Numbers of the Beast Longtime Iron Maiden fan weighs in with dream setlist ahead of band's Winnipeg stop

Fans won’t hear any new Iron Maiden songs when the legendary British metal band visits town Wednesday night.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/08/2019 (1313 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fans won’t hear any new Iron Maiden songs when the legendary British metal band visits town Wednesday night.

Actually, fans won’t hear anything released after 2006, not even a track off the 44-year-old group’s latest album, 2015’s The Book of Souls.

The sextet — vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarists Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers — are on the Legacy of the Beast tour, focusing on early material and playing songs they haven’t played live in years (Flight of Icarus was welcomed back to arenas last year for the first time since 1986).

The 16-song set is heavy on material from the 1980s, featuring 11 tracks released between the band’s 1980 self-titled debut and 1988’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.

Elsewhere, Iron Maiden is throwing in a few curveballs that haven’t been performed live in Winnipeg before — most notably, two underwhelming songs from the mid-1990s, when Dickinson and Smith left the group and Blaze Bayley was handling vocal duties.

Concert Preview

Iron Maiden

● Bell MTS Place

● Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m.

● With the Raven Age

● Tickets $58 to $148.50 (all in) at Ticketmaster

The show, the band’s first in Winnipeg since 2012, will be a spectacle of sight and sound, with a Second World War fighter plane, plenty of pyro, various backdrops, flamethrowers and, of course, the group’s iconic mascot, Eddie, making an appearance. All this will only add fuel to the numerous solos from the three guitarists, Dickinson’s air-raid siren vocals, Harris’s galloping bass and the melodic, anthemic sing-alongs that are trademarks of Iron Maiden’s sound and have made them one of the most popular metal bands in the world with a legion of fans.

Count me as one of them.

I have been an Iron Maiden fan since I first heard a neighbour playing the song The Trooper when I was 12 years old. I have seen them six times since 1987, when I was old enough (14) to go to the Somewhere on Tour show at the Winnipeg Arena in support of the Somewhere in Time album.

Iron Maiden’s first seven studio albums — along with the live album, Live After Death — were hugely influential and remain in regular rotation in the soundtrack of my life.

With that in mind, here is my highly subjective Legacy of the Beast fantasy setlist, whittled down from more than 30 songs.

1. Aces High

2. Two Minutes to Midnight

3. The Trooper

4. Flight of Icarus

Fans will recognize the first three tracks as the same songs in the same order that kick off Live After Death, a double album documenting the band’s World Slavery tour from 1984 and 1985, supporting the Powerslave album.

This wasn’t intentional on my part (subliminal?), but it made sense: Iron Maiden knows how to start a show. Aces High and 2 Minutes to Midnight open the Powerslave album, while the anthems The Trooper and Flight of Icarus are two of the best from 1983’s Piece of Mind.

5. The Clairvoyant

The highlight of the 1988 concept album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, a soaring riff elevates this song into the stratosphere.

6. Phantom of the Opera

From the debut album, this seven-minute prog masterpiece, with its tempo shifts and time-signature changes, never gets old.

7. Number of the Beast

8. Killers

9. The Prisoner

10. Die With Your Boots On

Number of the Beast serves as a mid-set crowd pleaser, while the title track of 1981’s Killers shows off Iron Maiden’s rock ‘n’ roll side. The Prisoner is a catchy sing-along — based on the 1967 British television show of the same name — that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, while Die With Your Boots On is another gripping, fist-in-the-air track that keeps momentum going.

11. Powerslave

Dickinson’s ode to ancient Egypt is a sample of Iron Maiden at its best: it’s got a story, a giant chorus, a memorable riff and a slower section that builds into a guitar-solo frenzy.

12. Running Free

13. Wasted Years

Two big songs finish off the main set. Running Free is a (pre-Dickinson) Paul Di’Anno-era highlight about being young and rebellious, while the pop-oriented Wasted Years is Smith’s look at life on the road that was the only song on the Somewhere in Time album that didn’t feature synthesizers.


14. Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Harris reworked Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 18th-century poem about a cursed sailor into an ambitious, nearly 14-minute epic that ebbs and flows and builds to what is arguably the most explosive bridge in the band’s catalogue.

15. Prowler

16. Iron Maiden

The first and last songs from the debut album end off the night on a slightly sinister note, with Prowler telling the story of a predator in a park through his eyes, and the three-and-a-half minute Iron Maiden serving as something of a theme song, with a bloody warning that the band is going to find you and kill you.

Scream for me, Winnipeg, indeed.

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Updated on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:50 PM CDT: Fixes typo

Updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:59 AM CDT: Corrects reference to fighter plane

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