Home Live Review Live Review: Iron Maiden @ Capital One Arena — 10/23/22

Live Review: Iron Maiden @ Capital One Arena — 10/23/22

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Iron Maiden crushes a sold-out Capital One Arena on Oct. 23, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Among the formative bands, Iron Maiden, I would hazard a guess, has more influence over kids who grew up in the late ’70s and early ’80s.  One of the clearest memories I have is of hanging out with friends on our dead-end street at Mike’s house — his room covered in posters of heavy metal icons of the day, patches covering his jean jacket. We would watch bootleg copies of concerts by Metallica, GWAR, and the, then, hot-off-the-press Live After Death.

It was nothing like anything I’d seen before, and nothing like I’d seen since until this past Sunday night at the Capital One Arena where, amidst a packed arena for the band’s Legacy of the Beast World Tour, I had that chance again at that feeling of wonder and spectacle that is Iron Maiden.

I have to admit, that even though I’ve lived with the music of Iron Maiden for most of my life, this show was the first time I had witnessed what was to be one of my favorite live experiences.

Kicking things off with a bang at Capital One Arena on Oct. 23, the band began the set with the title track of their most recent album, Senjutsu, a powerful starter that hit all the right notes (no pun intended). As Bruce Dickinson (vocals) came racing across the stage, the army of guitars made up of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers took runs themselves from one side to the next, meticulously harmonizing each note, and genuinely having a ball as they played to the crowd.

And with that heavy, melodic bass from Steve Harris thundering through it all, the top of the cake for me was drummer Nicko McBrain with a rhythm that felt otherworldly as some songs changed tempo and time signatures on a dime. It’s hard to think, with so much going on — the theatrics, the sheer physicality of it all — how tight and focused each member of the band were.

Stream Senjutsu by Iron Maiden on Spotify:

After performing songs from their most recent album, Dickinson took a moment to talk to the crowd, “I love all of you out there waving your arms… But what I like about this is we’ve got several dimensions out here tonight. Not only sight and sound, but I can fucking smell you!,” as the arena laughed along.

“The fact remains that, if you come to one of these shows we don’t care if you’re rich or you’re poor, we don’t care what your politics are, we don’t care what sex you are, you are part of our fucking family, my friends. We look after all of us. We are brothers-in-arms, we are blood brothers!” Bruce Dickinson shouted, ushering in the song of the same name, as everyone waved their arms back and forth along with the music — a sea of humanity connected by that bond of music.

I had known that Iron Maiden goes through several set changes throughout each set, but I don’t think I was truly prepared for the incredibly massive designs from one song to the next. From “Sign of the Cross,” with the elaborate cross and cloak that Bruce Dickinson shuffled about the stage with one moment and then rushing across and up over the drum riser to each side and then back to the join the rest of the band as huge jets of flame shot up from behind.

A testament to the creativity of this band and their crew, each song seemed to out-do the next in terms of stage wizardry. From firework and flames to giant suspended versions of Icarus or — arguably the most famous member of Iron Maiden — Eddie, it’s a show that’s hard to beat. And speaking of Eddie, whether as a samurai, a red-coated trooper, or a colossal head busting through to tower behind and over the stage, there was plenty of him to go around.

Watch the official music video of “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden on YouTube:

Nearing the end of this set filled with new songs that fit so well with older classics, Iron Maiden played “The Number of the Beast,” and ending the regular set with “Iron Maiden,” which got everyone cheering and clapping along as Dickinson — a true ringleader — seemed to have an unending supply of energy as he kept the crowd going.

But it was the encores that put it over the top ending the first of two with the ringing refrain of “Run to the Hills” being sung back to the stage. And coming back out for a second encore of “Aces High,” Dickinson, dressed in an aviator cap and goggles, sang beneath an enormous airplane, suspended over the stage and part of the crowd.

An incredible performance, that had me in awe of how the band and this crew pull it off date after date. And in addition to that, even though this particular tour is coming to an end, Iron Maiden has already announced that they will be starting a new tour — The Future Past Tour 2023 — which will start in the Summer.

The setlist included:

Senjutsu
Stratego
The Writing on the Wall
Revelations
Blood Brothers
Sign of the Cross
Flight of Icarus
Fear of the Dark
Hallowed Be Thy Name
The Number of the Beast
Iron Maiden

Encore:
The Trooper
The Clansman
Run to the Hills

Encore 2:
Aces High

Here are more photos of Iron Maiden rocking the Capital One Arena Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

Janick Gers
Steve Harris
Dave Murray and Adrian Smith
Bruce Dickinson
Nicko McBrain
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