Preview: Iron Maiden’s essential pre-show tracks
Iron Maiden to play the Barclaycard Arena on 21 May
By Jessica Boswell
After forty years of dominating the heavy metal communities, Brit sextet Iron Maiden need next to no introduction these days. With a back catalogue of sixteen full-length albums and a massive following behind them ranging numerous generation of rockers and metalheads since their formation in 1975, it is no surprise that these guys are a force to be reckoned with.
Following the release of their most recent record back in 2015, the metal gods are now taking the new tracks to the stage on The Book of Souls World Tour, which kicked off at the end of April. This coming weekend they take on more UK dates, including the Barclaycard Arena on the 21st May, and prepare to bellow: “Scream for me Birmingham!” once more.
Despite popular fan-favourite anthem “Hallowed Be Thy Name” out of the setlist due to a legal dispute, the group still have plenty of thunderous tunes that will be incredibly pleasing to be heard in such a large indoor venue. Their sixteenth record, The Book of Souls, sets to be the group’s longest running album to date, clocking in at a phenomenal 93 minutes long. The tracks including the single “Speed of Light” will surely dominate the setlist for the night, in order to showcase the lengthy tracks in the way they should be heard.
Here is a brief selection of some top Maiden tracks that would be essential to hear live amongst the newer tracks:
Taken from the 1984 album of the same name, it may not be the most well-known from the track listing, it is still an older favourite with faithful fans. “Powerslave” has a booming introductory riff that will vibrate through your whole body when experiencing it first-hand. If that’s not enough to hook you, they blend in a massively exciting solo section to please your eardrums.
There are so many iconic, matured tracks that are still incredibly epic when heard live. “Blood Brothers” may not be an obvious choice for some fans, but the track truly signifies a bond between the band and their audience that can only be commemorated. The catchy chant and electrifying solo sections really pull you in from the get go.
“Run to the Hills”
A track that is sure to get an immense, cheering reaction. With an exhilarating drum introduction and subsequent whining guitars to match, the track propels into a massively forceful chorus that shows off Bruce Dickinson’s spectacular vocals and the smoothly running unit that Maiden really is.
“Fear of the Dark”
Everyone that has even a shred of decent metal taste will be very aware of the introduction to 1992 “Fear of the Dark.” The unsettling opening verse emits such a powerful atmosphere that is sure to hit the chest of everyone in the room, shifting through various tempos that keep you on your feet and trying to keep up with them all at the same time. And that is all before getting to that magnificent break down and solo section.
“When the Wild Wind Blows”
Taken from the 2010 album The Final Frontier, this dynamic track may be an incredible eleven minutes long, but goes by in an excitable blur. At times, it almost feels like a number of separate tracks, all connected through a thundering bass line and common riff. The song may not necessarily be part of their many singalong worthy endeavors, yet that chilling melody is sure to get you ‘whoah-ing’ along in no time.
There is no doubt that the masters of metal are going to put on an extremely compelling and mighty show; even despite their age, they never fail to pull in a large, devoted crowd of individuals that are ready to headbang the night away in true heavy rock style. With Floridian rock band Shinedown to open them on the Europe/UK leg of the tour, it is sure to be a night to remember for everyone involved. Iron Maiden are a band of unstoppable force and – to quote the 2010 track ‘El Dorado’ – “it’s too good to miss.”