FROM THE VAULT: Live in Philadelphia 1991

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We’re getting into the 1990s at Maiden Revelations this week. Here’s a show from Philadelphia on Maiden’s No Prayer For The Dying tour in 1991.

It was a new decade, and Iron Maiden had gone from Adrian Smith to Janick Gers. Their new album No Prayer For The Dying (1990) didn’t set the world alight, but it did show that Maiden had every intention of staying relevant in the 1990s.

Their new world tour ditched the conceptual set designs and special effects in favor of a stripped-down back-to-basics set-up with Marshall stacks flanking the drum riser. It might have been necessary as a reaction to the massive 1980s stage productions, but it had the inevitable effect of signaling that Maiden weren’t all that big anymore.

Click here to read about Maiden’s 1990s stage productions!

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Maiden in jeans, making a conscious effort to distance themselves from the massive stage productions they had become known for in 1984-1988.

After completing a European tour in late 1990, the leg being just two months long, the band headed for America. The hope might have been that the more aggressive sound and stripped-down production would resonate with a continent that was in the grip of thrash and about to get into grunge. Here’s a bootleg video of the performance in Philadelphia on January 29:

EDIT: The full show video has been removed. Let’s hope it is a sign of something from the No Prayer tour actually showing up on the future DVD release of Donington Live 92, right?

Anyway, you can go track by track from here:

SETLIST:

TAILGUNNER
PUBLIC ENEMA NUMBER ONE
WRATHCHILD
DIE WITH YOUR BOOTS ON
HALLOWED BE THY NAME
22 ACACIA AVENUE
HOLY SMOKE
NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING
THE CLAIRVOYANT
2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
THE TROOPER
HEAVEN CAN WAIT

IRON MAIDEN
THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
BRING YOUR DAUGHTER…TO THE SLAUGHTER
RUN TO THE HILLS
SANCTUARY

The band played The Assassin and Hooks In You on the European tour. The Prisoner and The Evil That Men Do also appeared at a few shows on the 1990-91 tour.

A new decade had dawned, and Maiden took certain measures to position themselves. How it worked or didn’t work is an interesting point of debate. How do you all feel about this live performance?

Click here for an in-depth look at the making of No Prayer For The Dying, the album that saw Adrian Smith leave Maiden and Janick Gers join in his place!

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6 thoughts on “FROM THE VAULT: Live in Philadelphia 1991

  1. My thought is that Dickinson’s voice struggles to go from raspy to high notes… I much prefer the approach on fear of the dark tour 1992 of course the first leg not 1993, where though similar to this style was a bit more well balanced and mature

  2. What a great gig! I can’t believe I haven’t watched this before.

    I know it’s got some of Maiden’s weakest tunes, but NPFTD is just such a fun album, as it seems the live show was as well. Pity they didn’t ever play Run Silent Run Deep or Fates Warning though.

      • RSRD is my fave by far… and not just because I have a fascination with all things nautical. Compositionally and lyrically it’s one of the most well composed “war” themed tunes they’ve ever done! Would’ve made for some great artwork if it was ever released as a single too… Eddie as a submarine skipper!

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