To celebrate the opening of Iron Maiden’s 2016 Book of Souls tour, here’s a flashback to 2010 and The Guv’nor’s review of their appearance at the Molson Amphitheater, Toronto, on The Final Frontier tour.
As soon as the setlists began to be posted at the beginning of June, it became obvious that Iron Maiden’s 2010 Final Frontier tour is a tour intended for hardcore Maiden fans. There has been plenty of bitching online from those who want a reprise of 2008’s Somewhere Back in Time, and for them and everyone else who have the band frozen in 1980s, the encore is about only bone the band is going to throw them this time around.
Like those fans, I love that Maiden too, enough to have shelled out for the previous tour twice. But since 2000, the band has put out four albums that are also worth the price of admission. That’s what this tour is all about, and fans who are willing to take this new, adventurous journey with them will not leave the show disappointed.
From the outset, the one/two punch of “Wicker Man” and “Ghost of the Navigator” claimed this territory for the band, with the latter song taken slightly faster than the album version to give it a real sense of urgency. With the setlist full of epics, this was a tactic the band used to great effect all night.
After a brief visit to the bands’ roots in “Wrathchild,” it was time for “El Dorado” from the band’s soon-to-be-released The Final Frontier. This punchy tune, with its NWOBHM-style riff, served as a great introduction to “Dance of Death” and “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg.” Again, the time changes on “Dance of Death” were punched up just a little to give the song some impetus, but the band opted to keep “Benjamin Breeg’s”ominous mid-tempo plod in tact, giving it song-of-the-night honors for me.
Next up was “These Colors Don’t Run,” with the crowd in fine voice, followed by “Blood Brothers,” which Bruce Dickinson aptly dedicated to the late, great Ronnie James Dio. “Wildest Dreams,” however, was ragged, with Nicko McBrain strangely finding it hard to keep things on an even keel. But “No More Lies” followed by “Brave New World” and the perennial showstopper, “Fear of the Dark,” erased any doubts that might be creeping in, and with the sun now completely set, the full effect of the new stage set–taking its inspiration from the sci-fi mining theme of the movie Alien–really took hold.
After the inevitable ending of “Iron Maiden,” complete with the appearance of the new Predator Eddie, the band appeased the old fans with a fairly traditional “Number of the Beast/Hallowed Be Thy Name/Running Free” encore. This little nod to the past aside, this show proves that the band is still a vital musical force that is not simply cashing in on nostalgia in its old age. The Final Frontier tour shows the band able to walk the fine line between its past and its future. Here’s hoping the new album does the same.