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IRON MAIDEN Tour Opener In Fort Lauderdale, FL With Photos!

By Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor
Friday, July 26, 2019 @ 8:47 AM

The Legacy Of The Beast Tour Kicks Off At The BB&T Center

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All Photos By Travis Failey/Rocket Sports & Entertainment

IRON MAIDEN’s 2019 Legacy of the Beast North American Tour kicked off in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night to a packed house at the BB&T Center. It was the second time in a row that MAIDEN has opened their North American tour in Sunrise and once again, fans from all over the globe arrived early wearing their IRON MAIDEN gear with smiles and pride.

There were plenty of tailgaters in the $20 dollar parking lot blaring their favorite old-school tracks from their cars. It felt like déjà vu as the show had an old school feel to it and we weren’t even inside yet. Then again, it has always seemed a bit different going to a MAIDEN concert because it’s not just a show, it’s an event. Leading up to it there are countdowns online, tons of hype and special merchandise for every tour stop and always the non-stop question “You going to MAIDEN?”

Well 20,000 people were able to answer that question with a resounding 'yes' as they were treated to one of the best performances and stage shows that IRON MAIDEN has put on in years. Out on the second leg of their Legacy of the Beast Tour, IRON MAIDEN warmed the crowd up the same way they have been for years as UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” blasted through house speakers. Fans at the rail were jumping up and down while waving their custom embroidered MAIDEN flags from Brazil, Mexico, Columbia and of course the United States.

The lights dropped and Churchill’s speech began to play with an accompanying video as the band hit the stage. The opening notes of “Aces High” rang out as Bruce Dickinson did a short jump off the center barrier while wearing a fighter pilot’s cap and glasses with a flying Supermarine Spitfire airplane attacking up in the rafters. The plane is a replica of one that was flown in the Battle of Britain in 1940. It was this battle where the band got the inspiration for the lyrics for the song.

MAIDEN followed up with a seldom played track in “Where Eagles Dare” with Dickinson now manning the upper levels of the multi-tiered stage while wearing a parka like winter coat with a snowy mountainous backdrop. This was the first of many background changes throughout the night as the band has used imagery from the smartphone video game that this tour is named and based around. Bassist Steve Harris stated on the Eddie Trunk show on Sirius X/M Volume that “The game was another way of getting across to some new people” and “that I think it actually worked.” He also stated that “most of the setlist is from the game.”

After “Two Minutes To Midnight”, IRON MAIDEN played the first of two songs that replacement vocalist Blaze Bayley originally recorded with the band after Dickinson’s departure in 1993. “The Clansman”, from the Virtual XI album, was inspired by the movie Braveheart with Dickinson getting into character once again as he led the crowd with the chants of “Freedom” while swinging a blood red sword throughout the chorus.

Next, Dickinson and IRON MAIDEN’s mascot Eddie, (who donned a British Redcoat) engaged in a sword fight during the “Trooper” and then the band continued with “Revelations”, a song Harris says “stands the test of time.”

There were multiple songs on the setlist that the band hasn’t performed live in the States in years. These included “For the Greater Good of God”, “Sign of the Cross” and fan favorite “The Flight of Icarus”.

During “Icarus” Dickenson shot double-fisted flame throwers at a huge Icarus figure hanging down from the rafters as guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith traded off guitar leads with Harris galloping his trademark bass sound. Harris, always the showman is the backbone behind MAIDEN as he founded the band on Christmas Day in 1975 after leaving his first band, SMILER. Harris moved seamlessly across the stage and looked to be in great shape as did the rest of the band.

The only one that showed a bit of age was Dickinson and it was only because of his grey hair and not his voice. His range was as good as it sounded 35 years ago when I first heard him live and he crushed “Hallowed Be Thy Name” which was the second song of a three song encore. His quintessential “Scream For Me Fort Lauderdale” bounced off the rafters through the night with the crowd responding with frenzied shrieks. Dickinson performed the song in a jail like cage as a noose swung down next to him with 3rd guitarist Yannick Gers handling the solo duties while doing his flamboyant guitar gymnastics.

MAIDEN continued their show with a frenetic pace with hardly any dialogue from Dickinson to the fans like there has been during previous tours. But he led the crowd like an orchestra conductor leading a three ringed circus. When they continued with set staples from the past in “Fear of the Dark”, “The Number of the Beast” and “Iron Maiden”, the crowd reached their highest levels of vocal interaction of the evening.

They finished the show with the aforementioned encore that also included “The Evil That Men Do” and the MAIDEN’s highest peaking radio song “Run To The Hills” with Dickenson setting off a TNT prop blasting pyro across the stage for a final time.

The opening night of the U.S. leg of IRON MAIDEN’s Legacy of the Beast Tour in Fort Lauderdale was a clinic in extreme execution. Anytime you bring a production like IRON MAIDEN does and being the first night, you would expect a hitch or two and from a spectator’s perspective, I didn’t see one. What we witnessed from IRON MAIDEN is exactly what we have seen and what we have been given by the band since their inception and that is excellence. Leaving it all on stage once again and providing their fans a memorable sight and sound extravaganza that only a few other bands can do.

The Legacy of the Beast Tour continues towards a city near year you and for dates head to https://ironmaiden.com/tours/legacy-of-the-beast-tour-2019-2019.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Travis Failey/Rocket Sports & Entertainment

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