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Iron Maiden Rocks The Nostalgia On Summer Tour

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 2, 2012 6:10PM

Photo courtesy Maiden Facebook page.

Iron Maiden's musical output has been hit or miss since 2000's Brave New World marked the first studio album with singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith since their commercial peak in the 80s, but that hasn't stopped a second generation of fans from discovering one of the cornerstones of the classic British metal band. After 30 years, the band still packs stadiums around the world. Here in the States the expectations are only slightly lower, tackling the summer shed circuit on package tours with special guests.

Or a nostalgia tour such as their "Maiden England World Tour," whose set list and stage is inspired largely by the 1988 tour for their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album. That album capped an amazing six-year run that began with 1982's The Number of the Beast and includes some of the best albums in the history of heavy metal. (Smith left the band after that tour; Dickinson would leave in 1992.)

Some of the songs on this tour haven't been played since they were first released. Others, like "The Evil That Men Do" and "Can I Play With Madness?" have become staples of Maiden's live set. The other hallmarks of an Iron Maiden tour—Dickinson running around the stage like a dervish; bassist Steve Harris taking center stage and frequently holding his bass to the audience like a rifle; the guitar interplay between Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers; the still-muscular drumming of Nicko McBrain; and the appearance of band mascot Eddie—have stood the test of time.

Iron Maiden's "Maiden England World Tour" makes stops Wednesday, July 4, at Milwaukee's Summerfest and Thursday, July 5 and the First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre in Tinley Park, with Alice Cooper opening both shows, if you don't think Maiden's flair for the theatrical is enough. Tickets to both shows are still available through Ticketmaster.