Legendary British heavy metal band Iron Maiden knows how to get to their next show in a timely manner. The band made its way to the Pacific Northwest via a Boeing 747-400 airplane aptly dubbed "Ed Force One," named after the band's beloved mascot Eddie the Head. "Ed Force One" landed safely on the runway at SeaTac International Airport last Monday. The plane's pilot was none other than Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden's frontman. Dickinson learned how to fly in Florida during the 1990s, and holds an airline transport pilot's license. Dickinson has not only piloted Iron Maiden's world tours, but has also flown in many high-profile flights.
Iron Maiden has a special spot for the Tacoma Dome. In fact, the venue has been host to many heavy metal concerts in past couple of years with bands such as Judas Priest, Motley Crue, and Black Sabbath performing shows. Over 16,000 fans were in attendance last Monday. Most of them Gen-Xers reliving their teenage glory days, while bringing along their kids to witness a band that their parents grew up with.
Iron Maiden's stage setup included a Mayan motif that coincided with the theme for their latest album The Book of Souls. Iron Maiden as a band hasn't lost a step when it comes to performing live. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson, who had a health scare in 2014 after a tumor was discovered on his tongue, didn't show signs of slowing down. Dickinson even dedicated a new song "Tears of a Clown" to late comedian Robin Williams during Iron Maiden's set. Though the band skipped out on playing "Run To The Hills," a hit among many casual Iron Maiden fans, the band still made sure to keep the fans entertained throughout the night.
Iron Maiden's frontman Bruce Dickinson spent the later part of last year visiting Sarajevo, something he hadn't done in over 21 years. When it came to concerns about security in some countries, and if he or Iron Maiden as a band had any second thoughts on playing in said countries where safety would be an issue, Dickinson stays pretty positive. Recently, the Iron Maiden frontman spoke to Blabbermouth in regard to terrorism and safety.
"Personally, yeah, I'll play no matter what. Your concern has to be, actually, for people who don't have a choice in the matter. I mean, it was my choice [in 1994] — actually our choice, collectively, 'cause we all, collectively, said, 'Yeah, we're all crazy enough to try and do this thing and drive into Sarajevo in the middle of a war and see if we can do and do a gig. And [laughs] we're not quite sure when we're gonna come back.' But those poor people that went for that [EAGLES OF DEATH METAL] concert at the Bataclan [in Paris, France] had no choice; they were completely, completely innocent in every possible way. And, of course, nobody knew that the place was gonna get targeted. So, unfortunately, there's a judgment call that people have gotta make, and you have to make it on the best information available."
Iron Maiden's recent album The Book of Souls has received rave reviews from critics and even the casual heavy metal fans. The Book of Souls went on to win numerous end-of-the-year accolades including best album of the year from Classic Rock Magazine and Metal Hammer, though some publications were very critical of the album. In a review from Paste, the magazine felt that Iron Maiden's latest effort "played-out arena chants and gratuitous guitar solos that stretch songs out too long." Though some critics criticized the songs' length, others were more positive as they felt The Book of Souls was Iron Maiden's best album to date.
Iron Maiden set list -- Tacoma, WA: "If Eternity Should Fail" "Speed of Light" "Children of the Damned" "Tears of a Clown" "The Red and the Black" "The Trooper" "Powerslave" "Death or Glory" "The Book of Souls" "Hallowed Be Thy Name" "Fear of the Dark" "Iron Maiden"
Encore: "The Number of the Beast" "Blood Brothers" "Wasted Years"
[Header Photo by Xander Deccio/Deccio Creative]