Review and Photo by Paul Salfen
Known as one of the greatest live metal bands in the world, Iron Maiden doesn’t disappoint and of course, they made a sold out crowd at Austin’s Moody Center very happy tonight during their only Texas stop on this run of the Legacy of the Beast tour. Starting out with three tracks from their new album, Senjutsu: the eight-plus minute title track, Stratego, and The Writing on the Wall, complete with a Japanese-themed set and an album-themed appearance by the band’s larger-than-life mascot, Eddie, the band came out with ferocious energy that surpasses many of their peers their age. Watching the members literally sprint across the stage the entire show was a joy. For those that had seen them years ago, it was as if little to no time had passed. Singer Bruce Dickinson, despite having since had a bout with cancer, had not lost a step or even a little bit in his voice. The triple guitar attack of Adrian Smith, Janick Gers, and Dave Murray is always on point, and the galloping bass of Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain was as thunderous as ever.
While setlists are hard to make longtime fans of any band happy when certain songs are omitted, this one was particularly well spread out. There were the staples like Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, The Trooper (complete with a fencing duel between Dickinson and Eddie), Hallowed Be Thy Name (featuring Dickinson toying with a noose), and the set-closer, Aces High (with a plane overhead), but it was the other eras like the Paul Di’Anno-era namesake track, Iron Maiden, and even the Blaze Bayley-era tracks Sign of the Cross and The Clansman that made the set even more unique. Blood Brothers, Revelations, and Fear of the Dark went over particularly well, too, but it was a flamethrower-weilding Dickinson during Flight of the Icarus that seemed to be one of the most standout moments for fans looking for a surprise older track that really got them going. In their near two hour set, the music was the focal point, but Dickinson did address the crowd to declare the pandemic over and their joy being back out there known to all. And then of course the cries of “Scream for me, Austin!” were always met with great enthusiasm. For anyone thinking this would be a by-the-numbers hits-only set that had been seen before or could be seen again, they would be mistaken. Iron Maiden will always be one of the best and if there’s ever a chance to see them, you definitely should.