Iron Maiden not only played the Forum for first time since 2008, but also the first they’ve played in Los Angeles since. The first show sold out instantly so a second date was added, which also sold out. A day before the first show fans gathered at LAX to watch the band’s 747 plane, named Ed Force One, land. All together the band played 10 shows in the U.S., including Madison Square Garden (NYC) and the United Center (Chicago). The second night of the Forum was the last North American date. The band played in Tokyo for two nights four days later, and they’ll continue through China, Australia, New Zealand and Europe through August.
This year marks 41 years of Iron Maiden. Their latest release Book of Souls, which was released last year, is the band’s 16th studio album. Book of Souls went to No. 1 on the charts in seven countries. For their show at the Forum the band played six songs from Book of Souls. The show was 15 songs, which may seem short but considering the length of the songs it easily adds up to two hours.
The show started with opening act The Raven Age with Steve Harris’s son George Harris. Instead of a curtain in front of the stage all the set pieces and drums were covered up. “Doctor Doctor” by UFO played before Iron Maiden’s set. The lights went out and right above the drums a set piece that looked like a small pillar had smoke coming out, and then appeared Bruce Dickinson. The show started out nice and slow to go with the Book of Souls theme, and when the band came out it went into full gear. Iron Maiden played the first two songs from Book of Souls “If Eternity Should Fail” and “Speed of Light.” Then the band kicked into “Children of the Damned,” which had everyone singing. The band continued with another two songs from the album, followed by “The Trooper.” Featuring the classic album cover on a huge scrim behind the stage, Dickinson dressed to go with the song and carried the British flag. For each song there was a scrim behind the stage with their iconic mascot Eddie on it to go with each song. Following “The Trooper” was another Iron Maiden classic “Powerslave.” The guitar trio Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers; galloping bass of Steve Harris; fast pace drums of Nicko McBrain; and soaring vocals of Dickinson were at 110% the whole night.
As always there was a giant Eddie walking around the stage. Not only that but a giant blow up Eddie came up in front of the scrim during “Iron Maiden,” which was the last song before the encore. Sparks came out from Eddie’s eyes as it deflated after the song. The three-song encore started with “Number of the Beast,” which had an inflatable devil looking character stage left. The show concluded with “Blood Brothers” and “Wasted Years.” The crowd was certainly blown away. If there’s one band that delivers night after night it’s Iron Maiden.
Text and photos by Alex Kluft
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