Iron Maiden roar into Mexico and score a knockout victory.
Playing a set aimed at the Mexican Iron Maiden Army, including many favorites from their very early days, is spread over two discs and one hundred minutes. This is a real head bangers set list without any of the Progressive Rock subtlety of their later years.
The stage setting is a huge castle with the battlements armed with artillery and the draw bridge firmly pulled up.
As the six Irons prepare to enter the Arena, the roar of three Spitfire engines firing up fill the air. Then over the speakers booms Winston Churchill’s voice with his famous “We shall fight them on the beaches” wartime speech.
Three Spitfires roar out over the ramparts, flying low down over the packed stadium audience, strafing them with laser fire as they fly through. The drawbridge falls and the six Irons rush out onto the stage.
The three lead guitarists (yes three lead guitars count them!) take up positions on stage. Janick Gers takes charge of the right flank. When he is not throwing his guitar round his head he machine guns the crowd with it. Covering the centre is Adrian Smith bombing the audience with heavy riffing.
On the left, original Irons guitarist Dave Murray takes guard using his axe as if a sniper firing out red hot lead breaks hitting whatever gets in his sights.
Just off centre stage is head Iron, founder of the band and the world’s biggest West Ham United Football Club fan, Steve Harris. He stands tall with one foot on the monitors, head shaking to the beat as he rips out his bass lines.
Sitting at the back with his massive drum kit contained by a tank turret is Nicks McBain pounding the skins as if he has Thor’s hammers in his fists.
Darting from cover comes vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Although these days he looks more like a bank manager than a bank robber, his voice has taken on the timbre of a sergeant major rather than the air raid siren of before. But there can be no doubt of his craft as the ultimate heavy metal front man.
First song up is the perfect Iron Maiden opener Aces High, taken at break neck speed. For the next hundred minutes there is no letup: Eagles, Wickermen, Demons, Gods, Troopers, Darkness, Flights of Icarus, Beasts and Devils are all beaten into submission. (Even Vincent Price gets dealt with along the way.) By the time Iron Maiden play their signature song and then Run-to the hills, victory is assured.
Of course Iron Maiden are over the top, but they are supposed to be. (Editors not – “This review is over the top.”)
Although there are only six musicians on the stage, they are helped out all the way by a passionate frenzied head banging Mexican crowd. You can positively feel the electricity in the air. “Scream for me Mexico City” – and they do. Heads down no nonsense mindless boogie indeed.
The Maidens are and always will be the Rulers of Heavy Metal. Up the Hammers.