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Live review

Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper 

Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA

added: 26 Jun 2012 // gig date: 27 Jun 2012
reviewer: John Reed

Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper - Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA - Printable version
If you are a fan of Iron Maiden, then you know firsthand that since they regrouped in 1999 with singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith, the group alternates set lists greatly between tours.

Those who caught the band on tours supporting new Maiden recordings as “A Matter of Life and Death” in 2006, and “The Final Frontier” in 2012, were treated to the majority of the new album, with a trio or so of Maiden classics thrown in. To make up for this, the band alternates tours of newer material with flashback shows made of up of classics songs from tours of the past - as they did four years ago on the bands, “Somewhere Back In Time” Tour.

The sextet recently kicked off their 2012 North American tour labeled, “Maiden England” (as in “Made in England”) which came to the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts last night.

With song selections similar to the bands 1988, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son“ tour, Maiden, after a song sampling of UFO’s “Doctor Doctor,” Maiden opened heavy with a blistering four song attack of “Moonchild, ” “Can I Play With Madness,” “The Prisoner” and “2 Minutes to Midnight.”

For a 53 year old geezer, Dickinson seems to have the same energy level he always has and was in great voice again last night, which was tested many times, especially on “The Number of the Beast” and the show stopping, “The Evil That Men Do.”

The best part to note is the band still maintains the classic 80’s lineup of Dickson, Smith, Steve Harris (bassist and band leader), drummer Nicko McBrain, and guitarist Dave Murray. Third guitarist, Janick Gers, was added to the band in 1989 (he replaced Smith when he left the band that year- before he returned a deacde later) and has been with them ever since (Gers adds a great dimension to the band as he, Murray, and Smith, deliver a triple guitar barrage that is un-paralleled in metal), making this current edition is the longest lasting version of Maiden, sans lineup changes (Not to mention the seventh band member, Maiden’s mascot "Eddie" - who made his appearances last night, the best being his image working in with in a Buddha-ish statue).

The band’s energy level only dipped a bit during an overextended take of “Phantom of the Opera,” but that was quickly rectified when it was followed up with the bands most mainstream song, “Run To The Hills.”

While it’s very rare to say that a band, especially in the metal genre, gets better with time, Iron Maiden is and it is great to see that they still have a lot of life left in them (and “Eddie”)!

Alice Cooper opened the show with a too short 45 minute set. Cooper set was great, but it was strange having him open the show while it was still daylight out. He threw out some great moments in “I’m Eighteen” and “Schools Out,” which incorporated lines from Pink Floyds, “Another Bricks In The Wall.” Short or not, the pairing of Cooper and Iron Maiden truly made the show a classic double bill.

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4 stars

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