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IRON MAIDEN, WITHIN TEMPTATION In Tampa, FL With Photos!

By Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor
Monday, October 31, 2022 @ 10:28 AM


Legacy Of The Beast Tour Wraps At Amalie Arena On October 27th

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All Photos By Travis Failey Photography

IRON MAIDEN’s extended Legacy of the Beast Tour wrapped up in Tampa on Thursday night to a packed house at Amalie Arena. This tour has been running since its first show in Tallin, Estonia in May of 2018 with its first U.S. show taking place in Sunrise, Fl. in July of the same year.

We were fortunate enough to catch that show prior to the tour shutting down due to the pandemic and with this run, IRON MAIDEN has changed a few things in regard to the show and the setlist. This is due specifically to them recording and releasing their 17th full-length studio album in Senjutsu.

The buzz leading up to the show was palpable as most MAIDEN shows are and the fans got to the stadium as early as 12 am the night before to try to rush to the rail as soon as the doors opened. They camped out like we used to do for concert tickets with coolers and MAIDEN flags from across the world flew as people always travel from all over the globe to see their favorite band.

The surrounding bars around the arena were packed during the afternoon getting their drink on with fans sporting their gear and talking about their favorite tours and MAIDEN albums. Most stayed but many left to catch the opener WITHIN TEMPTATION.

WITHIN TEMPTATION are a six-piece heavy rock group based out of the Netherlands that have sold more than 4 million records to date. They have played all over the world and have headlined festivals in the past including Wacken and Hellfest which are two of the largest in Europe.

They are fronted by founding member Sharon den Adel who is a complete powerhouse on vocals and commands the stage as well as anyone I’ve seen. She is supported on stage by bassist Jeroen van Veen, Martin Spierenburg on keys, Ruud Jolie and Stefan Helleblad on guitars and Mike Coolen on drums.

They took the stage at 7:30 sharp as MAIDEN runs a tight ship and opened with “The Reckoning” from their 2018 Resist album.

WITHIN TEMPTATION continued with “Paradise (What About Us)” then “Raise Your Banner” which has over 10 million views on YouTube and is a classic European metal anthem that had heads in the crowd banging with affirmation.

Another song that stood out was “Supernova” that I believe was written about the passing of Sharon den Adel’s father and that she was looking for a sign from the afterlife from him. It was very powerful and speaks to many who have experienced loss and who know their music.

WITHIN TEMPTATION concluded their set with “Mother Earth” which takes the listener on a symphonic journey from the album of the same name released in 2000. I was surprised they finished with that song and their fans in the stands recognized it, but it wasn’t a grabber like the previous songs in the set. They definitely made a lot of new fans on this tour and with their collaborations with ASKING ALEXANDRIA etc, WITHIN TEMPTATION is starting to make their mark In the U.S.

After a 45-minute set change with chants of MAIDEN ringing out throughout the arena, UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” played through the house speakers as a huge roar from the fans rang out.

MAIDEN started their set with three songs from the aforementioned Senjustsu album. Most bands would never think to do this, but they are the anomaly when it comes to putting their set lists together. Most band’s fans would be in the crowd asking themselves “what the hell is going on here” but not MAIDEN.

Many in the crowd knew every word of the new material but then again, most MAIDEN fans can sing back the lyrics from most if not all their songs from their storied career. It is one of the things that makes a MAIDEN show so special. It doesn’t matter what country a person is from or what their native tongue is, we all understand the language of MAIDEN.

As the title track from Senjutsu was almost at an end, IRON MAIDEN’s mascot, Eddie came out onto the stage that was setup like a Japanese pagoda in a full emblazoned samurai outfit. He battled with some band members and drew his sword to a huge roar from the crowd. This was definitely one of the most intricate outfits that Eddie had ever donned.

After the third song from Senjutsu and the first single “The Writing on the Wall”, MAIDEN went back in the time machine for the rest of the set and continued with “Revelations” then the sing along anthem in “Blood Brothers”. This song always gets the crowd singing in unison and truly shows how we believe if just for this moment in time that we are all bonded by this music we love and that we are family. Even vocalist Bruce Dickinson after seeing all the different flags stated, “We can all agree, we’re IRON MAIDEN fucking family.”

After the “Sign of The Cross”, Bruce Dickinson took to the top of the multitiered stage with dual flamethrowers for “The Flight of Icarus”. The song was the first single released in the United States and was written by Dickinson and Adrian Smith. This was rare at the time as bassist extraordinaire Steve Harris wrote most of MAIDEN’s material.

After another huge anthemin “Fear of The Dark” with Dickinson wearing a Eyes Wide Shut type mask with a green lantern, the band played three huge songs from their catalogue. These included “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, “The Number of The Beast”, where the pyro was blazing, and of course “Iron Maiden” where a huge demonic Eddie head floated above the stage.

The band played multiple encores that included tour staples, “The Trooper” and “Run To The Hills” with “The Clansman” mixed in between the two. “The Clansman” was a highlight of the set as prior to this tour it had not been played since 2003. This was released with Blaze Bayley fronting the band during their Virtual X (1998) and The X Factor (1995) albums with Dickinson out doing his solo runs.

The chants of “Freedom” rang out through the rafters of Amalie Arena as the song was inspired by Steve Harris watching the movies Braveheart and Rob Roy. Harris stated that “it has a Celtic flavour to the music which is why I wrote the lyrics about the Scottish clans.”

After a short break, Churchill’s speech rang out as a prelude to “Aces High” where their inflatable 90% sized replica of a Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB hung and swung from the rafters. As the final notes rang out, Dickinson thanked the crowd and mentioned how they played to over 3 million people on the extended tour and that they were already gearing up for their “The Future Past Tour” that starts in Europe in 2023.

Nicko McBrain then threw out a couple drumheads that were autographed by the band into the crowd. Mayhem ensued as a tug of war took place among three or four fans before they hit the ground and the second led to a merchandise transaction fiasco for the ages.

Once “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” hit the house speakers and the lights went on, all the people on the floor that brought flags made a large u-shape and took pictures.

It's truly amazing the longevity that this band still has. Dickinson’s vocals were spot on, and the triple guitar attack of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Jannick Gers were in perfect sync with Gers getting more and more solo spots then on past tours. Let’s not leave out the back line of the master bassist and songwriter in Steve Harris who never stops moving on stage and Nicko McBrain who at 70 plays his huge drum kit like he’s in his prime.

The MAIDEN machine thankfully continues to steamroll on and avoid the pitfalls of many bands in the past and have announced today that the next tour will also go into 2024. It seems even at this point, “IRON MAIDEN can’t be fought, can’t be sought and that IRON MAIDEN is going to get all of you.”

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Travis Failey Photography


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