Iron Maiden Keeps The Metal Dream Alive at Mansfield’s Xfinity Center With Galloping Display (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

British heavy metal rockers, Iron Maiden, descended upon the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts on August 1, to join forces with their legion of loyal fans for their Legacy of the Beast tour. And, for the performance tonight, Maiden has continued their tradition of opening their set each night by blasting their cover version of UFO’s “Doctor, Doctor” while vintage battle scenes were projected on the amphitheater’s screens to the left and the right that was followed by spoken word.

After a speech by Winston Churchill, the band (less Dickinson) burst out on to the stage. Nicko McBrain (drums) strategically hid behind his kit, “the three amigos” – Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, and Janick Gers (all on guitar) and Steve Harris (bass) made their presence known right out of the gate by taking their marks as well. Just as a replica fighter jet emerged from above, Bruce Dickinson (vocals) charged out from behind a curtain and galloped to the center of the stage and flew into a vocal frenzy as Maiden tore through the set opener, “Aces High” – all while the replica fighter jet veered right, left and up and down against a war-torn backdrop that literally covered the stage in its entirety. Dickinson disappeared during the climax of “Aces” and reemerged aloft scaffolding behind McBrain wearing an outfit worthy of protection from the frozen tundra. He and the band seamlessly and soared right into “Where Eagles Dare” and “2 Minutes to Midnight”.

Taking a short break. Dickinson was chatty and greeted the band’s fans, but it didn’t take long before this British machine galloped through the epic juggernaut, “The Clansman” from the short-lived mid 90’s Blaze Bayley era. The axemen of the band took center-stage during the beginning “The Trooper” while Dickinson waved his sword and Union Jack from the scaffolding. The audience went ballistic when the band’s mascot Eddie emerged wearing his tattered British regalia. Dickinson and Eddie playfully tainted each other. It was a sight to behold. It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the band or their fans. Regardless, this was a special event for all. The lights went out and a spray of blue and purple lights flickered randomly before the backdrop was set aglow with images of stained-glass windows for “Revelations” and “For the Greater Good of God” – the latter being the sole song off of 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death. Dickinson, clad in a black cloak engaged with the crowd as trio of guitarists traded riffs and licks with smiles across their faces.

Maiden continued to run at full-throttle for the remainder of their set, with “Wicker Man”, “Sign of the Cross”, “Flight of Icarus” with which the backdrop displayed a larger than life model of Icarus. Dickinson also juggled vocal duties with sparking up a double-fisted flamethrower. Maiden then added three more nuggets. “Fear of the Dark” found Dickinson wearing a mask, top hat and wielding a green lantern. The audience joined in during the chorus and may have been louder than Dickinson’s own voice coming through the PA system.

When the pre-recorded introduction to “Beast” emanated from the stage,  Maiden’s army of fans rejoiced. “Beast” was amazing. The power of the fans joining in with every word, from start to finish, and having the initial set end with “Iron Maiden”, all while being watched by an enormous horned skull that menacingly swayed above the band – only added to the show’s intensity that was almost palpable. Maiden then made their fans wait a few minutes, adding to the anticipation of what would be one final assault to their senses for the encore. The band roared through “The Evil That Men Do”, much to the delight of their fans. With an obvious flair for the dramatic, Dickinson was initially caged during “Hallowed Be The Name”. He playfully toyed with a noose before submerging below the stage – allowing for the rest of the band to set fire to the stage with their skills. Dickinson found his way back above McBrain on the scaffolding for the song’s climax. And, as if the band or the audience could handle anymore, Iron Maiden closed out their show with one of their most-recognizable tunes, “Run to the Hills” – which nearly brought the amphitheater to its foundation.

At the end, most fans got to actually see McBrain, from head to toe, for the first time as he emerged from behind his monstrous drum kit, to toss some drum sticks and a drum head to a lucky few. The smiles between the band and their fans were shared from the stage to the very last row of seats and into the pathetic lawn area, where some of the most die-hard Maiden fans were pressed up against the wooden fence, forced to listen to the music through the outdoor speakers and to really just watch their performance on the unimpressive video monitors that hung from the pavilion framework. However, Maiden’s performance is unmatched at this stage of their career. The thought put into the staging, the setlist and every other pertinent aspect – proved that the band holds their fans’ satisfaction as a priority. And, the fans were rewarded with one amazing show.


Iron Maiden Setlist Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA, USA 2019, Legacy of the Beast

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