, Bruce has fully recovered and his powerhouse voice and avid showmanship has resumed with a vengeance.
The Book of Souls , played a prime part in Maiden’s set list, offering chosen tracks 'Speed Of Light', 'The Red And The Black', 'Death Or Glory', and the title track. However, no Iron Maiden show is complete without performing their classics. 'Wrathchild' still part of the band’s repertoire, was originally handled by former Iron Maiden vocalist, Paul Di Anno; Dickinson has managed to make the song his own.
Of course the evening would not be complete without 'The Trooper' with its renowned superhuman bass gallop by the extraordinary Steve Harris, followed by the intense 'Powerslave'. The set ended with 'Iron Maiden' from the 1980 self titled album.
As the lights went dark, we knew an encore was eminent, yet, the anticipation was unyielding. As with any performance by a much loved group of artists, no one wanted the inevitable conclusion to the evening. Iron Maiden returned to the stage amidst the opening dialogue of 'Number of the Beast'. The remainder of the encore contained three songs in total with 'Wasted Years' closely following 'Blood Brothers'.
There are bands who manage to transcend time, no matter how the music industry changes. This band has survived and remain a strong force with a worldwide following. As Iron Maiden continue to churn out well written songs, honest performances, and strong dynamism, the audience continues to gets what they expect which is excellence.
By Dawn Belotti