In two days Iron Maiden fans from all corners of the world will be swarming the grounds of the massive Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, eagerly awaiting their heroes to kick off the second part of The Book of Souls World Tour.A trek that will take them from Belgium, via Germany and UK, before ending with a two month stint of North America and Canada.
The 2016 tour saw the band play some 70 shows on six different continents, a massive undertaking – possibly their longest run since the 90s. Not bad for a band at their age, especially if you consider what they’ve been trough with Bruce Dickinson‘s illness and all. What’s even more impressive is the high energy level they performed at night after night.
The Book of Souls Tour received praise wherever it took the band. The setlist was the most adventurous in years, mixing in deep cuts and rarely played gems with a healthy dose of new material. And need we remind you of the spectacular and wonderfully crafted stage production? It was hands down their best album tour since the reunion. Adding to that; one of their most successful too with sold out shows and record breaking audiences all over the place.
So where does that leave us with the upcoming round of dates? Will it be the same show with the songs and production? Maiden rarely change things around much when touring the same theme despite taking time of between the legs. However this tour is a little different. They toured most of the world in 2016 and spent almost 7 consecutive months on the road. This year they’re re-visiting a lot of the same territories with a more extensive tour. Does that bode for a few changes?
Bruce and Adrian has hinted that they will “change things up” a little. But they wouldn’t know what to do before they came into rehearsals just before the tour starts. But the fact that they haven’t made a big deal of revamping the set, the changes are probably minimal, if non at all. Our guess is that tops two songs will be replaced.
Likely candidates to get axed are “Tears of a Clown” and, unfortunately but quite possibly, “Children of the Damned”. The former due to it’s slow pace. The reactions to this song was mixed on the previous run. Many claiming that it slowed down the set and thus provided a drop in momentum. Likely replacements: “2 Minutes to Midnight”, “Wrathchild” and “Revelations”. The latter has seem to have become a live favorite of the band for the last ten years. It would also fit in nicely in the set. The other two songs are quick classic fixes they often turn to in the beginning of the set. One of those could also replace “Children of the Damned”. An odd one out could be “Coming Home” as their returning to the UK for their first extensive tour for six years.
It’s difficult to see which other songs they would shelve later in the set. Do not touch “Powerslave”. We repeat, do not touch “Powerslave”! Personally, I wouldn’t cry if they dropped “Death or Glory” for another modern era Maiden classic. The monkey thing got a bit silly in the end, but the monkey thing is probably the reason it will stay in the set too.
“Blood Brothers” could go in favor of something like “The Evil That Men Do”, but it’s sort of intertwined with the brilliant and symbolic value of ending the show with “Wasted Years”, unless they replace “Wasted Years” with “Run to the Hills”? Not very likely, but who knows?
I think it’s safe to say though that we won’t be getting any deep cuts in this round. Don’t expect “Killers”, “Stranger In a Strange Land”, “Flight of Icarus” or “Alexander the Great”.
So what will Bruce’s haircut be like? What color will Nicko‘s trousers have? Will Adrian present us with a new classic guitar? Will Eddie inflate this year too? Is “Hallowed Be Thy Name” still in the set? We will all know this coming Saturday. We’ll be there, will you?
Have a great tour!
Up the Irons!