Iron Maiden performing The Book Of Souls Tour with special guests Shinedown at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Thursday 4th May 2017.

Images and review by Kevin Cooper

Iron Maiden, led by one of the most dynamic front men in the business, Bruce Dickinson looking as sprightly as ever, rumbled into Nottingham last night and rattled the rafters of the Motorpoint Arena.

But up first was American rock band Shinedown who have sold more than ten million albums worldwide, and on last night’s performance it was easy to see why. Opening with fans favourite, Adrenaline, they began a fifty minute set of guitar driven mania that many in the Arena had turned up early to see.

With Zach Myers on guitar, bassist Eric Bass and Barry Kerch on drums, the guitar led tracks of Unity and How Did You Love provided them with ample time to show off. But it was the soaring vocals of Brent Smith that were most impressive as he led the audience in a sing along through a thrashing Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom).

When he stopped the show to urge everyone to meet the person next to them, over 8000 people did just that. With the opening chords to Second Chance the crowd screamed so loud that it was hard to distinguish the song’s first lyrics from the crowd’s reaction. Finishing with Sound Of Madness, they almost blew the roof off the Arena and had warmed this crowd up very nicely.

With the first chords of UFO’s Doctor Doctor, the Arena erupted. Enter Bruce Dickinson, dressed in cargo pants and a hooded black sweatshirt and as an air raid siren announces the start, Worksop’s finest heavy metal singer is behind a smoking cauldron and it was If Eternity Should Fail from their latest and sixteenth studio album, The Book Of Souls, that started things off.

Joined on stage by the rest of the band, they kept up with their new material, going straight into the albums only single, Speed Of Light which showcased searing guitar melodies. Typical Maiden classics whipped up the enthusiasm levels, especially Wrathchild and Children Of The Damned.

Death Or Glory saw another return to The Book Of Souls whilst The Red And The Black showed that Iron Maiden remain just as vital as ever after four decades. With the pounding drums of Nicko McBrain, Steve Harris’ rumbling bass guitar and guitarists Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Adrian Smith all bringing their A game during the two hour onslaught, with Gers hilariously running through the legs of a massive version of Eddie.

With a killer stage, eclipsed by a big screen at either side, Dickinson made good use of the horse shoe runway, never keeping still for a moment. With the first notes of The Trooper, pictures of Trooper Eddie, who makes an appearance at every Iron Maiden concert, came on the back drop as Dickinson ran around the stage wearing Eddie’s battlefield regalia of red jacket, waving a Union Jack, before the bellowing laughter that marks the start of Powerslave had the crowd going wild.

Bringing the fun to an end with Fear Of The Dark and of course, the expected Iron Maiden, there had been no room for the likes of Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter or Run To The Hills, but nobody minded as Iron Maiden reclaimed the stage for the encore with The Number Of The Beast as goat faced devils bombarded the giant screens. Finishing off with Blood Brothers and Wasted Years, Iron Maiden are still a spectacular well oiled slick machine, and as Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life rang out, they continued to demonstrate why they are up there with the best live acts in heavy metal.