Iron Maiden have graced UK shores again, stopping off at The Genting Arena in Birmingham to remind us all why they are the most revered metal band on the planet. The Legacy of the Beast tour is a celebration of Maiden’s expansive back catalogue with the support for tonight, and all the European and UK dates, being American heavy metal band Killswitch Engage.
I will be honest metalcore is not really my cup of tea but that being said Killswitch Engage were quite good. As you would expect from a support act they left the talking to a minimum so they could cram in as many songs as possible. That they did, blazing their way through numbers such as ‘My Last Serenade’, ‘Rose of Sharyn’, the Disarm the Descent duo ‘My Curse’ and ‘In Due Time’, ending with their famous cover of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ .
Maiden were an absolute treat, with a huge stage show replete with Spitfires and Eddies and a set filled with hits and the album cuts alike. The opener was never in doubt, yes Churchill’s speech did indeed give way to ‘Aces High’. Classics such as this were littered throughout the night with ‘Fear of the Dark’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘Number of the Beast’ and ‘The Trooper’ warming the hearts of thousands of delirious metalheads
Talking of ‘The Trooper’ Piece of Mind got some much needed love, with ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘The Flight of Icarus’ and, one of my favourites, the biblical tour de force that is ‘Revelations’ getting an airing. This record often gets overlooked, probably because it is sandwiched between their most famous albums and no prizes for guessing those. The Blaze years also got some attention, the dark and brooding ‘Sign of the Cross’ and the anthemic ‘The Clansman’, the latter song one of the few redeeming features of Virtual XI. The most surprisingly 21st century inclusion was ‘For The Greater Good of God’, a welcomed one from A Matter of Life and Death but if beggars could be choosers I would have picked ‘The Pilgrim’.
As it was Bruce’s 60th Nicko got an arena wide rendition of happy birthday going, and for a man only six years away from retirement age, he was bouncing across the stage with the energy of a man half his age. ‘Run to the Hills’ closed the encore and ended the night, believe the hype this tour really is that good.