Impending storms didn’t stop fans from flocking to Gexa Energy Pavilion Friday night for the second to last show of the Maiden England North American Tour. If anything the lightening show just enhanced the night. With only two bands playing, COHEED AND CAMBRIA and IRON MAIDEN, things got off to a rockin’ start and didn’t stop.
Though it was obvious that everyone was there for MAIDEN, COHEED AND CAMBRIA still had a solid set and held their own. Starting off with “No World for Tomorrow” they played an 8 song set list and though they did a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” it was the band’s song “Welcome Home” that really got a reaction from the crowd.
IRON MAIDEN was a spectacle from start to finish. From the pyro to the numerous animatronic Eddie’s that appeared throughout the night MAIDEN did not disappoint. They kicked it off with “Moonchild” and “Can I Play With Madness” the band stuck mainly to their older songs (’92 and earlier), much to the delight of the crowd. We had an Eddie on stilts helping to play guitar and swinging a sword for “Run to the Hills”. We had a giant prophet Eddie complete with crystal ball for “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”. And of course the Eddie, complete with baby, from the Seventh Son album cover for “Iron Maiden”. Not to mention the massive Eddie banners that were changed nearly between every song.
That MAIDEN can still completely dominate a crowd is without question. Age certainly hasn’t stopped them from having a tight set and Bruce Dickinson bounces around the stage like he’s had one to many Red Bull. Even the Texas heat didn’t stop him – though by the end of the show he was wringing out his shirt and making faces at just how much sweat he got out of it. The poor guy looked like he’d jumped in a pool.
Of course the crowd had a few interesting characters as well. Sitting in front of us was a man who, instead of holding up a sign, held up his prosthetic leg – decorated with IRON MAIDEN artwork. And a bit down from him was a sign language interpreter signing the songs for a small group. MAIDEN fans come in all shapes and sizes!