If fairies wear boots, like the old Black Sabbath song says, then wizards wear fanny packs.
Or at least the row of ’em sitting directly behind me at Wednesday night’s Iron Maiden concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena did. Those dudes spent most of opening act Ghost’s set conjuring up who knows what with their gestures and hand commands. The masked band from Sweden played their doom metal to a crowd content to keep a collective fist perched in the air in their honor.
There was a hearty break while a massive stage crew came out to get things prepped for Iron Maiden, currently on the Book of Souls Tour. When UFO’s “Doctor” came pouring through the speakers, many Maiden fans knew the show was about to begin. The band has been using that ’70s track as a set kickoff for a while now.
And then it happened – the lights went down and the covers were removed to reveal the stage’s conversion to resemble a stone temple, complete with pillars of fire. At the top, there was singer Bruce Dickinson, hovering over a cauldron of steam.
They opened with “If Eternity Should Fail,” one of the tracks from 2015 release The Book of Souls. But the night wasn’t a total trip to the past; the band mixed it up, including a few tracks from that record. The sound was a little muddy off the bat but seemed to sharpen up by the second song, “Speed of Light,” and stayed on point for the night.
The band attacked the set with full force. You could see it in the sweat and vein-y grimaces that come with rocking out, but it did seem like the volume could have come up a bit, overall.
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