Few bands can live up to the legacy that is Iron Maiden. They have influenced the likes of Metallica, Ghost and countless others, even local bands such as Solar Flare. And with good reason too. Iron Maiden has been an unstoppable force since forming in East London way back in 1975. For any band to stay relevant for that long and still pack arenas and each and every show is a truly amazing feat.
Riverbend was no exception to the rule. Despite it being a Thursday night even with many adjusting to new schedules due to schools getting back in session, the venue was packed with headbangers from all walks of life. Original Maiden fans? Check. New fans? Check. Coworkers, friends and family you didn’t even think would ever go to a live show let alone a metal show? Check.
“Scream for me Cincinnati!”
Do you know how long I have waited to hear those words? It’s been too long since Iron Maiden has been to Cincinnati and after their incredible, jet fueled performance Thursday evening, I hope they do not stay away for too long again. Bruce Dickinson and his crew were in “over the top” form on their recent “Legacy of the Beast Tour.” With a set that spanned over their celebrated career and lasted just over 2 hours. This show had it all, everything you could ask for and dream of for an arena show. They had a bomber plane complete with a whirling propeller, pyrotechnics, plenty of stage changes and even a duel to the death with their mascot Eddy who was clad in a red coat and stilts.
During the beginning of the set Dickinson quipped that they were old enough to finally be recognized by Rolling Stone but know half of their younger fans do not even know what Rolling Stone is! From fencing their undead mascot to actually equipping himself with twin flame throwers (yes,you read that right) Dickinson is an incredible frontman and performer. Let’s not forget the rest of the band either. Steve Harris and Nicko Mcbain kept the groves tight and focused while the guitarists Janick Gers, Adrian Smith and Dave Murrary kept the thunderous galloping Maiden style churning long into the night. Plenty of fans and myself included are going to find themselves beat, worn out and horse the next morning.
As far as the setlist goes it was a night with mostly classic stuff with a few newer songs thrown in the mix. Among the highlights were, “Aces High,” “2 Minutes to Midnight,” “The Trooper,” “Fear of the Dark” and “Number of the Beast.” Even with that electrifying set they upped the ante with their encore playing, “The Evil that Men Do,” “Hallowed be thy Name,” and ended they explosive evening with the always crowd pleasing, “Run to the Hills.”
It was everything you wanted in a live rock show. Period. It was loud. It was proud. It was an excuse to drink and sing with your buddies or introduce your family and friends to “Upping the Irons.”
Thank you Iron Maiden. Please come back soon.