There are few things as wonderful to watch as musicians playing live and clearly loving every moment of it. A great musical performance, especially in an energetic genre like heavy metal, requires far more than just going on stage and playing a song. It’s a theatrical show that relies on physical performance, powerful stage presence, crowd control, and coordination with stage effects, lighting, and much more. To deliver a truly mesmerizing live show, a musician must love the music he plays.
One band that excels in mesmerizing audiences is Iron Maiden. Driven by as many as three lead guitarists, the band’s powerful instrumental sound is matched by the soaring alto vocals of classically-trained frontman Bruce Dickinson.
In 2015, forty years into their career, Iron Maiden released their latest studio album, The Book of Souls. Although it is a common trope to hear that a band’s earlier works are usually their best, The Book of Souls is Iron Maiden at their finest. It’s a double album that mixes intricate, gentle melodies with driving power chord riffs and phenomenal guitar solos.
In keeping with the band’s legacy, the album’s songs cover a vast range of complex themes from Mayan legends to World War II dogfights, and from flights through outer space to the life and depression of Robin Williams. The album concludes with a twenty-one-minute rock opera about the ill-fated British airship R101, which was lost with all hands on its maiden flight in 1929.
Naturally, Iron Maiden embarked on a world tour in support of the new album. Despite being in their sixties, the band members put as much energy into their performances today as they ever have.
Below is a video from the Book of Souls world tour, in which the band performs the album’s first single, Speed of Light. It is heartening to see these musicians still on stage, running and jumping, smiling and laughing as they play. Their passion for their music has kept them vibrant, happy, and energetic at an age when most people would be slowing down. Check out the clip and enjoy the continuing fruits of this classic band: