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Iron Maiden in Concert

Ellen Levitt

Posted on October 20, 2022 15:38

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I saw Iron Maiden in concert, in Long Island. It was loud, theatrical and lots of fun.

The first time I heard of the band, Iron Maiden was as a high school senior. I saw a guy wearing one of their shirts but didn't hear them on the radio. And that's typically how many people learn about this long-lived heavy metal group: they garner nearly no mainstream radio time (although loud rock stations such as WSOU do play them!), but their shirt designs are legendary for their gory, cartoonish graphics.

I'd seen Maiden once before with both my daughters, and this time I went with my older girl, who has played some of their best-known songs on the guitar. This was the first time we saw a show at the newish UBS Arena in suburban Long Island, not far from Queens, in NYC. My assessment is the sound is good, and there are lots of clean bathrooms, but why are the seat cup holders by our feet? Dumb design.

Opening the concert were Within Temptation, a Dutch symphonic metal band fronted by a strong female vocalist. They were very good, and my younger daughter got me hooked on their music. I especially enjoyed "Raise Your Banner," and the lead singer waved a Ukrainian flag during their performance of it.

During the intermission, I admired the championship banners for the New York Islanders hockey team. They are the resident sports team here.

Iron Maiden played a really fun and theatrical show. I think there were at least eight or nine different set designs, in addition to various props (an old-fashioned airplane, flame throwers, fireworks, gallows, and more). Of course, their iconic mascot Eddie lurked about during songs, clad in costumes. This was highly orchestrated music, but it has its place, especially in the world of heavy metal.

Singer Bruce Dickinson is no kid, but he still has operatic vocals and loves the costume changes. He asked the audience their age groups to show that a wide variety of generations love their Iron Maiden. The three guitarists all are highly skilled, and the bassist is also excellent. The video screens showed their agile fingerwork. 

My favorite songs of the night included some of their best-known songs such as "The Trooper," "Fear of the Dark" and "Run to the Hills." But all the songs were performed with high energy and skill, and it was a very enjoyable show for longtime fans and newbies alike. 

Heavy metal is one of those rock 'n' roll genres that prizes power as well as virtuosity. It gets short shrift by many music snobs, but some of the most highly skilled musicians showcase their skills in metal bands. Iron Maiden is indisputably one of the most influential and beloved of heavy metal groups, yet they are not included as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. This is more than absurd and is just one example of how heavy metal is scoffed at. If you want to see loud, dynamic, compelling rock music, see Maiden in concert!

Ellen Levitt

Posted on October 20, 2022 15:38

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