Iron Maiden Offers Feast for the Senses in Oakland

in SF Concert Reviews by

What a show last night by heavy metal juggernauts Iron Maiden. From the moment Bruce Dickinson jumped on stage and shouted from the top of his lungs, “Screaammm for me Oakland!” the excitement pulsed passionately at a ten throughout the entire two-hour performance. From the World War II bomber that flew then crashed overheard, to the colorful fireworks display, to the legendary frontman dueling with a 12-feet-tall robotic Eddie (the band’s mascot for decades), it was a tour de force from beginning to end.

Because making fans happy has always been a priority for the brits, it came as no surprise that The Legacy Of The Beast setlist was comprised of a perfectly curated song selection. Comprised of all the classic hits from the band’s 38-year discography, no song was left aside.

To go along with the killer setlist, the theatrics we’ve all grown to love from the guitar-wielding quartet were on overdrive. During “The Trooper,” an extravagant display of fireworks exploded over the stage and for “Flight of Icarus” Dickinson sashayed around the stage equipped with a gasoline-powered backpack complete with two flamethrowers on each hand. It was the type of over-the-top gimmickry that we’ve all come to love and has made so many of us coming back for more for almost 40 years now.

Bruce Dickinson was in fine form last night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland

The change of outfits should also be noted. Starting the set Dickinson came out dressed as a World War II fighter pilot for “Aces High,” then swiftly turned into a stormtrooper for “Where Eagles Dare,” and transformed into a dark cross wielding priest for “The Sign Of The Cross.”

This is one band that doesn’t need a lesson in showmanship. Their instrumental prowess only accentuates the already stellar visuals that have made a Maiden show the stuff of legends. Here’s to more years of larger-than-life performances from these metal heroes, who in their 60s are showing no signs of slowing down.

Photos by Louis Raphael

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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