LIVE REVIEW: Iron Maiden @ Arena, Manchester (06/08/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: August 6th 2018
Venue: Arena, Manchester
Support: Killswitch Engage


Being a constant presence in the rock and metal community for over 40 years now, few bands have been as persistently prominent and influential in setting the foundations of the genre for their peers in the past, present, and indeed future as Iron Maiden.

With the gradual bowing out of the long-lasting greats, the most recent being Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden are now one of the final forerunners in that era of metal, and they’re back on the road again for another stint across the world, titled the Legacy Of The Beast tour.

Coming along for the UK leg as their one and only support act, Killswitch Engage [8] may be a good side heavier than the evening’s headliner, but with the amount of respect and the consistent quality and volume of their output, they’re definitely treading down a similar path. From the very first moments of their set, the Massachusetts heavy hitters take control of the crowd before them.

Cuts come forth from throughout their discography, and the soaring classic ‘My Last Serenade’ slides with ease into fresh cut ‘Beyond The Flames’. Guitarist Adam D runs from side-to-side on the stage whilst chugging out punishing riffs, Justin Foley proves song after song his primal precision behind the kit, and even after some recent surgery on his vocal cords, frontman Jesse Leach maintains and indeed strengthens his position as one of the most powerful and talented vocalists in modern metal.

Before Iron Maiden [9] emerge onto the stage, UFO‘s song ‘Doctor, Doctor’ plays across the arena’s PA and two soldiers stand to attention on both side’s facing the audience, and this marks what’s to come for the first portion of the blistering set that follows. The band burst out into view with set opener ‘Aces High’, and they’ve only gone and brought along a flying replica of a Royal Airforce Spitfire with them.

From the off, it’s easy to see that Iron Maiden really are bringing a beast of a show to the fans tonight. The band are renowned for delivering an extravagant stage show that both demands and captures your undivided attention through its many ever-changing spectacles; this is no different.

Every few songs there’s a shift to the stage’s aesthetic and motif, whether that’s making a quick transition to the artwork backdrop, transforming the stage itself into the interior of an extravagant and transcending cathedral, a soaring, large dying angel being held in the air like Jesus on a crucifix during ‘Flight Of Icarus’, or the pyro frenzy that comes during ‘The Wicker Man’.

The band’s mascot Eddie even makes an appearance during the band’s rock solid and iconic hit ‘The Tropper’, carrying in tow a longsword with with which he battles with and tries to slay frontman Bruce Dickinson whilst the rest of the band play on.

Dickinson‘s voice remains one of the most prolific in the metal world, hitting those challenging notes in songs like ‘Fear Of The Dark’, ‘The Number Of The Beast’, and ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’, to name but a few. Indeed, even with the other members of the band hitting their late 50s and early 60s, they still exude far more energy and vibrance than peers that are less than a third their age.

It’s the stellar climax of ‘Run To The Hills’ that really tips off the celebration and legacy of the beast that is Iron Maiden‘s impressive back-catalogue that has been showcased throughout the night. Even with sixteen albums under their belt and several decades into their careers, Iron Maiden are still an intimidating general on the metal battlefield.