On July 5, I attended the Iron Maiden and Ghost concert at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, and it was an epic show.
Ghost kicked off the night with their brand of satanic themed metal. Tobias Forge aka Papa Emeritus was great at commanding the crowd and the Nameless Ghouls were definitely a solid musical unit, which is pretty impressive considering the drastic lineup changes the band has faced. Highlights from their set included: “Square Hammer,” “Cirice,” “Mummy Dust,” and “Monstrance Clock.”
Then it was time for heavy metal legends Iron Maiden. The audience went crazy as soon as they heard UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” blasting through the speakers, followed by a cool video game looking intro video. After the clip the curtain fell to reveal a elaborate stage setup that looked like an ancient Mayan temple, complete with flaming pillars and a smoking podium, where frontman Bruce Dickinson appeared to sing the first part of “If Eternity Should Fail.”
From there, the show just exploded with energy. Dickinson’s all powerful voice, Steve Harris’ bass lines, Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers’s guitar harmonies, and Nicko McBrain’s thundering drums only helped prove how much they deserve their icon status. The show didn’t stop at musicianship either.
The visuals were just as great, and ranged from simple things like Dickinson wearing a monkey mask for “Death or Glory” to spectacles such as the vocalist battling the group’s mascot Eddie, only to rip his heart out and toss it into the crowd. There was even things like a huge Eddie for a performance of their eponymous track “Iron Maiden” and a giant goat creature for “The Number Of The Beast.”
The show pretty much had it all, aesthetics, great music, and even things like a nice speech from Dickinson about diversity and equality. As far as song highlights go, I would say the following: The Number Of The Beast,” “Children of the Damned,” “Blood Brothers,” “The Trooper,” the title track of their latest album “The Book Of Souls,” and their finale “Wasted Years.” If you have a chance, you should hit one of the remaining dates, especially since the band are planning to retire “The Book Of Souls” stage setup very soon.