TVD Live Shots: Iron Maiden at the 3Arena in Dublin, 5/6

If I never see another metal show in my life I’d probably be ok after last Saturday night. Iron Maiden made a triumphant return to Dublin, their first appearance in seven years. Touring in support of the band’s 16th album—their first double album—Maiden treated the sold out 3Arena to a juggernaut of a show. It was everything a Dungeons and Dragons loving metal fan could love—and more. Theatrics, ghoulishly epic stage props, Mayan ruins, and a larger than life Eddie getting his heart ripped open set the stage for the undisputed kings of metal.

Three songs in and the band is firing on all cylinders, blasting through the Maiden classic “Powerslave.” One can only wonder, how the hell have these guys been doing this for 40 plus years? They have the energy of a band a third of their age and they never miss a beat. They’ve got the chops, riffs, gallops, fills, stage leaps, and soaring vocals all delivered via brilliant storylines that still make my parents think that I worship satan.

Maiden is one of the handful of metal groups of which I still know every band member by name. How many bands can you say that about in today’s scene? Probably zero. It’s because I grew up knowing these guys as superheros; KISS with the makeup before KISS took off the makeup. Their superpowers were their ability to master their instruments while writing songs that connected with a fantasy world through storytelling and powerful imagery. These guys epitomized everything a rebellious, ostracized, confused teenager needed to escape a world in which they didn’t seem to fit. It was therapy in a sense, and for me this band got me through some very tough times.

And Steve Harris…I’ll just leave that one there.

The show was a masterful mix of old and new. Not being too familiar with The Book of Souls, the songs fit perfectly alongside the classics in the set, as dare I say Maiden returned true to form on this record. The absolute highlight for me was during the encore when the band belted out “The Number of the Beast” complete with a spooky Vincent Price-esque intro. This for me sealed the deal as one of the best metal shows I’ve ever seen in my life.

Watching this show reminded me of how much I love not only metal but this band in particular. Bruce Dickinson was absolutely on fire and completely owned the stage. Dave, Adrien, and Jack were equally as animated in their own ways while Nicko McBrain annihilated his drums the entire night.

Being surrounded by ten thousand other metal heads is a feeling that I can’t possibly begin to describe. If you’ve ever been a fan of Maiden this is the time to go see them in all their glory. I was lucky enough to capture some shots of what the first three songs in this epic show were like, but you really must witness this for yourself. It’s a tour on an entirely new level.

SHINEDOWN

Where does Maiden go from here? Steve Harris said in a recent interview that he believes Maiden has one more record in them, and I hope he’s right.

One last note. When I heard that Shinedown was opening this show I thought that was a pretty bizarre pick for this tour. I stand corrected as these guys put on one hell of a performance and turned the doubters into fans, yours truly included. Nicely done fellas.

Check out hi res shots from Iron Maiden here and Shinedown here.

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