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Photos & Review: IRON MAIDEN Tore It Up In New Jersey

Yes, they ruled.

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On Friday, October 21, Iron Maiden's Legacy of the Beast World Tour made its stop at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ with the support of Dutch symphonic metal act Within Temptation.

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As the lights went down for the first time, Within Temptation took the stage under the glow of moody red lighting in front of a near sold out arena of 19,500 hungry Maiden fans. Within Temptation came in strong by opening their set with "The Reckoning," after which vocalist Sharon den Adel addressed the crowd and noted how big of an honor it was to be on tour with Iron Maiden. And of course, the words "Iron Maiden" alone caused the crowd to erupt with a roar of excitement. The band would then continue on with their set with "Paradise (What About Us?)." From there we (the media crew) would be ushered back to the backstage tunnel area to wait for Iron Maiden.

And then the time had come, the time we had all been waiting for – Iron Maiden was about to hit the stage. Notably one the biggest and most iconic names in heavy metal history worldwide, with almost five decades of music under their belt, Maiden is undeniably one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history… and let's not forget to mention Eddie, the best mascot in all of music.

As UFO's "Doctor Doctor" played over the house speakers, fans eagerly awaiting the band sang along, all donning many different Maiden shirts from over the decades. Fans in the front row also proudly displayed their country's flags with a variety of Iron Maiden artwork, while others had battle vests full of Iron Maiden patches could also be seen draped over the front barrier. The house lights went dark, the stage with large pagodas were dimly lit in blue. As fog rose, silhouettes of the band members could be seen coming onto the stage as the opening of "Senjutsu" played. The arena erupted into one enormous roar as the lights over the stage flared up and frontman Bruce Dickinson made his entrance.

Iron Maiden ran through the first three songs of their set which were also the first three off their latest LP Senjutsu. Fans were welcomed by the brand new samurai sword wielding Eddie during the opening track of the set. After Maiden gave their fans a dose of the new LP live, it was back to the classics. With almost five decades under their belt, Iron Maiden hasn't lost a step. Bruce was his normal energetic self, running all over every square foot of the stage with multiple outfit changes to coincide with different songs and stage setups while Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, and Janik Gers took turns hammering out a multitude of guitar solos. With one foot on the monitor Steve Harris was his usual self, playing to the hungry crowd rifling off the bass notes as Nicko McBrain, hidden behind a normal monster of a drum kit pounded the skins like the beast his truly is.

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Eddie "The Trooper" showed up for a fight at the start of Maiden's first encore battling Bruce for supremacy of the stage. When it was all said and done, it seemed that Bruce would come out victor of the battle of Newark. "The Clansman," and "Run to the Hills" would finish off the encore. As the arena remained in total darkness there was only one song that could possibly remain, and then it hit! Churchill's speech started playing and the arena went nuts – fans could be heard reciting the speech as it went along. A life size replica of a Spitfire MK. II fighter plane could be seen being lowered from the rafters with all of the band at the front of stage as Dickinson came out in his traditional leather pilots cap and goggles, and they launched right into the iconic "Aces High."

As always Iron Maiden did not let down. I personally would have liked to have heard at least one song off of Somewhere In Time, but I know you can't always play the same songs over and over, tour after tour. Now all we can do is wait and hope for Maiden to come back to the states on the Future Past tour that is going to begin this summer in Europe.

Iron Maiden

Within Temptation

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