Metallers Iron Maiden put on epic show

His voice was like a flickering flame fanned by a sudden gust of oxygen, blazing into something else entirely.

The song it powered followed suit.

“This one starts with a smoochy, romantic groove then gets all ‘50 Shades of Grey,’” explained Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, detailing the way in which the tune he was introducing would progress, building from torch song to tempest, gentle caress to forced ball gag.

The number in question was “Children of the Damned,” a vintage Maiden slow burner dating back to 1982.

Dickinson was 23 when he first gave billowing voice to the fan favorite.

He’s 58 now.

Dickinson’s hair is shorter these days and he’s relegated his leather-heavy stage get-ups of old to the S&M consignment shop, but other than that, little has changed — at least in terms of performance — for heavy metal’s definitive frontman, a real-life airline pilot who bounds about the stage with the limber physique and irrepressible energy levels of an over-caffeinated Pilates instructor.

This is a man who was once nicknamed “air raid siren” because of his bullhorn-like larynx, and all these years later, the siren still wails.

The same could be said of the band Dickinson fronts.

Maiden hit T-Mobile Arena on Monday in support of their two-disc, 90-minute magnum opus “The Book of Souls,” which finds them scaling another creative peak in one of heavy metal’s most mountainous discographies. The band dedicated almost half of their two-hour set on Monday to six tunes from the record, the rare instance of a heritage act with a loaded arsenal of hits favoring new material as much as vintage favorites.

But then again, Maiden has done this with each tour cycle for a given record since dropping their self-titled debut 37 years and 16 albums ago.

The band opened with the first two songs from their latest release, “If Eternity Should Fall” and “Speed of Light,” the former an involved maze of riffs with a fist-in-the-air chorus, the latter a punchy, cowbell-informed dash of heavy metal existentialism.

By now, Maiden’s sonic trademarks are as indelible a part of the heavy metal songbook as the ink that stains its pages: the assertive, athletic bass lines of Steve Harris (you’ll never see more audience members busting out their air bass chops than at a Maiden gig), the triplicate guitar harmonies of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers, the seismic double-bass-drum volleys of Nicko McBrain and lyrics that mine the historical past while casting an inquisitive eye towards an uncertain future.

Despite these trademarks, experiencing a given Iron Maiden tune remains akin to riding horseback when said creature goes from a canter to a gallop, surging forward, prone to veer off in any number of directions.

True to this form, “The Book of Souls” contains some of the band’s most elaborate and sophisticated tunes yet, as evidenced on Monday by a 14-minute-long “The Red and the Black,” which was greeted with the communal cheer of a stadium full of sports obsessives rooting for the home team, a storming, triumphant-sounding “The Great Unknown” and an anthemic “Death or Glory,” where Dickinson donned a monkey mask and wielded his mic stand like a javelin.

The album’s title track and its cover art relate to the ancient Mayan civilization and its unexplained downfall centuries ago, and Maiden’s production values reflected as much, the stage fashioned after ancient ruins, with the band’s mascot, leering ghoul Eddie, lumbering alongside the group during the song in question, costumed as a jungle warrior.

Dickinson tussled with the creature, eventually digging into its chest to pull out its beating ticker. As it spewed red goo, Dickinson hurled the thing into the throngs of fans on the floor.

Four decades in, there was Iron Maiden, still getting right to the heart of the matter.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like