APRIL 10th 2016 

Review/Photos By: Char Tupper
Photo Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/the-book-of-souls-world-tour-vancouver/

Tonight here in beautiful Vancouver, BC, we all got the chance to once again witness the true heavy metal legends themselves, IRON MAIDEN. Touring alongside the Englishmen was The Raven Age. The streets flooded with “Iron Maiden” t-shirts, the venue packed with chants of “Up the Irons”, from that alone, I knew tonight was going to be a true metal evening.

First up was The Raven Age, also out of the United Kingdom, but this band is more along the side of Melodic metal. If you are a fan of In Flames or bands alike, these guys are for you. Very crisp, clean sound and full of energy onstage, giving 110%. Forming back in 2009, but not having a complete line-up until 2013, this band was tight and didn’t miss a beat. There were technical difficulties in the beginning, but the tech’s were quick to fix and the show went smoothly.  Refreshing to see so many smiles from the band, sadly these days it’s all about “looking grim and metal”, not for these guys. It was about showing their true joy and happiness doing what they love, performing metal to thousands of fans every night. Many people may also recognize The Raven Age due to a certain bandmate, George Harris, his father just happens to be a legendary bassist, in fact, they are sharing the stage this tour, it is none other than Steve Harris. That being said, this band doesn’t play up to “we are famous for that reason…” scenario, they have worked hard and the work shows. I thoroughly enjoyed their set, well executed and definitely fitting for this tour package.

The hour has now struck 9:00, and we are ready for the pioneers of heavy metal, Iron Maiden. There is no one like these guys, they are one of a kind. Hard to think of when these guys retire, who will fill their shoes? Those are damn big shoes to fill. This is my third time seeing the band, first time photographing them and all I can say is wow, but before I get into show details, let me talk to you about these legends. I’m sure most of you know the story, but for those who are just getting into the band, they formed out of the United Kingdom back in 1975. Earning a large success in the eighties, selling over 90 million albums over the span of their career and winning numerous awards and earning large respect in both the rock and metal communities. The year is now 2016 and they are touring in support of their latest record, “The Book of Souls”, and they touring in a way that is a little “outside the box” for most bands. Bruce Dickinson himself, is flying the upgraded “Ed Force One” 747-400 jumbo jet around the globe on their world tour, carrying their gear and stage equipment, crew, and of course, bandmates. Talk about touring “in style”, like I said, no one is quite like Iron Maiden, legends indeed.

Getting back to the show, their set was diverse of new, old, and even a few classics. Watching them all jump, run, and twirl guitars while hitting every note makes you appreciate the art of metal and having a stage performance. They put so much effort and energy into their show, it is definitely in my “top 5 live bands” list, if not #1. The charisma of watching them enjoy every second, getting the crowd involved, while both feed off each other. Some may have been upset with not having enough “classics”, but I love that the sets change every tour, getting a dose of different songs and themes. Opening the show with newer material like “If Eternity Should Fail” and “Speed of Light”, while also keeping true to their fans by keeping classics like “Fear of the Dark” and “Number of The Beast”. As expected, we all got to see a lot of pyro, fire, and our one and only mascot that we all cherish, Eddie. Eddie has grown in our metal hearts as a symbol of Iron Maiden and it’s always great to see him walk around and interact with both the crowd and band. Their stage presence is unlike any band of today, full of character and entertainment, with great music alongside it all . To sum up this experience, if you have not seen Iron Maiden, you should make that a part of your life’s “To Do List”, because you don’t want to miss a band so extraordinary, yet a huge part of metal history. It is time for you to take “The Number of the Beast”, and head to the city nearest you ! They are calling your number, 666. Up the Irons!