Iron Maiden rolled through Los Angeles last weekend, in the midst of their larger than life, Legacy of the Beast tour. Everything about Maiden’s current global trek is insanely epic. The classics heavy set list, the gargantuan stage show, Bruce Dickinson sporting long hair again, it’s all just [chef’s kiss] goddamn amazing. Here’s the rundown of the band’s super sold out LA stadium gig.
Banc of California Stadium is a brand new facility built for LAFC, right on the edge of downtown Los Angeles and holds approx. 22,000 people. As one might have guessed, Iron Maiden playing in actual LA [not Irvine, not San Bernardino, not Inglewood], in a legit “football” stadium of all places, resulted in a massively sold out gig. They even released additional tickets the day of and they were snatched up instantly. So the capacity crowd, many of whom tailgated outside in the 90 degree LA heat for hours before hand, were beyond pumped when Maiden hit the stage at 9pm.
Opening with “Aces High” and featuring a replica spitfire fighter plane dangling above their heads, Iron Maiden proceeded to kick the Banc of California’s ass for the next two hours. They played classic tunes off Piece of Mind that they haven’t played in forever [“Where Eagles Dare” was last played on 2005’s infamous Ozzfest run, “Flight of Icarus”… who knows?! This was our first time hearing it live!] as well as some iconic The Number of The Beast songs that haven’t been played in Southern California for a few years [“Hallowed Be Thy Name” anyone? “Run to the Hills?!” ]. The band even dropped a double dose of Blaze Bayley era tracks, playing “The Clansman” and “Sign of the Cross” respectively. Probably one of the most unexpected highlights of the night was hearing “For The Greater Good of God” again. Watching Maiden crush this epic tune on stage was in instant reminder of how gnarly 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death was.
That's sort of the strange beauty of Iron Maiden fandom. The band has a fanatical but crazy diverse pool of disciples with their own tastes and preferences. There's super old school die-hards who know the band's 80's catalogue like scripture. There's Di'Anno fans, Bayley fans, second and third generation fans raised on their new millennium output; you've got people losing their mind to "The Wicker Man" next to people falling overthemselves screaming along to "Revelations." Ultimately, the band did their best to accommodate everyone with such a spectacular set list and jaw dropping stage production. When you're watching Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Jers hit the tri-guitar attack in a massive stadium, how can you be anything other than entertained.
So, in typical Iron Maiden fashion, the band absolutely killed it. Watching Bruce Dickson fire off a flamethrower, Steve Harris gallop across the stage under a friggin airplane, and the almost incomprehensibly large, demonic Eddie that rose up from behind Nicko McBrain’s drum riser, it was like every Maiden fan’s dream come true. The next time Iron Maiden comes anywhere near your town, stop what you’re doing, re-arrange time and space; and get your ass there. The Legacy of the Beast tour is one of the best Iron Maiden runs in recent memory, and that definitely says something.
Iron Maiden are on tour now and great tickets are still available here.
Have you seen Iron Maiden before? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.