Iron Maiden at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI

Iron Maiden at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI

Legacy of the Beast is alive and well as Iron Maiden brings their pyrotechnic world tour to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast Tour has been circulating the globe since 2018 and finally makes its way to Detroit. It has been a long six years for Detroit fans who last saw Iron Maiden during the Book of Souls Tour in 2016. Since that time, we’ve endured a pandemic. Thankfully, Iron Maiden released their sensational 17th studio album entitled Senjutsu in 2021 to help ease the pain and keep us hungry for Maiden.

Opening tonight’s show is the Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation. Under flashing lights reminiscent of lightning, the band opens with “The Reckoning” which is the opening track off their most recent album called Resist. The power rhythms and soaring vocals combined with the dramatic lighting on stage reinforce the sensation of weathering a storm. Next up, Within Temptation incited the fans to raise their fists to their anthem “Paradise” off the Hydra album. Within Temptation’s set includes songs from across their catalog including going back to the title track from Mother Earth released in 2000. They also played a new single called “Don’t Pray For Me” which will be on their upcoming album.

The excitement level rises along with a chorus of audience voices singing along to UFO’s “Doctor, Doctor” playing over the PA at Little Caesars Arena. When the house lights drop, you can just make out drummer Nicko McBrain climbing behind his massive kit and waving to the crowd. A thundering kettle drum calls bassist Steve Harris and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers to the stage as they join in playing the title track “Senjutsu.” Shortly after, vocalist Bruce Dickinson runs onto the stage. The stage is set for an epic evening with Iron Maiden.

A blood-spattered samurai-suited Eddie joins the band for “Stratego.” Eddie appears to mirror Bruce who sports his hair back in a chonmage top knot. With sword drawn, Eddie makes his way around the stage before confronting Janick in a mock duel. In triumph, Janick grimaces and throws a middle finger all while somehow continuing to play the song.

For the next two hours, the crowd is enthralled with select cuts from Iron Maiden’s massive music catalog. Iron Maiden treats all to the first single “Writing On The Wall” from Senjutsu before diving back in time. The Japanese pagoda backdrop and set transform into a cathedral with chandeliers for “Revelations” from Piece of Mind. As this tune breaks into the classic Maiden galloping riffs before the lead breaks, Steve Harris charges forward. As he hammers the bass, he scans the audience making contact with the fans in a way that is unique to Iron Maiden.

Bruce affirms this bond between Iron Maiden and their fans by telling the crowd, “We are all family, we’re all brothers in the most inclusive sense. We’re all f***ing blood brothers!” before the band launches into “Blood Brothers.” Dave Murray smiles and points to the audience with his longtime friend and band member Adrian Smith by his side. Their playing is spotless, energetic, and, most importantly, fun.

While Iron Maiden has played these tunes thousands of times, they play with such enthusiasm it makes this concert a special and unique experience for the fans. You can feel the joy, when Bruce yells out, “Scream for me, Detroit!” and the crowd roars back. When Iron Maiden blazes into “Flight of Icarus,” the audience ignites by singing along to the chorus, “Fly on your way, like an eagle!”

Speaking of blazing, Iron Maiden provides a spectacular stage show on this tour. Bruce grabs a flamethrower blasting jets of fire as he sings “Flight of Icarus.” The set changes to a more gothic feel during “Fear of the Dark” where we find Bruce is transformed into a steampunk-inspired nightwatchman. Dave, Adrian, Steve, and Janick all move around the stage laughing with each other and checking in with Nicko behind his wall of drums.

Maiden closed out their first set with stellar performances of the classic songs “Number of the Beast” and “Iron Maiden.” The pyrotechnics on stage adds to the powerful impact these songs have on the fans. Looking out into the arena floor, a few crowd surfers make their way toward the stage as a mosh pit opens up. This is less of a thrashing pit and more of a swirling group of bouncing fans who feel elation through the music of Iron Maiden. The audience yells “Iron Maiden!” when Bruce prompts, “Who are we?” during the final chorus. At the end of the tune, the band waves while throwing out guitar picks and armbands. Nicko emerges from behind the kit to hand drumsticks to the crowd

After a few moments offstage, Iron Maiden returns with Bruce in a redcoat waving the union jack to “The Trooper.” Eddie re-emerges in his trooper regalia to stomp around the stage with a saber in hand before being ceremonially shot by Bruce with a musket that holds a United States flag. The band rips into the tale of Scotland’s fight for freedom on “Clansman” before finishing up with “Run to the Hills.” A thunderous explosion caps off the end of this tune as the band hold up their ringing instruments in salute to the crowd. Well, all of them except for Janick who spins his guitar by the strap around his head to honor the fans. There can be no better endorsement for guitar strap locks than the guitar-spinning of Mr. Janick Gers.

The house lights come down, but the night is not over yet. Churchill’s rousing “We shall fight on the beaches” speech to the House of Commons on June 4th, 1940 plays as the video screens show World War II footage. This ushers in Iron Maiden for “Aces High” complete with a British spitfire that descends down toward the stage. One last time, the band heads to the front of the stage offering fans their thanks and another chance at a souvenir before calling it a night. Up The Irons!

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About Chuck Marshall 45 Articles
Chuck loves music. If it is powerful and played with conviction, that is even better. In a past life, Chuck enjoyed thrashing on the stage in a Michigan metal band (Battalion). Now he prefers to use his imagery and words to capture the essence of a concert or an album. See and feel the music with Chuck; you’ll be glad you did.