The Legacy of the Beast Tour brought the mighty Iron Maiden to Salt Lake City, Utah for a metal filled night on September 19, 2022 at USANA Amphitheater.
When Iron Maiden announces a world tour so do fans of Iron Maiden. Fans will travel thousands of miles to see one of the biggest bands in the world. Iron Maiden has some of the most dedicated fans of any metal band. I have yet to meet a fan that says they “kind of like” the band. I always meet the fan covered head to toe in merch and screaming at the top of their lungs “Iron Maiden RULES!”
Being that person myself I arrived at the venue early to get the full experience of the show. Two hours early the line to get in was already at least one thousand people. It wormed its way out across the parking lot with most fans in their favorite shirt, and all adorning the infamous “Eddie.” The die-hard fans were waiting for their early entrance into the show via the “Front of the Barricade” pass.
As I entered the venue, I walked down the sloping path as if Eddie was calling me to join him. A proper Iron Maiden show would not be complete without a piece or two (or three) of merchandise. I picked up my tee featuring the cover of “Aces High” as a piece of memorabilia for this, my fifth time seeing the band. I then headed to my seat to wait for the show to begin. Amongst my Maiden family, met new members and reconnected with old ones, all expressing their excitement for what we were about to experience.
The opening band Trivium took the stage and played a blistering set to feed the crowd an appetizer for what would soon be the feast with the beast. During their set Trivium expressed their gratitude for being able to open the show for such legends. The set ended and as the stage was cleared of their gear the anticipation grew quickly and chants of “Maiden, Maiden, Maiden” started to bury the house music playing.
The lights dropped and the stage light began to light the ancient Chinese themed set. One by one the band appeared on stage with singer Bruce Dickinson being last and the most animated. He ran from one side of the stage to the other waving his hands from his waist to over his head commanding the crowd to their feet. Opening the set was the title track from their latest album Senjutsu. Bruce darted from side to side on the stage while bassist Steve Harris propped his left foot atop an amp as he strummed his bass.
With no pause in the music, they quickly jumped into “Stratego” also from Senjutsu. It would be during this song that we would get our first glimpse at a Samurai themed “Eddie” who took over the stage with his menacing size and stature. Guitarist Adrian Smith stared up at the beast as he played the riffs for this new staple in the bands setlist.
Bruce took a moment to welcome the crowd and then dove right into “The Writing on The Wall.” The third and final song the band played from Senjutsu. At this point the rest of the set would be dedicated to songs from their 40 plus year catalog. First up was the guitar driven “Revelations” with a cathedral themed set taking over the stage. The set would stay the same for “Blood Brothers” and “Sign of the Cross.” “Flight of Icarus” saw Bruce at the back of the stage above the rest of the band wearing a flamethrower. He would launch the flames periodically throughout the song. One of my favorite tracks “Fear of the Dark” saw Bruce in a mid 1800s trench coat carrying a lantern. Guitarist Dave Murray opened the song with its signature guitar riff and as the song progressed Janick Gers preformed his acrobatic moves as he shredded through the song. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” began and the cymbal laced intro was provided by Maiden’s amazing drummer Nicko McBrain. This iconic song follows a man’s last day in prison as he taken to the gallows. A hangman’s noose descended from as the song progressed. The song came to an end and a paused ensued and out of nowhere gigantic torches ignited and the iconic intro by Vincent Price began. The lighting on the stage began to illuminate the band followed by rising flames that shot up during the song. The heat from the flames could be felt in the seated area around the stage. Last was of course the song that is the name’s sake of the band, “Iron Maiden.”
After a short break the band appeared for the first encore. It started with another of my favorite songs, “The Trooper.” Bruce came out dressed as a British Infantry soldier. During the solo Dickinson battles with Eddie again and at one point runs through his legs. “The Clansman” started and chants of “Freedom” were sung along with during the chorus of the song. The iconic song that brought Iron Maiden to the forefront of the commercial metal scene “Run to the Hills” was next. Bruce took to the back and sides of the stage as flash bombs trailed behind him. It was at the end of the song when he detonated a lever labeled TNT and explosions went off everywhere.
With one more small break the band appeared for the final song of the night. As they filed back on stage the famous Churchill speech began and the crowd cheered. When the song “Aces High” began a fighter plane descended from above the stage. The screaming lyrics to the song could be heard as the crowd continued to pump their fists to the sky. The lyrics “Run, live to fly” echoed as the plane moved from left to right and up and down. The song came to an end and the band exited the stage for the last time. As always Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” signaled the end of what was a show for the ages.
Iron Maiden have grown a fan base that can be rivaled by none, as witnessed in Salt Lake City that night. Their catalog stretches back into the late 70s and as of 2022 they are going strong. These legends of metal will continue the Legacy of the Beast Tour for a few more weeks so be sure to catch a show.