IRON MAIDEN Open The Book On America

March 2, 2016, 2 years ago

Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt

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Arguably the world’s greatest heavy metal band, Iron Maiden, recently trekked cross-Atlantic into Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to kick off their latest tour in support of the mammoth new release, Book Of Souls. Landing several days early in their virgin 747 “Ed Force One”, the band jumped into technical rehearsals and were raring to go when they hit the stage February 24th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Unfortunately, the venue itself suffered more from pre-show jitters than the band, unable to process thousands of people efficiently through their poorly designed security snafu. Most unfortunately ended up still outside while Steve Harris’ son’s band Raven Age gave support.

Singer Bruce Dickinson’s first show back from his throat cancer recovery quickly relieved all worry, showing the air-raid siren was still in classic form. Past staging’s ranged from ancient Egypt to Artic snowcaps and tonight’s spectacle was no sensatory exception. Setting our proceedings deep in the heart of the Mayan jungle, Bruce opens the show over a smoldering sacrificial alter, launching the boys into the world premiere of “If Eternity Should Fail”, quickly followed by another fresh number, “Speed Of Light”.

The band itself never missed a beat. Iron Maiden always delivers. Dusting off “Children Of The Damned” (first time played since 2009) gave a shot of adrenaline to those who might not yet be familiar with the new material. The new album is quite ambitious, and six of the epic new songs would be given a test run before the night was over. Being opening night, I caught a few missed lighting cues but I’m sure the kinks will get worked out in short order. Classic highlights included “Powerslave”, “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “The Trooper”. Inflatable Eddie? You got it. Stilts-Eddie? (looking like Baron Samedi from Live And Let Die) Check.

A two-plus hour show was quite ambitious but curiously, staples like “Run To The Hills”, “2 Minutes To Midnight” etc. went missing.  I guess there isn’t time to play everything and the sea of Helldogs and Rivetheads seemed quite satisfied, regardless. The whole tour has already sold out in advance. Check your secondary markets because like everything Maiden, this is a show not to be missed. All upcoming Book Of Souls World Tour dates at IronMaiden.com.

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