Iron Maiden with Fozzy and The Raven Age
Banc of California Stadium
Los Angeles, California
September 14, 2019
(Review and photos by Charlie Steffens for VintageRock.com)
Amid a multitude of “here today, gone tomorrows” in the music world, Iron Maiden has remained relevant. While a varied list of their songs is heard on satellite radio channels, the English hard rock band’s airplay on terrestrial radio has been perennially limited to three of four songs, from albums released between 1980 to 1992.
So take note: they are much more than the metal band that plays “Run to the Hills” with the 10-foot tall monster. Iron Maiden continues to bring new fans of all ages into the fold, packing arenas wherever the tours take them, because Iron Maiden delivers.
They brought the Los Angeles stop of their Legacy of the Beast Tour to the Banc of California Stadium, joined by opening bands The Raven Age and Fozzy.
The Raven Age, who had previously supported Iron Maiden on The Book of Souls World Tourin 2016, took the stage at sundown. Confident and energetic, the English melodic metal band engaged the growing crowd with a notable display of musicianship.
Fozzy, an American heavy metal band, fronted by Chris Jericho, deposed any seriousness in the air and pumped up the place with a lively party vibe. Playing a string of favorites that included “Drinkin’ with Jesus,” “Sin and Bones,” and a newer track, “Nowhere to Run,” Fozzy held the audience all the way through the end of their set, and clinched it with the AC/DC cover, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”.
Keeping with Iron Maiden tradition, UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” blared out to prime the show and the audience went wild. The elaborate World War II-themed stage production, complete with a Spitfire plane suspended over center stage, was revealed as Maiden opened with “Aces High.” Since this tour was not intended to promote a new album, most of the set list, to their fans’ delight, was made up of songs from the band’s catalog of classics, ranging from 1980 to 1992.
Front man Bruce Dickinson told the audience, “You know you’re getting old when Rolling Stone gives you a good review” and went on to say that he and his bandmates’ combined ages added together pre-date the American Revolution by about a hundred years. Despite Dickinson’s admission, the band members’ energy and physicality defied their years, particularly Dickinson himself, who ran about the stage tirelessly. “The Trooper” and “Revelations,” both from the Piece of Mind album, took the crowd back decades—to the time when Iron Maiden was a two-guitar band. The three-guitar attack of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, and Janick Gers (who joined the band in 1990) proved to be formidable, each playing blistering solos throughout the night.
As Dickinson waved the Union Jack flag from above Nicko McBrain’s drum riser during “The Trooper,” it was clear that he and his mates below were loving the crowd’s excitement, which didn’t dissipate: there were no flat spots during the show. Enormous flames and a stained-glass cathedral backdrop set the stage during “Sign of the Cross.” This jaw-dropping exhibition was followed a string of classic songs, including “The Number of the Beast” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” “Run to the Hills” closed the show. As in previous years, the Legacy of the Beast stage show was stupendous, and Iron Maiden delivered to their L.A. following once again.