Iron Maiden-A-Thon: Legacy of the Beast Review Part 2

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Yesterday was the first part of this two-fer review of Iron Maiden‘s Los Angeles stop on their Legacy of the Beast Tour. If you missed part 1 check it out here. Much like Iron Maiden attempted to kill Eddie in the 1980’s onstage, Iron Maiden-A-Thon was presumed dead for an entire weekend before rising from the grave. We left off with the first eight songs of their setlist. Up next? The last eight songs. Let’s dive in.

9. The Sign of the Cross

2018 by JOHN McMURTRIE 2018 Copyright TALLINN IRON MAIDEN

Iron Maiden knows how to bring out the big guns for a theatrical performance of heavy metal music. Bruce Dickinson in full religious Saintly garb comes out with a light up cross as the pseudo-Gregorian chants commence. A modern day Iron Maiden concert with two Blaze Bayley era songs on it warms my heart. This one is a Maiden classic regardless of who’s singing it. It builds up tension with the crowd like the best of them and once you get deep into the runtime of the song, you’re ready to explode by the time Dave Murray’s frenetic and speedy solo hits. A song that sounds orchestral, Maiden didn’t skimp out on the pyrotechnics as you can see in the photo from their first leg of the Legacy of the Beast Tour.

Iron Maiden pulling out these Blaze era songs on their Legacy of the Beast Tour is wonderful. It shows that the band recognizes their whole catalog, no matter the singer. These songs are quality, like I mentioned in the reviews of The X-Factor and Virtual XI. It shows that Iron Maiden agrees with fans of those albums that the music does deserve to be played. It’s an ultimate sign of respect to that era of the band. This song was just as epic live as the tape. I hope they keep at least one of the Blaze songs in their live rotations.

10. Flight of Icarus

Yes! That is Bruce Dickinson with a flamethrower! Not only was this song unexpected but the giant Icarus on stage was a nice visual treat also. A classic Iron Maiden song that I’ve never seen them perform in my previous five times seeing the band. This live version isn’t as up-tempo as the record but it’s still a treat to hear such a deep track from their catalog. After a long song like “Sign of the Cross” you need something to get the crowd back and pumped up. “Flight of Icarus” does just that and more. In better news than hearing Iron Maiden play “Flight of Icarus” my sunglasses were also still in my hand after all this time. Bruce Dickinson with a flamethrower gets an A+ from me.

11. Fear of the Dark

You know when an Iron Maiden show is nearing the crescendo is when they play “Fear of the Dark”. Like I said in my review, “Fear of the Dark” is a good song on the record, it’s an amazing song live. A truly magical experience that was brought even further forward by Bruce Dickinson dressing up as an 1800’s man with a green lantern. The crowd participation on this one makes it even better. This track never gets old when they play it live. The energy that it brings out in the crowd when they hear it is infectious. It was especially so for the crowd in Los Angeles at the Banc of California Stadium. This is worth the price of admission alone if you’re seeing Iron Maiden on the Legacy of the Beast Tour.

12. The Number of the Beast

Now we round into the crowd pleaser section of the show. For Maiden fans that have seen them numerous times, the last 5ish songs of most sets are a similar order of songs from Number of the Beast and Iron Maiden. I always look forward to this part of the show because out of the final five songs, there’s always a curveball or deep cut song. So you get the four songs that every Iron Maiden fan comes to hear, and then one that you won’t expect. “The Number of the Beast” is always fun because you can tell it’s coming by the taped beginning. “Woe to you oh Earth and sea….” Hearing 22,000 people chant that along with the tape was a magical experience.

13. Iron Maiden

2018 by JOHN McMURTRIE 2018 Copyright TALLINN IRON MAIDEN

Now for the only Paul Di’Anno era song they played on this tour. “Iron Maiden” is always the main set closer for the band. This was also the song that got me the most emotional at the concert. Hearing Bruce Dickinson scream “Iron Maiden’s gonna get allllll of you!” at the end of the song brought a tear to my eye. Because that’s what Iron Maiden is all about. It’s about having a great time listening to a rocking band. The band knows that and everyone in the crowd knew that (besides a few dummies around in the pit). As you can see in the photo above, they brought out the giant inflatable Demon Eddie for this performance. Eddie brought fire and fury with him as the band closed out their main set. We had to sit in darkness with fans chanting “Maiden….Maiden…..Maiden…”.

Encore

14. The Evil That Men Do

Here’s the surprise song that they always seem to bring out for the opening of their encores. For it to be one of my top 5 favorite Maiden songs made it the second most emotional I got during the show. From the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album, “The Evil That Men Do” was a shocker for me. I wasn’t expecting any songs from the late 80’s albums, but we got one just in the nick of time. I wasn’t sure that there would be anymore surprises from the band, but I didn’t really need any. It was time to hear the best Iron Maiden song ever and their most popular (debatable). I love this song, you can hear me wax about it in the review of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.

15. Hallowed Be Thy Name

Time for the best Maiden song ever. It disappeared from concert setlists because someone thought it was a good idea to sue the band on behalf of their dead father. But this tour brought it back. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is just as amazing as the studio version. Bruce Dickinson came out with a noose and had a makeshift jail cell to wail from. It was the final hurrah from the crowd who expelled all of their energy with the final speedy section of this song. Well worn out from a night with Iron Maiden. They had just one last song on the Legacy of the Beast Tour.

16. Run to the Hills

A slower, more melodic version of “Run to the Hills” to send the crowd home happy. The banner behind them changed to reveal a variety of Eddies throughout history fighting Satan himself. This tour is the first time that Iron Maiden has ever closed their concerts with “Run to the Hills”. It was a rousing performance that led to the final bursts of energy from the crowd to sing along with the band. It was an interesting closer to the show, and I still had my sunglasses after the 5-6ish hours of standing with them.

Closing Thoughts

The Legacy of the Beast Tour in Los Angeles was the best Iron Maiden show I’ve seen from a production standpoint. The only thing that doesn’t make it my favorite show I’ve seen is emotional attachment to the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album. Maiden England in 2013 was the best setlist that I think they’ve ever had. But the great thing about Iron Maiden is that even their worst setlists for concerts are great. They know what fans want and they walk the fine line of catering to hardcore and first time fans.

Despite some of the concerns I had about the Banc of California Stadium, from my spot in the pit, it was a great show. My legs were sore the next day, but that would be the case in any concert when you’re going through the spin cycle in the washing machine that is a pit at an Iron Maiden show. The sound quality was fantastic, the concessions looked good, the beer was cold, and the water was reasonable for a concert. Security was atrocious, so if you’re gonna pick a fight in the pit, no one is there to back you up.

The setlist overall was a pleasant surprise with some nice callbacks and the Maiden classics that you expect. The highlights for me were: “The Clansman”, “Sign of the Cross”, “The Evil That Men Do”, and “For the Greater Good of God”. If you haven’t seen them on this tour, I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic show that any fan of Iron Maiden will enjoy.

All images and audio are courtesy of Iron Maiden.

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