Iron Maiden live in Cape Town at The Grand West Arena on 18 May 2016 was an absolutely killer show comprising of pure unadulterated excellence in every aspect. Superb sound and lighting, combined with great pyrotechnics, magical stage presence, and a mystical stage set-up provided an audio visual delight!
Iron Maiden’s The Book of Souls World tour
In promotion of their latest album, this world tour travels to thirty-five countries. And with the multi-skilled Bruce Dickinson taking the role as lead pilot on their commandeered Boeing 747 ‘Ed Force One’ – which carries around 100 Iron Maiden crew members and 20 tons of equipment – ensures that fans all around the world get to see an uncompromising show.
The massive, perfectly built set Mayan theme follows that of The Book of Souls album. The setlist appears to remain the same throughout the tour, including a perfect blend of new songs mixed with an equal amount of old classics from various albums.
With ample amounts in a huge variety of merchandise available for sale, demand by the Cape Town public was satisfied. The band even offered a specially made “South African” t-shirt sporting artwork of the iconic Eddie leading a pair of pet lions.
The main opening band on the tour, The Raven Age, is the band of George Harris, son of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree as far as musical style goes! The Raven Age presented the perfect warm-up to Iron Maiden and were well-received by the crowd waiting in excited anticipation for the main act.
At last, the band everyone had been waiting for! 21 years later, Iron Maiden have graced our shores for the second time. As much as we all enjoyed Paul Di’Anno and Blaze Bayley on vocals, somehow Iron Maiden isn’t complete without Bruce Dickinson; who has recovered well from the tongue cancer he had before, singing strong, like a real trooper. This was a dream come true for many die hard ‘Maiden’ fans. We loved Iron Maiden being here in 1995, but having this line-up of members – this time with Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith – made it extra special. The three guitarists lend so much depth and texture in a very subtle way. The band has boundless energy, running all over the show in true ‘Maiden’ style and has fantastic crowd interaction. Janick Gers (header image) plays his guitar in more ways than one, giving it a life of its own, while Bruce Dickinson goes the extra mile with themed costumes to the different songs. In the background, a large screen depicts the changing themes accordingly. A giant size Eddie made the scene complete… after all, an Iron Maiden show just wouldn’t be the same without Eddie.
The crowd spanned through at least three generations of ages, ranging from teenagers to people older than the band members themselves, and even a pre-teen was spotted on the shoulders of her father. Now these are the right kind of parents! Certain people had traveled from various corners of the globe to partake in this event, from Canada, Austria, Germany, France, Spain and elsewhere, some of which confirmed that they would be attending the Johannesburg show too!
Whilst a vast portion of the crowd was more subdued, mesmerized by the entertaining show, it was heartening to see people going wild, passionately headbanging and singing along. There was certainly no lack of audience response and the Grand West Arena resounded with Cape Town screaming for Iron Maiden, while Iron Maiden in turn blew us into another dimension! A three song encore ended the night and one can’t help but wonder whether Iron Maiden would have returned for a third encore had the demand existed?
The only thing missing this night was copious amounts of ‘Trooper’ beer, more so the Red ‘n’Black!
A heartfelt thanks go out to Big Concerts for making this possible!
‘Up the Irons’ from here to eternity \m/
Authored by Linda Evermore
Photography by Linda Evermore
More images by Linda Evermore here