Words and Photos by Kevin Estrada | @KevinEstradaPhotography
Scream for me, Anaheim!
Iron Maiden brought their Legacy of The Beast 2022 Tour to Southern California, fully equipped with Giant Samurai’s, Flame Throwers and Fighter Planes. 36,000 die-hard fans packed The Honda Center over a two-night, sold out stand in Anaheim, welcoming the band back in support of their 17th release, Senjutsu. From the parking lot to the arena, the power and influence of Iron Maiden was in the air – fan-made Eddie busts decorating vehicles, chants of “Maiden, Maiden, Maiden” in the parking lots, and flags and banners from their dedicated fans who follow the band around the globe. When Iron Maiden comes to town, it’s not just a show, it’s an event.
The band – Steve Harris on bass, Dickinson on vocals, Nicko McBrain on drums and Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers on guitar – treated the roaring crowd to a 2 hour, 15 song set, that gave equal weight and credence to every chapter of their phenomenal career. Besides bringing over 40 year’s worth of music, the band brought with them a stage show that quite possibly could be their largest and most elaborate ever.
The crowd roared as the band exploded into Senjutsu, showcasing a 15 ft tall Samurai Eddie decked out in full Japanese armor. Iron Maiden continued to deliver the next two tracks from their newest release, Stratego, and The Writing on the Wall. Dickinson bellowed out 4 words that set the tone for the rest of the night, “Scream for me, Anaheim!” From that moment on, it was all about what makes Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden.
The band began their metal onslaught, treating the band to deep mood changers and to the untouchable classics that make Iron Maiden who they are. The world on stage is constantly changing, keeping the fans engaged and connected to each world and each song – ancient Japanese pagodas, stained-lass cathedrals, fire-spouting wastelands, and war-torn battlefields.
Iron Maiden’s secret weapon is making each fan feel as if they are part of the show – building a story on stage that draws the fan in. Dickinson has the ability to mesmerize the audience with his stage theatrics - shooting flames from a dual-wielding flamethrower during "Flight of Icarus," fencing with a supersized Eddie during "The Trooper,” toying with a noose as he led the audience in a climactic "Hallowed Be Thy Name" singalong, and conducting the near-deafening crowd chant for an inspiring rendition of Fear Of The Dark.
The most impressive fact about Iron Maiden – more so than their powerful performances or melodic anthems - is that this band built an empire without the support of radio, never deviating or giving up their awe-inspiring vision. Iron Maiden’s shows are always the biggest and best rock show money can buy - but in the end, Iron Maiden is a true heavy metal love story, a love story between the band and their unwavering fans.