Tuesday, July 29, 2003 @ 9:18 PM
Maiden, Along With Dio and Mot
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REVIEW BY: George Trippe -- Providence, RI
Worcester, MA - The US leg of Iron Maiden's Dance of Death Tour - reportedly their last major global performing campaign - opened to a die-hard crowd of loyalists at the Worcester Centrum. This reviewer had the house at 2/3 full - 7,000 fans or so.
Unlike the play list found on the tour that supported Brave New World, Iron Maiden hit the sweet spot in their catalog early, opening with "Number of the Beast," and working "The Trooper," "Die with Your Boots On," "Revelations" (all from Peace of Mind), and "Hallowed be Thy Name" at the beginning of the set. (Sadly, the band eschewed "22 Acacia Avenue," a Number of the Beast track performed on their recent UK tour.)
Featuring the triple lead guitar attack of Gers, Murray and Smith, Maiden did tap into Brave New World at mid-set, including the title track and “Wicker Man.” "Fear of the Dark" received an unusually vocal response.
Fans of previous Maiden stage sets will not be disappointed, as various album cover artwork serves as backdrops throughout the show. Eddie made his appearance, and the band finished strongly with “Iron Maiden” and “Run to the Hills.” The sandwiching of "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" between the two may want to be re-examined, as well as inclusion of “The Clairvoyant.” Other than "Iron Maiden," Paul Di'Anno fans will be disappointed to hear that no other cuts from the band's first two albums grace the set.
Surviving in the early part of the decade without widespread airplay or presence in media other than the Web, Iron Maiden shows no signs of diminished musical capabilities with an attack that keeps coming at ya. Bruce Dickinson remains a topical, engaging frontman, and bassist/founder Steve Harris still demonstrates enthusiasm in validating his musical version. Highly recommended.
Opener Ronnie James Dio also dipped into somewhat obscure selections, playing "Stargazer" (from Rainbow's Rising album), "I Speed at Night" and "Dream Evil," a Dio track that feature returning guitarist Craig Goldy. While the remaining members of the band are the same at that which supported Killing the Dragon in 2002, Dio worked in a number of favorites in his hour-long set: "Heaven and Hell," "Holy Diver," "Rainbow in the Dark" and "Straight through the Heart." The band did miss the playing and energetic vibe of Doug Aldrich (touring with Whitesnake), but Dio the crowd over. Another case of too much material, not enough set time.
Which brings us to Motorhead, which somewhat criminally only received a 30-minute set. Going on at 7 p.m., Lemmy & Co let it rip with "Ace of Spades" and closer "Overkill." Despite the early hour, a solid turnout of Lemmy loyalists greeted the crew.
A solid triple bill with your time and money. Sound and lights impeccable throughout, and none of the ego seen on other recent packages.