Review: Iron Maiden concert in Warsaw. The Beast returned to Poland

Legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden performed in Warsaw as part of the "Legacy Of The Beast World Tour". / Iron Maiden concert in Warsaw

There was a flamethrower, explosives, the cover mascot – Eddie, elements of Japanese architecture and a nod to Polish pilots. / Iron Maiden concert in Warsaw.

Although Iron Maiden have been operating since 1975, which is almost 50 years, they age like wine.

The concert in Warsaw guaranteed the fans a similar dose of emotions as at the peak of the band’s career in the 1980s. All thanks to the spectacular setting and energy of the band members, already in their seventies.

A well-known saying says that up to three times art. The same was often the case with concerts postponed due to the pandemic. In recent weeks, fans have finally had the opportunity to dust off tickets they bought a few years ago and go to a performance of their favorite artist. The Iron Maiden “Legacy of the Beast” tour started after three attempts to set the date and finally the musicians played in Warsaw at the PGE National Stadium on July 24, 2022. They appeared under the same banner four years ago at two concerts in Krakow. This time, in addition to the cross-section of the biggest hits from the discography, the group also promoted their latest release, “Senjutsu” from 2021, which is their seventeenth studio album.

Classic intro, non-standard beginning

Iron Maiden concerts in Poland are always a celebration of metal. It was no different in the case of the Sunday performance, when practically every second passerby in the capital wore a T-shirt with the logo of his favorite band proudly. A rather unfortunate selection of supports – Within Temptetion and Lord of The Lost, fitting more into the current of modern gothic rock than the taste of classic British heavy metal fans, caused that after 8:00 pm there were still crowds in front of the stadium. Iron Maiden was not supposed to start the show until 20:50. When the long-awaited hour struck, the loudspeakers could be used to hear the classic UFO track “Doctor Doctor”, to which the band has a habit of going on stage. After the audience ceremoniously sung both in the stands and on the album of all the verses and choruses, the repertoire of the Maiden began.

Although the “Legacy of The Beast” tour includes a cross-section of the biggest hits from all years of the group’s career and fans have been used to starting the setlist with “Aces High” accompanied by a full-size plane flying over their heads, new releases crept at the beginning. Three songs from “Senjutsu” replaced the songs the band used to start concerts with, the stage featured Japanese architecture instead of an airplane, and frontman Bruce Dickinson greeted the audience in a samurai hairstyle. The pieces were accompanied by fragments of animations displayed on large screens. “Senjutsu”, “Stratego” and “Writing on The Wall” surprised, but were positive. Even the sound system did not bother me, which while in the stands still left a lot to be desired due to the reverberation, it was still possible to experience on the album.

Maideni got fans used to the almost theatrical setting of their concerts. In Warsaw, there were also classic elements thematically related to the greatest hits from the last several decades of the band’s career. After removing the remnants of Japanese atmosphere from the stage, the group opted for similar solutions as during the “Legacy of The Beast” tour four years ago – stained glass, referring to the covers of iconic albums. Giant posters with the image of the band’s mascot – Eddie were used as the background, changing depending on the song being performed.

Eddie, however, appeared not only on posters. The classic character, indispensably associated with the Maidens from the first album, appeared on the stage several times with the band, either as a samurai referring to “Senjutsu” or “The Trooper” who fought effectively with Dickinson. But the melee weapon was not the only weapon in the hands of the frontman. There was also a flamethrower, and those thirsting for more impressions probably enjoyed the detonation by the singer of a charge with the inscription TNT at the end of one of the biggest hits. The pyrotechnics were breathtaking – from the rhythmically exploding fireworks to the several-meter long flames igniting to the rhythm of the chorus of “The Sign of The Cross”.

What about “Fear of the Dark” and “Run to the Hills”?

Apart from the beginning, which was supposed to introduce the audience to the material from the newest album, the Iron Maiden setlist contained mainly the classics. Perhaps “The Wicker Man” or “2 Minutes to Midnight”, for which there was a place four years ago, were missing, but of course “Fear of the Dark”, “Run to the Hills” and preceded by a climatic monologue, similarly, were not removed. like on the album “The Number of the Beast”.

However, the fans sang not only the well-known classics. The chorus of “Flight of the Icarus” was sung chorally, during which the great figure of Icarus, known to the audience, appeared on the stage. The bond with the band was also shown by the audience during the dedicated “Blood Brothers”, which proved unity and brotherhood. Madness was also unleashed by “The Clansman” with the significant “freedom!” Sung in the chorus, at which part of the audience waved the flags of Ukraine.

However, Dickinson also paid tribute to the Poles. Although in “The Trooper” the singer always runs around the stage with the flag of Great Britain, for the purposes of the concert he picked up the white and red flag. The concert, during the second encore, usually ended with the beginning of the set list, “Aces High”. A Spitfire plane flew over the musicians’ heads. It was this British machine that the Polish pilots who fought during the Battle of Britain flew. The frontman also made a few Polish phrases. “Scream for me, Poland, Warsaw!” – could be heard between songs.

Although the Warsaw stadium is not the favorite concert space of many people, the performance of the Maidens in the capital can definitely be considered successful. Even if the set list has partially changed and a lot of material from “Powerslave” has been omitted, let alone “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, material from “Senjutsu” has always been a breath of fresh air. The team of bassist Steve Harris presented themselves in a classic and definitely the best line-up, proving that despite the age and changing trends, heavy metal is alive and even though it already has great new representatives, the old guard still keeps the level, providing similar impressions as four, ten or even forty years ago.

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