We’ve all seen extremely popular bands manage to still bring pure excitement of an arena rock atmosphere and fill the entire venue from top to bottom — but how many bands can still do that after mounting a career of multiple decades and still give any diehard music fan an undeniable “wow” factor? Iron Maiden, that’s who.
Just two years ago we had the pleasure of an amazing Book of Souls Tour production, and this time around — at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 30 — featured another visual eye opener with “The Legacy of The Beast“ stage production.
It was nothing short of a stellar show all around.
The tour having recently kicked off over two weeks ago, The Legacy of The Beast returned to Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center for another record sellout of loyal Maiden fanatics. You could feel the excitement throughout the parking lots, fans blasting Maiden classics and, of course, sporting past tour t- shirts.
There was no doubt in the back of anyone’s mind that Bruce Dickinson and his mates would not disappoint Philly metal heads with yet another visual domination center stage.
With every great headliner, fans are always subject to an opening band — which either brings the energy or fails at getting the crowd wired for a great show. In this case, newcomers The Raven Age from London brought the thunder in their opening slot.
For a five-piece metalcore outfit which rounds out the fold with guitarist George Harris (son of Iron Maiden’s own Steve Harris), they are letting their music do the talking for them on this tour.
It’s an absolutely perfect way to break the ice as an opening band, really: bring your son on the road and let him and his band bring the energy and the music center stage and warm up the Philly maniacs for Maiden.
While The Raven Age has toured the world and captivated multicultural fans from different countries, it was nice to see handmade banners being hoisted up over the front of the barricade welcoming the band with horns up and fists clinched, ready to rock.
I, alongside the 18,000-plus fans packed to the rafters, eagerly awaited for Iron Maiden to grace the stage promptly at 9 pm with the opening into from Winston Churchill’s most memorable phrase, during which a giant floating airplane descended down from the lighting rig, Dickenson dressed as a pilot going straight into their opening track of the evening, 1986’s “Aces High.”
Those first few minutes of that great song never sounded better, much like a polished classic from the early eighties — the good old days, when all sorts of bands had no problem selling out massive venues on a regular basis.
On this tour, Iron Maiden slammed through several classics and some rare songs they haven’t performed in years, such as “Where Eagles Dare” off Piece of Mind and “Flight of Icarus,” both obviously fan favorites.
Maiden has always been about the interaction between fan and band, and Dickinson relished in that opportunity several times throughout the band’s set.
“Philadelphia, scream for me!!!” — a catchphrase that only Bruce can deliver at the top of his lungs.
One thing about this band: it’s all about lights, sound and design. Even throughout their early years, I have seen some of the most elaborate designs that only they can do and do so well, really adding to the power of the band’s live show.
Much like a fine wine grows better and taster with age, the more seasoned and experienced Iron Maiden gets, the better they perform. They hit a whole other level on this current tour.
Amongst many of the old favorites covered in the show, “Two Minutes To Midnight“ from Power Slave, was a hit, as it’s been a staple in many past setlists, while others have been switched in and out over the years.
In just over two hours and seventeen songs filled with some great memorable classics, we can absolutely say that Iron Maiden came to Philadelphia and delivered just what their dedicated fans wanted — and then some.
The tour is still going on and there are plenty of USA dates left — visit Maiden’s site for full details. I highly recommend this as must-see on your concert schedule for the rest of 2019.