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Iron Maiden Shows No Signs of Age
Posted Apr 18, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated Apr 18, 2011 at 01:44 AM
TAMPA More than 20 years after its last Tampa appearance, Iron Maiden finally returned Sunday night, a little bit older but no less powerful.
The British metal veterans drew a crowd of 12,556 to the St. Pete Times Forum.
The band’s members all are in their early to mid-50s, but played and performed with an intensity that would shame most younger bands.
Bruce Dickinson didn’t just hit the notes, he KO’d them, and did so while running and leaping throughout the show. Guitarist Janick Gers also was in constant motion. Spinning, sprinting, hiking his leg onto a chest-high speaker cabinet and tossing his guitar into the air. (For a finale, he let it hit the floor and played it with his feet, a la Richie Blackmore).
Band founder Steve Harris’ stance – left foot atop a monitor cabinet, aiming his bass like a gun as he sprays the audience with eighth notes, is as memorable in metal circles as Ozzy Osbourne’s peace signs. Harris also spent a good portion of the set tearing around the stage and occasionally pogoing to the beat.
The band played much of its most recent album, 2010’s “The Final Frontier,” asserting that it’s still a vital, active band, far from ready for a greatest-hits tour.
Fortunately, “The Final Frontier” has been welcomed as one of the band’s better efforts in recent years; and the opening one-two punch of “Satellite 15 … The Final Frontier” and the Grammy-winning “El Dorado” challenged the notion that more than 30 years after its debut, Maiden is past its prime.
“The Talisman,” also from “The Final Frontier,” was epic, featuring the intertwining guitars of Gers, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith.
The band broke up the newer numbers with some earlier crowd-favorite such as “Two Minutes to Midnight” and “The Trooper.”
The pace slowed a bit mid-set, as the lengthy “Where the Wild Wind Blows” was paired with the slow, anthemic “Blood Brothers.”
The band went back to its eponymous 1980 debut album for the title track as well as the closer, “Running Free.”