Iron Maiden @ GM Place, Vancouver BC, June 24, 2010

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Review and Photos by Cara Cross

Iron Maiden live is more than just a concert — it’s an event. In the days and hours prior to the show, the host city girds its loins in preparation for a pilgrimage of epic proportions. Because the fans aren’t just fans — they’re an army.

Thousands of long-haired metalheads in Maiden shirts and leather jackets descended on downtown Vancouver. Their presence literally changed the face of the neighbourhood. Upping the irons became a standard street-side greeting. Local bars were packed to the gills with fans who cheered and sang along when the jukebox came up Maiden.

It’s in these moments that you realize Iron Maiden is more than a band — it’s a movement. And if you felt the electricity, the intensity in the air that night, then you’re a part of the horde.

I went into the show with few expectations, knowing there was little chance the band would top their performance on the Somewhere Back in Time tour.

But hard as I tried, I couldn’t help but come away from the evening feeling a bit disappointed.

I wanted to hear more of the classics.

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Now, I before you go thinking I’m that guy that does nothing but complain about Maiden’s new material (by new, I mean produced within the last decade), let me say I actually support the band’s decision to perform their more recent stuff.

I think it’s fantastic that bands like Iron Maiden are putting out new albums, instead of touring the shit out of the same old songs they wrote 15 or 20 years ago. Hell, I actually like a lot of the new material.

But surely the band could have thrown in at least a couple more classic songs to round out the set list and please hardcore fans.

Yes, you gave us “Fear of the Dark” and “Iron Maiden.” But come on, no “Run To The Hills”? “Can I Play With Madness”? “The Trooper”? Absolutely nothing from Powerslave whatsoever?

Here’s hoping the band will tweak their set in future shows. I know I’m not the only one who wasn’t feeling the love.

Set list aside, it was a great night.

Bruce Dickinson leapt and sprinted across the stage, hit the highest of high notes and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The band was pitch perfect, so spot on at times it felt I was listening to the recorded tracks.

As always, Iron Maiden was a class act. And I’ll be there, front and center, the next time they play my town.

But you better give me “Aces High” next time, Bruce. I’ll be waiting for it.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.