Hours before Steve Harris plucked his first note on the bass and Bruce Dickinson jumped over the monitors to start Iron Maiden's set at San Manuel Amphitheater at Glen Helen in Devore on Saturday night, the Maiden faithful were out.
The lines to get into the gate stretched across the VIP parking area, entertained by other fans who blasting Iron Maiden albums as they tailgated. For the record, "Killers" seemed to be a big favorite.
Everywhere you looked fans were in Maiden T-shirts--from pre-teens to baby boomers. People talked about how many Iron Maiden shows they had seen and where they had seen them.
The band understands this dedication. Just as Iron Maiden was scheduled to take the stage around 9 p.m., a gentleman came out and said the show would be delayed 30 minutes because there were lots of fans still trying to get inside. Singer Bruce Dickinson later referenced it when the band did take the stage.
Speaking of the stage, Iron Maiden's new album, "The Final Frontier," was the inspiration for the set pieces made to look like a giant space station. I wouldn't have been surprised if Iron Maiden mascot Eddie popped out of the giant curtain hiding the stage a la "Alien." The screen backdrops also changed with the songs.
Once the band finally took the stage, the energy was palpable. Dickinson flew over the monitors, almost looking like he would leap into the crowd. He might be one of the most energetic front men in history--bounding across the amphitheater's stage, jumping up on the drum riser where Nicko McBrain was pounding away, emoting every word he sang.
Being a first-time Maiden concertgoer, I was impressed with how the band sounded and moreso with their stage presence. Opening song "The Wicker Man" and "Blood Brothers" were favorites of mine from the show. Really, the only thing I have to say is a resounding "Up the Irons."
The set list featured music from the band's more recent albums, with a few older favorites thrown into the mix.
Many thanks to Patrick Maloney, Maiden fan and Audio File reader, for sending over Iron Maiden's set list from the Devore show. Here it is:
The Wicker Man
Ghost Of The Navigator
The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don't Run
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear Of The Dark
The Number of the Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name