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Live Review and Photo Gallery: Iron Maiden @ United Center

| April 7, 2016

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson

August 5,1982 – Iron Maiden headlined Jane Byrne’s Chicagofest Rock Stage (supporting the Number of the Beast album) and it was arguably considered one of the single greatest heavy metal concerts by those who attended. The performance was a headache for festival staff, Chicago Police, and the opening act, Bohemia, who were pelted with debris by rabid Maiden fans.  Nearly 25,000 fans allegedly attended that night (only 5,000 were expected), and Iron Maiden made a special connection with the Windy City which they have held dear all this time – even thanking Chicago on their 1983 follow up album Piece of Mind.

Fast forward 34 years later and a few lucky Maiden fans paid homage at the United Center Wednesday night as they relived their glory days. Hand-picked openers The Raven Age arrived with raw energy and great riffs that found Maiden fans raising their fists in approval. The band was allegedly personally selected for this tour because of the relationship between Raven Age guitarist George Harris and his mega-metal father, Steve Harris. Makes sense.

Iron Maiden commenced the show with a single spotlight on Bruce Dickinson as he belted out “If Eternity Should Fail” from their latest album, The Book of Souls.  It wasn’t until the conclusion of second song “Speed of Light” that Dickinson gave his sincere hello to Chicago. Greeted by thunderous applause, the smiling singer led the band into “Children of the Damned.”  Guitarist Adrian Smith kicked off the track, hovered over a stationary acoustic guitar so he could break away to accompany Dave Murray and Janick Gers to finish out the classic. Digging deeper into The Book of Souls, the band gave Dickinson some rest time as they performed an extended version of “The Red and the Black.” Undeniably a great guitarist, Gers owned half the stage in order to prevent any mid-show collisions with his fellow bandmates.

Murray and Smith are still in the pocket after all these years having performed together for decades, and Steve Harris proved he’s still the most charismatic and arguably the greatest heavy metal bassist of all time. On Maiden classic “The Trooper” Dickinson ran around the upper level of the stage waving the Union Jack.  In between songs Dickinson also took the opportunity to harass a fan on the brocade for texting during the show. During the closer, “Iron Maiden” the band had a guest appearance from Maiden mascot, Eddie. Towering over the band, “Ed The Head” visited each band member as the crowd “upped their irons.”

The 3-song encore began with “Number of the Beast, buoyed by Steve Harris’ incredible high riser leap, followed by classics “Blood Brothers” and “Wasted Years.”  After nearly four decades, Iron Maiden once again proved they will always have a home in Chicago.

– Review and Gallery by Ed Spinelli


  • Setlist:
    If Eternity Should Fail
    Speed of Light
    Children of the Damned
    Tears of a Clown
    The Red and the Black
    The Trooper
    Death or Glory
    The Book of Souls
    Hallowed Be Thy Name
    Fear of the Dark
    Iron Maiden
    The Number of the Beast
    Blood Brothers
    Wasted Years



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Category: Featured, IE Photo Gallery, Live Reviews, Stage Buzz

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  1. Jimmy Bong Water says:

    I love these photos – ie has great photographers. Keep covering the metal, some of us still care!