Legends of heavy metal Iron Maiden brought their Book of Souls tour to Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night before a packed house of headbangers. The stop was one of 26 shows on the second leg of the North American tour.
Swedish metal band Ghost served as the opening act. Known for their masked appearances and satanic-themed costumes and sets, the band Ghost swept into Bridgestone Arena with an eerie desire to rock the house in preparation of Iron Maiden's headlining set.
The five nameless ghouls (as they’re called on stage) and their leader, Papa Emeritus, delivered a hard-hitting set to the Nashville crowd. Whether it was the stage presence or the music, or both, they got a lot of attention for an opening band.
Following UFO’s song “Doctor Doctor” blaring over the PA system at the start, the fans knew it was finally time to welcome back Iron Maiden to Tennessee. Bruce Dickinson made the first appearance at the back of center stage behind a smoking cauldron. The Mayan ruin backdrop set the stage as the rest of the band broke into “If Eternity Should Fail.”
Iron Maiden’s sixteenth studio album, Book of Souls, served as the touring banner for the group and the catalyst for the band’s return to world domination. Originally planned to begin in 2015, the tour was postponed due to frontman Bruce Dickinson’s battle with oral cancer. He’s now back at it in front of the band and touring the globe. He’s also back in the pilot’s chair; Dickinson is a licensed pilot and personally flies the group’s jumbo jet that carries the band, equipment, and crew for their tours.
Despite the band’s age, there was a noticeable energy and excitement emanating from the stage. The 15-song set was a non-stop juggernaut of screaming vocals, shredding guitars, and thumping bass and percussions. The rockers also brought along their fair share of pyro to heat up the night.
The night was full of both the classics and the newer stuff. Heavy on rotation, of course were several tracks off the 2015 Book of Souls album. Classics such as “Powerslave,” “Iron Maiden,” and “Wrathchild” were also crowd favorites that got all of Bridgestone Arena on its feet. The iconic performance of “The Trooper” really brought down the house as Dickinson brought out his classic redcoat uniform and the Union Jack as he took control of the stage.
The setlist for the night was as follows: