Review of Iron Maiden gig at Jiffy Lube Live

This is a review of their 2010 concert at Jiffy Lube Live, for the 2012 concert review go here.

Whenever Iron Maiden comes to town you can bet most of the metal heads in the area are going to find their way to that concert. Tuesday the 20th of July 2010 was no exception when Iron Maiden played the horribly named Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. The concert was fun as always, though there were several problems with it too. Also of note, it was the final show of the US leg of the Final Frontier Tour. I totally missed the opening act Dream Theater. This was partly because of the weather, partly because of some minor navigational issues getting to the venue, and partly because (or so I was told) they played a short set.

When we got to Jiffy Lube Live (formerly known as Nissan Pavilion) it was pouring rain, though by the time we actually got the car parked it had mostly let up. The rain never got that bad again, but it was still a damp and humid night, and the lawn area had a lot of mud on it that only seemed to get more slick as the night wore on. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a large venue concert like this one. Part of that is because there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of bands that play arenas and amphitheaters that I actually want to see, and part of it is because the experience kind of sucks. Sure seeing the band is fun, but paying $11 for a can of beer that would cost me $2 at a 7-11 is ridiculous. Leaving the venue is always horrible too, and Jiffy Lube Live is known for being one of the worst. Things like finding your friends can be tough in such large places, and of course these outdoor shows leave you vulnerable to the elements. On top of it all, the ticket prices are astronomical if you want to be anywhere halfway close to the stage. Now I understand the whole supply and demand part of it, but I’m sorry I’m just not willing to pay a few hundred bucks to see a band one night, I don’t care who it is. This concert expectedly had all the same problems, at no fault to Iron Maiden, though I suppose they could make tickets a bit cheaper if they wanted, but they were pretty typical in price. They did have a rather elaborate setup on the stage, and I like how they have a backdrop that changes for just about every song, and that stuff costs money to do. At one point they brought out some guy in a full body costume of the newest space alien version of the band’s mascot, Eddie. Kinda goofy and a bit Gwar-ish I suppose, but entertaining none the less. The band’s singer, Bruce Dickenson, is always entertaining on stage, jumping around and climbing on the elaborate stage sets as well as getting everyone to sing along with him on those classic chorus lines Iron Maiden is known for. At one point between songs he asked the audience who was there for their first ever Iron Maiden show. I don’t know if people weren’t paying attention and going along with the herd, or if they were all just n00bz or whatever, but most of the audience put up their hands and yelled. Bruce didn’t seem to believe it and made a comment about how this can’t be EVERYONE’s first Maiden gig. He also dedicated the song Blood Brothers to the late Ronnie James Dio which also pleased the crowd. The three guitarist attack of Iron Maiden is pretty fun to witness too, the guys really know how to make solos fun to watch AND listen to at the same time. If you’re not up close it can sometimes be hard to tell which of the 3 guitarists is playing the solo, especially when they start switching off, but that’s part of the fun of watching an Iron Maiden show. The stage was set up to look like the inside of a space ship along the lines of something you see in the Aliens movies. It had a door that Bruce would occasionally duck into to let the focus of the audience stay on the rest of the band for certain parts of songs, such as the aforementioned guitar solos. He’d later appear on top of the set materials above the band or run back out the door just before his next line. The showmanship was great and all, and the concert was really awesome except for one thing, the setlist…

Iron Maiden Setlist Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA, USA 2010, The Final Frontier Tour

The setlist was not what I had been hoping for, and I’d imagine many of the people in attendance would agree. If you’re a big fan of Iron Maiden’s material from the year 2000 on, you were in luck. If you wanted to hear lots of their old classics and maybe a few newer songs sprinkled in for good measure? Well, this wasn’t your night. Do you know how many people went to this concert hoping to get a chance to hear The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg instead of The Trooper? Zero. You’ll notice in the setlist posted above which was actually played though. This was the biggest problem with this show. Yeah, it was Iron Maiden and they are damn fun to see live, but where were all the songs? No Wasted Years? No Powerslave? They didn’t even play Run To The Hills and I thought for sure they’d play that one. They played ten songs that were released in the years 2000 to 2010, including the new single El Dorado which was expected, but come on! They played just one song released between the years 1983 and 1999, Fear Of The Dark. That’s a huge part of their discography that was completely ignored. They only played one song from 1980 to 1982 until they closed the show with four straight songs from that era, three of which were part of the planned encore. Those songs were great to watch live, don’t get me wrong, but aside from Wrathchild being played early, where the hell were these classic tunes during the first hour or so of the concert? When I last saw Iron Maiden, in 2003 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, they basically played their best hits CD live. That was an awesome experience, everyone knew all the songs and everyone sang them like they were in the shower or driving in their car alone. People were playing air guitar to songs they’d learned to play when they were growing up and banged their heads to beats they have loved for many years. That nostalgia, that’s what everyone (well, at least me!) wanted at this concert too, but unless you’d been following their more recent material, you didn’t really get that experience. As I said above, it’s always fun seeing Iron Maiden, but the set list really left me feeling glad I hadn’t decided to fork over a few hundred dollars for a spot up close. I did get to shoot a couple videos while there, and you can see them below. They’re a little shakey as I was doing my best to hide the fact that I was shooting video, though midway through The Number Of The Beast I grew some balls and tried to keep the camera steady. I hope you enjoy them! I know a lot of people who will read this were there, feel free to tell me about your experience at the concert in the comments below.

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20 Comments

  1. Spot-on review of the concert! One minor consolation about the beer prices is that is is a 24 oz beer, so $5.50 per beer isn’t a TERRIBLE price for an arena.

    I agree (as would most) about the set list. Maiden could do the whole soundtrack to My Fair Lady and still blow most bands away, but it is the classic songs that we never get tired of hearing. I appreciate that they are still recording awesome, valid heavy metal music, but like you said…you just can’t compare Ghost of Navigator to Flight of Icarus.

    • You guys gotta understand something. Maiden cant play a greatest hits concert every frikkin` time. Last time they went on tour they played their hits from Powerslave – Somewhere in time and Seventh son… Now its time to play some newer songs. If you havent heard much of Brave New World – Dance of Death and A Matter of Life…. shame on you. Its pretty awsome albums. Remember we are living in 2010 and they cant play Trooper and Run to… every concert (there are plenty of good old songs on this setlist thou). For me personally i love to hear new material. They are fresh and awsome as any songs. Next time they will play more songs from The Final Frontier(the real tour – this was just a teaser) and then they might throw in some old goodies for you “greatest hits” lovers…

      • I would argue that yes, they can in fact play a best hits set every time and people would NEVER get sick of this. It would be one thing if they came around every 6 months but with a few years between each appearance they can do this. And I’m not trying to say Maiden’s modern songs are bad, they’re just not what I paid to see/hear and I think others feel the same way. Like I wrote in the review, it was great for fans who like the newer stuff, not so much for fans of the classic era of Iron Maiden. It left a lot of us feeling left out in the rain, so to speak.

        • Yeah, I would get very, very sick of this. In fact this is why I stopped going to see Black Sabbath after the first year or two of the Ozzy reunion era (’97-’06). I knew I was gonna hear the same 10 songs every time, and I stopped caring. That’s just embarrassing for great musicians to go out that way. Thank god Iommi and Butler got back with Dio and did some new shit, and thank god Maiden is out there reminding people that their newer stuff is great too!

    • The set list was exactly what it was supposed to be, that was the idea, to play the new stuff, because, they have played the old stuff to death, and…they just did the Somewhere Back in Time tour in 2008, rolling out the Powerslave stage and a whole host of big hits!!!!, I am writing this in 2012, because I just seen them at same venue, now doing Maiden England, again, looking back at another tour, Seventh Son, and it was full of big hits!!!
      they make an album, support it, then a History tour comes, it works, its variety and its great

  2. No offense, but if you can’t handle the new songs live, you really aren’t a Maiden fan. Also, I bought tickets that were in the first third of the seating area, and they were still under a hundred bucks each; pretty reasonable. The show rocked, Maiden rocks, and their new songs are just as good, if not better than their old stuff. They are not a nostalgia act. And if anybody paid to see just classics, they should have done their homework and researched the setlist.

    • Bullshit. Just because they’re Iron Maiden doesn’t excuse the weak setlist. It’s not that people paid to see just the classics, but I guarantee you NOBODY’S favorite Maiden song was written in the last ten years. I like the new stuff, but I was hoping for SOMETHING classic other than Beast/Wrathchild.

      If you were at a Metallica show and they didn’t play “Master of Puppets” or “One” or “Seek & Destroy” you would be pissed. Or Megadeth with “Holy Wars”. Just because It’s Iron Maiden doesn’t mean that their shit doesn’t stink.

      • First off, that setlist wasn’t weak. Secondly, I know plenty of people whose favorite Maiden song is from the last ten years. Thirdly, Metallica has to play their classics every time because their new stuff doesn’t stand up to their classic stuff. It’s not a valid comparison; if Steve Harris had died in the mid-’80s, then you’d have a valid comparison. Maiden has at least two or three classics on every album they’ve ever done, so it’s easy to make a kick-ass setlist of mostly newer material. People consider the older stuff classic because they grew up with it, but it’s not necessarily any better. Wicker Man is just as good as Two Minutes to Midnight. And the old albums had a few clunkers just like the new ones. Back in the Village? Hell, I’d listen to The Unbeliever before Quest for Fire any day of the week!

      • Forgot to mention that they did play Wrathchild, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name, and Running Free, so I really don’t know what the hell everyone is talking about. Does hearing an extra 3 minute pop-metal song like “Run to the Hills” really improve the concert that much? Seriously, RthH is like Maiden’s Paranoid…sure, it’s catchy and got them some attention back in the day, but it’s not really representative of the band, and most of the hardcore fans are sick of it and would rather hear something different.

      • Sorry you are wrong about the favorite song in the last 10 years part. I took 3 teenage boys to the show and thier favorite IM songs are Paschendale, The Longest Day and Dance of Death. Mine is HBTN, but I’m 46 years old. My son was pissed that I.M. removed Paschendale and Brighter that a Thousand Suns from the setlist. Most of the people around me was singing along. The younger ones knew the newer songs better. This was the 4th time I saw Maiden over the years and I think it was the best. I know my boy and his friends can’t wait until they come around again.

      • 2008, Powerslave tour recreated, FULL of BIG HITS, 2012, Seventh Son Tour recreated, FULL of BIG HITS

        they dare to be different in 2010, and it was awesome, and still played some big tracks, 15 Albums, lots to choose from!!

    • I totally agree with you, its now 2012, and its the second History of Maiden tour, power slave in 2008, now seventh son in 2012, and it was totally awesome to see stuff that was completley different in 2010, in 2005 they played the whole of its a Matter of Life and Death in the UK, which I saw 3 times, and that worked as well, they dare to do something different

  3. Good review! I do enjoy a lot of the new stuff but they did overkill it on the new songs, although it was still fun the lack of run to the hills sucked…. Still great show!

    • go to the show in 29012, they will play it

  4. Shame on you for not checking out the set list prior to going to the concert. It was available on line. My son downloaded most of the set list and was singing along to every song. He was actually upset that Journeyman was played instead of pashendale as was on the original set list.

  5. That review is full of so many assumptions. Not everyone goes to see Iron Maiden because of the nostalgia factor, and I know plenty of people whose favorite Maiden song is from after the “classic” era. Mine is probably The Clansman from 1998, I know at least one guy whose favorite song is Ghost of the Navigator, and several people whose favorite is Paschendale. Various members of Iron Maiden have said in the media that they are not and will never be a nostalgia act. They already did all-oldies tours in 2005 and 2008 for the younger fans who never got to see Maiden in the ’80s, as a thank you to the fans and also to put some of this material behind them. I guarantee you Steve Harris would rather play new material to 2,000 people than become a nostalgia act and play to 20,000 people. Fortunately the new material is good enough that that won’t happen. Did you not hear the entire crowd singing along to “Wicker Man”, “Blood Brothers”, “No More Lies”, etc.? When I saw Maiden in 2003 Bruce told the crowd that anyone who thinks Maiden is a classic rock act and doesn’t want to hear their new material should “fuck off out the door”, because Maiden is still a vital band, and they refuse to give in to the closed minded attitude of a lot of the lazy so-called fans in this country who aren’t loyal enough or open minded enough to get into the new material.

    • Amen to that!

  6. All true Iron Maiden fans know that their set-list’s rotate each tour, so those of you who thought that you were true Iron Maiden fans are sadly mistaken, if the set-list upset you. The next tour will be riddled with all of the classics, just check out their previous tour set-list.

    Anyway any Iron Maiden concert is worth seeing, no matter what their playing!

    • Exactly! Maiden will be back next year and it’s a good bet their setlist will be split between songs from the new album, and a good mix of songs from their whole back catalog, including the ’80s classics people are complaining about missing on this past tour. Here’s hoping they bring back a Blaze-era song or two! It’s always good to hear Bruce reinterpret those songs! He sang The Sign of the Cross when I saw Maiden in 2000 and it was amazing!

  7. Apparently you missed the Somewhere Back in Time tour when ALL they played were the classics. Maiden is not touring for those who only know “Run to the Hills” and “The Trooper”. They tour for their huge legion of loyal fans and it would be an isult to us to have to hear the same set list a million times over.
    Other than that, nice review and I’m glad you enjoyed some of the show.


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