Live!: Iron Maiden w/ Shinedown – 3Arena, Dublin 06/05/2017
The Bus Of Souls pulled into Dublin last Saturday as legendary metalheads, Iron Maiden visited Ireland for the first time in seven years, returning once again to the sold out 3Arena. To say this show was highly anticipated would be an understatement as the queues went for miles even 45 minutes after the doors had opened. Support on the Book Of Souls World Tour came from Shinedown.
My initial thoughts of Shinedown as support had concerns for them being able to cater for the Maiden crowd, and to their credit, they did a stellar job warming them up. Feeding those who got there early with their best work such as Second Chance, Enemies and finishing their set with The Sound Of Madness. More recent material wasn’t ignored either as Cut The Cord and How Did You Love also made the set to keep it balanced.
Frontman, Brent Smith seems genuinely happy to be a part of the tour. Before Diamond Eyes, he encourages everyone to shake the hand of the people beside them. We’ve seen stuff like this with many bands in the past, but what we don’t see is the singer also doing it, as he came to the edge of the stage, shook the hands of the security and every photographer working in the pit. Brent wasn’t the only one full of energy either, bassist Eric Bass spent more time up in the air than he did on the ground! The short, nine song set had served it’s purpose for warming up the crowd, and probably earned themselves a few new fans along the way.
Now it’s time for the kings of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal to take to the stage. If you ever saw one of those 80s music videos where there are seemingly hundreds of lights in the back and wondered if you’d ever get to see that again in modern times, you will on this tour! The stage is lit up like a Christmas tree, but the lights quickly go down as UFO’s Doctor Doctor blares through the PA followed by a short video package. Bruce is the first to be seen behind a Mayan cauldron at the back of the stage during the opening for If Eternity Should Fall. It’s probably the most amount of time he has relaxed during the entire show as he makes his way down the walls of the set.
By then, Dave, Adrian, Steve and Janick are on stage and all these years later, I still find myself wondering how can they still keep in tune while running around so much? By the time they get through Speed Of Light and Wrathchild, every member would used up as much energy that would have most gym rats gasping for breath. By then the crowd is getting involved, with almost a five minute singalong to The Red And The Black while Bruce dons on the red coat and brings out the Union Jack, it can only be The Trooper. There are about 3 or 4 costume changes if you count the different masks being swapped out, most of which are done on the fly and don’t interfere with the flow of the show.
Bruce gives a quick speech to encourage everyone to enjoy themselves because with everything that’s currently happening on both sides of the Atlantic, and not really knowing what’s going to happen next, he advises us to shag ourselves stupid, drink ourselves insensible and of course, listen to more Iron Maiden. At 16, that sounded like a plan to me. Hell, at 41, that still sounds like a plan to me! The Book Of Souls is next which shows off the production values as a giant Mayan Eddie finds himself attacked by various members of the band before Bruce rips his heart out, drains it and throws it into the crowd! The main set concludes with Iron Maiden, and it features an inflatable head of Eddie that must be approximately 20-25 foot high.
The encore finishes with The Number Of The Beast, Blood Brothers and a somewhat ropey version of Wasted Years, which starts off fine, but Adrian’s mic stand was accidentally kicked down which threw everything off for the beginning of the song, at this point the boys were full of the Irish craic and just blew it off, things got back on track before the mid song solo. Leaving an overall performance that’s one to be remembered.
With Iron Maiden, you’re not just getting a rock and roll show, you’re getting theatrics, you’re getting stories, you’re getting showmanship and you’re getting a history lesson on top of all of this. When you’re going nearly 42 years, sometimes you hear the words “I’d love to have seen them in their prime”, that won’t be the case here. Between the production, musicianship and energy put into this show. Iron Maiden are a long way away from passing their prime yet.
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