Friday the 13th is usually held up as a day of bad luck and the movie franchise that depicted the serial killer Jason Vorhees. However, up in Toronto, Canada, 15,000 metalheads didn’t come together at Camp Crystal Lake for horrors, but they congregated for the appearance of Eddie, the mascot for Iron Maiden. This tour was to celebrate the time when one of their greatest albums was released, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.” The band set to recreate the video “Maiden England” that was produced around that time along with the set and of course the songs.
The night started off with a different beast though as Alice Cooper opened the festivities with a 45 minute set and wasted no time moving through his songs. It’s unfortunate he had to come on early as there is something wrong seeing Alice Cooper play while the sun is still gleefully shining. The most blatant tune left out was “Welcome to My Nightmare”, but he made up for it by blasting through favorites like “The Black Widow”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, and “Poison.” He also pulled two tracks from “Brutal Planet”, which is arguably Cooper’s heaviest album and it struck the right notes with the audience. “Hey Stoopid” was a nice inclusion, but my personal favorite from that album and of the show was “Feed My Frankenstein.” Of course, the song was featured in “Wayne’s World” and who could forget the classic scene when Wayne and Garth meet the band.
Cooper also seemed to take a page out of the Maiden playbook by employing three guitarists including a woman and she was most impressive. Though abbreviated, Cooper still was tied up in a strait jacket and still had his head chopped off. It was my first time seeing Cooper and he did not disappoint. I hope to see his full, headlining show someday.
Cooper whetted the crowd’s appetites for a bit, but it was so long before the “Maiden” chants started. The lead track off of “Seventh Son” led off the set in “Moonchild.” Bruce Dickinson is incredible after all these years. He keeps getting stronger and it’s unbelievable how he runs around the stage for two hours.
An unexpected inclusion was “Afraid to Shoot Strangers.” Usually, it is only the title track played from “Fear of the Dark”, but this was nice swerve. When the song picks up in the middle with the guitar break, the crowd began to roar after the stoic intro.
Two life-sized Eddie risers made their appearance and also one walked out during the “The Trooper” trying to attack guitarist Janick Gers. There were quite a sight to behold and along with a flawless set made this just about the best concert I have ever been to. “The Prisoner” was dusted off and intro along with video from the television show played. “Phantom of the Opera”, “Wasted Years”, and “Run to the Hills” all met with approval and most importantly, five of the eight “Seventh Son” songs were played. I personally would have loved to see “The Prophecy” live, but beggars can’t be choosers.
I highly encourage any Maiden fan to see this show. It is worth the price and it will be an unforgettable night. This Friday the 13th was not filled with bad luck or crazed killers; there was only a monster named Eddie, Alice Cooper, and Iron Maiden.