American Airlines Center, Dallas
Friday, June 23, 2017
Iron Maiden's visit to Dallas on Friday night was its first in five years. And the British six-piece showed during its two-hour performance at American Airlines Center that there is no real end in sight for a long career.
The band is, however, toward the end of its touring cycle for its 16th studio album, The Book of Souls. You wouldn't have determined that from the energy level it brought Friday, when it performed in front of a Mayan ruins stage setup. It could have been the tour kickoff.
Following an excellent 45-minute opening set by Swedish metalheads Ghost, the sold-out AAC stood throughout Iron Maiden's 15-song set. The band paid lots of attention to its new album but mixed in well-loved ragers like "Wrathchild," "Children of the Damned" and "Fear of the Dark."
This arrangement is typical for the band, and it works well. Iron Maiden successfully engaged the fans who have loved it for decades while also giving a different performance from last time. In 2012, the group played Gexa Energy Pavilion — now Starplex Pavilion — and resurrected the stage set and song list from the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour.
Frontman Bruce Dickinson, who beat cancer a few years ago, performed with his characteristic intensity, vigor and showmanship Friday night; he’s never met a high note he couldn’t hit while running around the stage. He and guitarist Janick Gers joked around frequently: First Dickinson draped a hoodie over Gers — and later, a British flag — but Gers continued to play through his parts flawlessly.
Although bassist Steve Harris is the only original member left, this lineup — rounded out by drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith — has remained intact for 18 years.
Iron Maiden has worked in its own lane all this time, relying on releasing quality albums and playing entertaining live shows instead of waiting for mainstream acceptance. It's as relevant as ever, and given how well it came across to the 13,000 fans in attendance, it seems the band is not taken for granted.
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“If Eternity Should Fail”
“Speed of Light”
“Children of the Damned”
“Death or Glory”
“The Red and the Black”
“The Great Unknown”
“The Book of Souls”
“Fear of the Dark”
“The Number of the Beast”