Iron Maiden Live in Oakland

by | Oct 4, 2019 | Concerts & Festivals

w/The Raven Age
Oakland Arena — September 10th 2019

One of the best tours this summer was The Legacy of the Beast tour from UK metal legends Iron Maiden. They solidified their legacy in Oakland, CA at the Oakland Arena – former home of the Golden State Warriors, outside the Raiders/Athletics stadium. 

After the usual audio that played over the PA, like UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” and Churchill’s Speech, the fans, some donning flags that draped over the front rail, were ready for what was in store for the evening. 

Maiden fans

Attending an Iron Maiden show is like attending a theatrical event, with as many different acts as there are songs in the setlist. The stage background changes for each song almost as often as frontman Bruce Dickinson changes outfits or at least adds a hat or another accessory. 

They started the set with “Aces High,” while Dickinson sported an aviator cap, and a blow-up spitfire plane soared overhead. The next song “Where Eagles Dare,” he put on a winter hat and belted songs in front of a snowy backdrop with an image of a flaming aerial tramway. After that, the backdrop changed to a war scene and then stained glass windows to mimic a church, most notably for “Sign of the Cross.” During “Flight of Icarus” a flying archangel-like figurine appeared behind the band.

Bruce Dickinson

The standard songs you’d expect at an Iron Maiden show were rattled off in a furious and exciting fashion — “The Trooper,” “Number of the Beast,” and “Run to the Hills.” For the novice Maiden fan, it was a perfect tour that highlighted their best songs and antics throughout the night. For the hardcore Troopers, it was equally as good as it featured some older numbers and more under-appreciated tracks that loyal fans love. 

Janick Gers

The rest of the band were in top-notch form, especially for men in their 60s. Their music has many layers of sound with three guitarists – Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers. Their technical aspect is what surprised me the most about their music. They have been a band for 40+ years, successful for nearly 40 of those years and this tour cemented their legacy and also didn’t show any signs of slowing down. It was the first time I had experienced the band live and hopefully not the last — it was hands-down one of the best metal shows I’ve ever seen. 

The Raven Age opened the night; they’re an English metal band that was formed 10 years ago by George Harris, who happens to be Steve Harris’ son. Their brand of melodic hard rock primed the audience up for the rest of the metal theme of the night. 

Adrian Smith

Photos by Matt Lambert: