It’s always a massive treat to see Iron Maiden and when they bring their greatest hits Legacy of the Beast Tour to town it is a sure bet for a sellout. That was certainly the case Saturday night August 17, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh as they played 16 song set for the 15k plus crowd.
With the crowd massively hyped for the show and well lubricated, the tradition of “Doctor, Doctor” by UFO was played and the ritual had begun. With a massive spit fire plan coming out from behind the stage the band stormed out and Bruce Dickinson, 61, roared out, his head adorned with a pilot’s leather helmet, and he launched into “Aces High” and ran the stage with the gusto of a man in his twenties. This was going to be epic.
And it certainly was. The aforementioned Dickinson (lead singer), along with his bandmates Steve Harris (bass/bandleader), Nico McBrain (drums), Adrian Smith (guitar), Dave Murray (guitar), and Janick Gers (guitar) have more energy exuding from them than most bands half their age. Every member is one of the tops at their game and proved it over and over again. “Where Eagles Dare” saw the band doing the signature moves with their guitars and Bruce appeared at the top of the stage with an ushanka-hat and a background change to the snowy mountains. Things got serious as “Two Minutes to Midnight”, “The Clansman”, and “The Trooper” began a trifecta of classics. The first appearance of the mascot Eddie came during Trooper dressed as a British soldier as Bruce gave him Grief with his sword and waved the American flag.
The whole set was amazing with multiple background changes, fireworks, pyro, candelabras, and multiple blow-ups that are state of the art realistic. The blow-ups of the spitfire plane (Aces High), Icarus (Flight of Icarus), and the devil (Number of the Beast) were beyond amazing. Bruce’s voice was top notch and is not missing anything after all these years of touring and throat cancer to boot. Janick Gers is a blast to watch as he twirls his guitar and dances the stage. Steve Harris was, to put it mildly, a genius, His bass playing is the influence of so many and he proves why every night. Niko is such an underrated drummer, he may be one of the best in metal. Dave Murray and Adrain Smith are a guitar clinic to watch as they absolutely blaze up and down the fretboard.
Song highlights of the night were definitely “Aces High”, “Two Minutes to Midnight”, “The Trooper”, “Sign of the Cross”, “The Flight of Icarus”, Number of the Beast”, “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, and of course the closer “Run to the Hills” (setlist here). The whole evening was actually exhausting for the audience…there was so much to take in visually and audibly, as well as singing every word, playing air guitar and drums there was no need to do cardio for the day. Bruce left word that they were working on new material and would be around to tour that record soon. There is no slowing down Iron Maiden.
Opener The Raven Age definitely won over the crowd. Many superfans probably knew that Harris’ son (George Harris) was one of the guitar players. This is not the first time Raven Age have opened a tour for Maiden and they have also opened for British Lion, Tremonti, Anthrax, and Killswitch Engage. If you like NWOBM type metal then these guys may be young but they definitely are bringing it old school.