Iron Maiden Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON March 16

Iron Maiden Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON March 16
What is it about old school metal that has bands on the downward slope of middle age more energetic, enthusiastic and entertaining than acts half their age? Were it not for massive video screens flanking the stage and displaying larger-than-life lined faces, one might wonder if Iron Maiden were actually pushing 60. Hitting town in support of the 25th anniversary of their legendary Live After Death album/concert flick, singer Bruce Dickinson and crew pulled out many (though not all) stops during almost two hours of classic Maiden. With his voice still incredibly powerful, Dickinson nailed the epic screams and wails characterising definitive tracks such as "Hallowed Be Thy Name,” "The Number of the Beast,” "Powerslave” and more. Lest one forget though, the constant running and jumping of bassist Steve Harris, guitar-slinging of Janick Gers, beat-heavy punch of drummer Nicko McBrain and impassive-albeit-confident six-string shredding of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accentuated the experience, proving there’s still plenty of showmanship and professionalism left in these veritable grandfathers. To that extent, the traditional gimmickry of sliding backdrops featuring mascot Eddie in various sinister acts, Egyptian-themed stage scenery, fireworks, flames and Stranger In A Strange Land-era Eddie prancing about the stage were secondary to the seamless performance. Highlights came in the renditions of songs not performed in decades, most notably 13-minute epic "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” in its entirety. Save for the lack of a monumental Eddie hovering over the stage delivering a final climax, this was the "best of the Beast.”