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Live Review: Iron Maiden in Calgary on 26 July 2012!
Words: Adrien Begrand
In front of more than 10,000 adoring fans in Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, July 26, Iron Maiden was even tighter and more professionally executed than usual. Part of their current Maiden England North American tour, which sees the band revisiting a good chunk of their ‘Seventh Son’ set list and beautifully expanding on the stage set-up from that 1988 tour, it was a bit unusual to see normally verbose singer Bruce Dickinson keep the between-song chatter to a minimum. But in the end that worked tremendously to Maiden’s advantage, as they reeled off classic live staples (‘The Trooper’, ‘Run to the Hills’), ‘Seventh Son’ gems (‘Moonchild’, ‘The Clairvoyant’), as well as a few suprises, highlighted by ‘The Prisoner’ and the first album classic ‘Phantom of the Opera’, There’s been some bickering online about how Maiden had chosen not to resurrect ‘Infinite Dreams’ yet decided to include ‘Fear of the Dark’s ‘Afraid to Shoot Strangers’, and although that 1992 album still leaves a bad taste in yours truly’s mouth after 20 years, I even had to begrudgingly admit that the song wound up working exceptionally well.
All the while the visuals were phenomenal, the iceberg-themed stage focusing on the whites and sky blues of the ‘Seventh Son’ album artwork. In addition, the positioning of backdrops, props, flames, and pyro gave the stage a sense of depth, making for a feast for the eyes. No fewer than three versions of beloved mascot Eddie were carted out: a walking Eddie dressed as General Custer, the solemn Eddie from the ‘Seventh Son’ inner sleeve, and for the show’s big climax, a gigantic version of the Eddie as depicted on the ‘Seventh Son’ cover. For all the gimmickry, though, in the end it’s all about the music, and the band looked and sounded phenomenal, the mix clean and virtually flawless from the middle of the floor. And despite that lack of Bruce’s monologues, he was in fine vocal form, hitting the high notes (‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ especially), running and jumping everywhere, engaging the crowd constantly. In the end, that combination of songs, visuals, stage set-up, mix, performance, and the overall jovial, communal vibe among fans made this the best Maiden show this fan of 28 years has ever seen. Well done, lads.
Can I Play With Madness
2 Minutes To Midnight
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
The Number Of The Beast
Phantom Of The Opera
Run To The Hills
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Fear Of The Dark
The Evil That Men Do