Iron Maiden performed for over 15,000 fans in attendance, on a muggy night on August 15th at the Riverbend Music Center during their Cincinnati stop on the Legacy of the Beast tour. The massive crowd was treated to a warm-up with The Raven Age, featuring George Harris, Steve Harris’ son on guitar. The high-energy band played songs off their new album Conspiracy.
When the lights went out for the main act as “Doctor, Doctor” played, die-hard Iron Maiden fans knew the spectacle was about to begin. There aren’t many bands who could open the show with a giant mock fighter plan spitting fire hovering above stage, Iron Maiden did just that as they performed “Aces High,”
The event featured a juxtaposition of stage settings representing both heaven and hell. With a cathedral setting, stained glass windows and angel backdrops versus demonic sword-fighting Eddie. Now in their 60s, these Englishmen prove that age is but a number, the band is nothing short of theatrical when it comes to their live show. Did we mention Dickinson’s backpack that spits out fire during “Flight of Icarus” as an Angel flies overhead? Iron Maiden never fails using the coolest props.
During “The Trooper” frontman Bruce Dickinson donned shiny black leather pants waving the American and Union Jack flags while fighting the band’s lovable perennial mascot Eddie. One for keeping costume changes fresh, Dickinson came out in a mask and lantern during “Fear of the Dark” and hooded cloak during “Sign of the Cross.”
This lineup of the band has been touring since the 1980s (with Smith and Dickinson leaving and coming back) and have a legion of fans spanning all walks of life, there were also the longest merch lines I have ever seen. There was massive pyro and high-level production throughout the night and with over 15 studio albums under their belts, changing banner backdrops were constant.
The night ended with an encore including tracks such as “The Evil That Men Do,” “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and the notable “Run to the Hills.” Beyond the fire, beyond the props and costume changes, Iron Maiden brings energy like no other and that’s what keeps fans coming back for more.