July 14, 2012
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Concert Review: Iron Maiden

Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto - July 13, 2012
By Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency


British heavy metal vets Iron Maiden played the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Friday July 13, 2012 with veteran shock rocker Alice Cooper as their opening act. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI AGENCY)

There was an impressive looking sea of black T-shirts down in front of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Friday night.

The reason?

Why the double bill of ‘70s shock rocker Alice Cooper and British heavy metal veterans Iron Maiden, of course.

The sold-out crowd of 16,000 flocked to the lakeside shed to get their fill of over-the-top theatrical rock and couldn’t have left disappointed considering the number of props, demons in various shapes and sizes and plenty of pyro, particularly in Iron Maiden’s set.

First up was the 64-year-old Cooper, decked out in black leather pants and backed by a five piece band, including Aussie female guitarist Orianthi, with his trusty boa constrictor wrapped around his neck during No More Mr Nice Guy.

What followed was a parade of props and costumes that would make Cher jealous - a sword covered in dollar bills during Billion Dollar Babies; a white lab coat and red rubber gloves and an actual Frankenstein for Feed My Frankenstein; a riding crop and general’s hat which inspired some goosestepping in Cooper during Wicked Young Man; the guillotine which lopped off Cooper’s head before I Love The Dead; and finally a Blue Jays jersey and top hat during the show ending School’s Out.


Just another day at work for Uncle Alice.

Then it was Iron Maiden’s turn at bat and they definitely upped the ante with boisterous frontman Bruce Dickinson, the three guitar attack of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers (the bendy one who liked to put one leg high up on a riser), and the thundering rhythm section of bassist Steve Harris and drummer Nicko McBrain, the latter who was practically invisible behind his wall-like drum kit.

Their so-called Maiden England World Tour setlist and stage show was largely based on the original 1989 concert video of the same name, shot during the 7th Tour of a 7th Tour in 1988.

So the band, who opened with Moonchild, played on a large icy blue stage straight out of Game Of Thrones (but inspired by the album artwork for their 1988 album, Seventh Son of A Seventh Son) with plenty of platforms on to which Dickinson could launch his tiny, muscular body sending the crowd into a frenzy.

“Scream for me Toronto!” was his favourite refrain and the audience never disobeyed.

From there was no where to go but up and the band did with such standouts as Can I Play With Madness; and the anthemic trio of Run To The Hills, Fear Of The Dark and Aces High.

Also good were The Prisoner (preceded by a clip from the ‘60s Patrick McGooghan series); Two Minutes to Midnight; The Trooper (featuring Dickinson in a red army jacket and waving a giant Union Jack flag on a pole); The Number Of The Beast (with the devil making an appearance amongst plenty of pyro);and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son with special mention to the marathon playing of the three guitarists.

 


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