Review & Set List: Iron Maiden @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Iron Maiden didn’t rise globally until their third album, The Number of the Beast, in 1982 so it is highly unlikely that they were inspiration for Rob Reiner’s 1984 mockumentary on metal Spinal Tap. But they would be perfect for a sequel.

Iron Maiden could never have influenced Spinal Tap but Tap has certainly had an influence on them both visually and theatrically.

Metal is equal parts creativity and cliché. Sure the Mayan based set comes close to Tap’s Stonehenge but where Iron Maiden soars past their fictional colleagues is in creativity, entertainment and depth of cataloge.

Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book of Souls’ tour is one “hell” of a ride.

Metal surfaced in the late 60's with the birth of Black Sabbath. Led Zep were more of a hard rock blues band, AC/DC came along much later more with Chuck Berry rock and roll influences. Deep Purple’s passing of the torch from Gillian to Coverdale and Sabbath from Ozzy to Dio is most likely the crossroads where Iron Maiden was sparked.

Iron Maiden stays relevant with their new music. Every album is a story and every tour reflects the current album. The Books of Souls centers on the ancient Maya civilization and the show reflects the theme.

While The Books of Souls has a theme, it is not a concept record. One track, Tears of a Clown, is about the comedian Robin Williams.
Tears of a clown
Maybe it’s all just for the best
Lay his weary head to rest
Was forever feeling drowned
Tears of a clown
Another song, Death or Glory, is about the Red Baron, Germany’s Baron von Richthofen, who singer Bruce Dickinson points out was not gunned down by the English or the Canadians but by Australian WW1 Sergeant Cedric Popkin.

So there we have it. Iron Maiden’s show is not only entertaining, it is also educational.

The setlist for ‘The Book of Souls’ is not a greatest hits. Iron Maiden does not do their best known song, Run To The Hills, and I have no idea why. Can I Play With Madness is another obvious omission but the fact is it doesn’t matter. The Book of Souls live is like a stage show. Front start to finish it is one huge event.

Iron Maiden is now a rare and treasured beast. Sabbath is done, Led Zep ain’t gonna happen, Deep Purple should get the Coverdale line-up back together but won’t, there is no more Motorhead, AC/DC has become a farce, Guns N Roses is now a novelty act, Van Halen is a Hollywood sitcom. God help the world if the biggest new thing rock has to boast from the 21st Century is Linkin Park.

We are basically left with Iron Maiden and Metallica. Treat them nice. They are now the senior citizens of metal.

The set list:

Main Set
  • If Eternity Should Fall (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • Speed Of Light (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • Children of the Damned (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
  • Tears of a Clown (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • The Red and the Black (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • The Trooper (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
  • Powerslave (from Powerslave, 1984)
  • Death or Glory (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • The Book of Souls (from The Book of Souls, 2015)
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
  • Fear of the Dark (from Fear of the Dark, 1992)
  • Iron Maiden (from Iron Maiden, 1980)
  • The Number of the Beast (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
  • Blood Brothers (from Brave New World, 2000)
  • Wasted Years (from Somewhere In Time, 1986)

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