EDDIE GETS HIGH AND GOES GLOBAL
IRON MAIDEN announce their most ambitious and extraordinary touring plans ever – and are very pleased to announce that this will include Australia for the first time in 15 years!
The ‘SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME’ World Tour 2008 will be in three sections, starting in February and March 2008 with the first leg encompassing major concerts in 20 selected cities on five continents in seven weeks including India, Japan, North America, Central and South America, and, of course, Australia, opening in Perth on Feb 4 and continuing through Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane (full details below).
The tour then continues with more concerts in North America in late May and June before finishing with a third leg in July and August encompassing major stadiums and festivals all over Europe. During the tour the band is expected to play to well over one and a half million fans and travel close to 100,000 miles.
In an historic first, Iron Maiden, their 60-strong crew and support staff and over 12 tons of equipment will be travelling around the world en masse for the first leg of the tour in a specially commissioned and converted Astraeus Boeing 757 decorated with Maiden and Eddie designs! Vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who is a qualified Airline Captain flying for Astraeus Airlines, will pilot the plane on its epic mission, flying over 50,000 miles.
Comments Bruce Dickinson, “We had the idea last year of converting a jumbo jet into effectively what would be a flying 113 ton ‘splitter bus’ for touring and we have been working seriously on it ever since. It’s pretty complex but in the end we were able, with a lot of help from Astraeus Airlines, to overcome all the technicalities of customising the plane for our purposes. We are taking out the back 10 rows of seats to fit in a customised cargo hold that we can use again in the future if this jaunt works. This is in addition to all the standard storage holds. By taking band, personnel and equipment in one form of transport it makes all the touring so much easier and overcomes the logistical difficulty of people and equipment going in different planes. We can even work out exactly how big our carbon footprint is and take care of that responsibility! We will be packing as much of the show into the plane as we possibly can for this first leg and intend to give the fans something very special to remember. And it allows me to combine 2 of my greatest passions, music and flying!!
To tie in with forthcoming 2008 releases on DVD of the classic ‘LIVE AFTER DEATH’ and ‘MAIDEN ENGLAND’ concert videos (more details coming soon) this tour, aptly entitled ‘SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME’, will revisit the band’s history by focusing almost entirely on the 80’s in both choice of songs played and the stage set, which will be based around the legendary Egyptian Production of the 1984-85 ‘Powerslave Tour’. This will arguably be the most elaborate and spectacular show the band have ever presented, and will include some key elements of their Somewhere In Time tour of 1986/7, such as the Cyborg Eddie.
Steve Harris comments; “On the last tour we opened the show by playing our new album ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ in its 80 minute entirety. We thought we needed the challenge and it proved the right thing to do. However, it can be hard on the fans playing so much new material and we really appreciated the superb support they gave us. So now l guess it’s payback time. It’s tremendous to be able to use the profile of the DVDs to do what is effectively an 80’s show. It will be enormous fun and by changing the approach to the songs we play tour by tour it keeps it fresh and interesting for both the band and the fans alike. l think ‘Powerslave’ was an incredible show with the Egyptian theme and look forward to seeing it all again myself. We have been planning this for a few years and hoping to take it to Australia – so we are all delighted that it has now worked out. I would also like to say that we are all are very grateful to our loyal fans in Oz who have kept the Maiden flag flying all these years and we are sorry to have disappointed you for so long. Thanks and see you there”
Rod Smallwood, Iron Maiden’s Manager, further commented; "Following Bruce’s various hints from on stage this last year about our plans for 2008 (“We are taking some time off to build some pyramids!”), fans have been pestering me for details of the tour and especially asking which songs from that era will be played. That may be as easy as a run in the hills but we will keep our aces close to our chest on this issue. I know it would only take a couple of minutes but at this stage of planning, I'd have to be clairvoyant to know what they will do. I'm sure though it will be no revelation for you that we intend to make up for those wasted years by visiting a large number of hallowed metal venues around the world. Historically ‘Powerslave’ was an incredibly important album for the band and it would be madness if we didn't give the fans a taste of the full on Iron Maiden show from that time. With our jumbo there really is no rime nor reason why the band cannot now visit fans almost everywhere as many have been real troopers to have waited this long. Heaven only knows what the band will choose but if l could and did tell you now l would have to shoot you! You'll all have to be patient and see. But it will be spectacular. No fear!!"
Historically, this will be Maiden’s fourth Australian Tour having first toured in 1982 when ‘The Number of the Beast’ was Australia’s number one album, then again in 1985 with the original ‘Powerslave’ show and most recently in 1992 with ‘Fear of the Dark’. However a great deal has happened with the band since then, especially in recent years when ticket sales have continued to explode around the world as the band’s loyal fan base continues to flourish. As Maiden have never had airplay or much video channel exposure anywhere in the world their popularity spread mainly by word of mouth on the back of a legacy of many great albums and an awesome live reputation With the ever increasing power of the internet the Maiden legend has fired the imagination of new young fans around the planet, and, although their audience spans two generations, it is now predominantly a young one, inspired by the massive legacy and influence of this unique band (and, of course, Eddie).
To allow Iron Maiden fans in Australia to get right up close to the band,the fan club are organising advance booking of tickets for members and running a special draw for them whereby 60 winners and friend at each show will be given first access to the venue and be first to the stage barrier. Full details can be found on www.ironmaiden.com.
Tickets go on sale to the public 9am Thursday 27th September, but members of the Iron Maiden fan club get exclusive first access to purchase tickets from
12 noon Thursday 20th September through to 12 noon Monday 24th September.
Go to www.ironmaiden.com for further information.
SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME, AUSTRALIA 2008
Monday 4th, Burswood Dome, Perth
Wednesday 6th, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 9th, Acer Arena, Sydney
Tuesday 12th, Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Some background information :-
In the last year or so IRON MAIDEN have -
· In September 2006 released A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH’, their most recent and critically acclaimed 14th studio album.
§ No 1 International Album in Billboard Magazine
§ No 1 album in 10 countries. Top 10 album in 30 countries
§ Top 10 in the USA, number 2 in Canada
§ The highest placed rock album ever in India where it reached No. 2 , twice!
and played extensive shows around the World including being –
§ The first metal band to put on a major concert in India playing to a sold out 25,000 fans in Bangalore , apparently the biggest rock show ever in India
§ The first band to headline Download Festival in Donington UK for a record breaking fourth time to 70,000 fans
§ The first band to sell out Desert Rock Festival in Dubai to 20,000 fans.
§ Record breaking sell out of Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden – 57,000 tickets sold in two and a half hours over 9 months in advance of the date!
§ 360,000 tickets sold across their 100% SOLD OUT European Tour in the Autumn of 2006 with 28 arena shows including 40,000 tickets sold in Stockholm over 3 nights, 30,000 in London, 25,000 in Milan and Helsinki and 19,000 in Barcelona.
§ Three Canadian shows SOLD OUT to 40,000 fans and 16,000 tickets sell out weeks in advance of their Los Angeles Show in Oct 06.
§ Played to 250,000 fans at their show in Rio. Brazil in 2001, plus 35,000 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and 25,000 in Santiago, Chile
THE POWERSLAVE TOUR AND LIVE AFTER DEATH VIDEO
The ‘Powerslave’ Tour of 1984-5, which was actually titled the ‘World Slavery Tour’, started in Warsaw Poland on Aug 9 1984, marking the first time a major band from the West had played large arenas in Poland at a time when the country was still very much “Behind the Iron Curtain”. The tour continued through 193 concerts in 21 countries, including an incredible 112 arena shows in the USA and Canada, in both of which the album went Platinum, playing to over a million fans in North America alone.
The tour finally came to a (weary!!) end on July 5 1985 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre just South of Los Angeles, marking the longest and most gruelling tour the band have ever attempted. The band and the lavish Egyptian stage production generated stunning reviews and arenas around the planet were sold out almost everywhere.
March 14, 15, 16, 17 saw the band play 4 sold out consecutive nights at LA’s 13,200 capacity Long Beach Arena. Tickets went on sale at 10 am on a Saturday morning with fans waiting overnight for the box office to open. When the first show sold out almost immediately and the second was added some fans got rather restive as they felt they may not get tickets and this led to the LAPD being called in and LA press reporting riots! Tickets continued to sell and shows added until after about 10 days the band called a halt at a record breaking 4 sold out shows, a record which stands to this day.
It was during the 2nd and 3rd nights here that the band recorded and filmed, in 35mm, what was to become the legendary LIVE AFTER DEATH album and concert video, featuring tracks from their first five albums. This was one of the first ever full concert videos with a Worldwide release and topped the new video charts everywhere.
These concerts also inspired the idea for the birth of the first specialist Metal Radio Station in America, KNAC. The originators could not believe that a band could sell over 50,000 tickets in LA with no radio support EVER in the marketplace and wisely reckoned that there must be a massive underground market for this band and this music and went on to start a unique station which had great success for many years and became synonymous with Metal in the USA.
The band capped these amazing few days with a major bash at their manager’s house in Hollywood, stories of which still circulate!!
A review of the concert is reproduced below to give some idea of the show -
Heavy Rock Happenings
By Mark Hanser
Being both a headbanger and a history major, I must confess that any metal act that concern themselves with my two pet historical periods – Ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe – are bound to receive my rapt attention, particularly if they’re any good. In Iron Maiden’s case, the band’s fantastic, even without their chronological fantasies. Mystical and magical, cerebral and sonic, Maiden’s rivalled only by Judas priest as metal’s greatest live act – something they proved a thousandfold at Long Beach’s Arena for four ear-splitting nights, starting Thursday the fourteenth.
Iron Maiden, it must be mentioned, don’t just put on a show – they stage a spectacular. And, good God, what a spectacular it was! Imagine, if you will, a stage lifted from the valleys of Luxor; with pylons like pyramids and funeral pyres, or lighting scaffolds covered with scarabs and runes, further arranged like a dragonfly’s wings. Imagine, too, music so riff-laden and magnetic that each song erupts into an eargasm – and with lyrics both clever and literary, no less. Maiden, you see, dabble in mythology, not misogyny; so instead of hearing singer Bruce Dickinson scream Kiss retreads, the Arena’s ears heard such stuff as “The Flight Of Icarus” (you recall, I trust, the tale of Icarus and Daedalus from your high-school primers) and “Rime of The Ancient Mariner” – bassist Steve Harris’ masterful reworking of the Coleridge classic, and the piece de resistance of Powerslave (Capitol), their fifth and finest studio recording. Entertaining, melodic and enervating, Maiden’s music is like manna from Heaven in an age of Sammy Hagars.
Opening with “Aces High” – which segued into their anti-nuclear anthem, “Two Minutes to Midnight” – the Maidens set the stage afire with instrumental fury. The twinlead guitars of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith became, and remained so throughout the show, textbook examples of metallic transcendence; only Priest’s Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing can match them in imagination, and not always as artfully. Rhythmically, bassist Harris and drums-basher Nicko McBrain are no less remarkable building aural tensions instead of aimless boogies. And singer Dickinson, what with his air-raid siren screams and cerebrally witty asides to the audience, is something else again. Surely Ronnie Dio never had a more attentive pupil.
Nor was Dickinson any slouch as a showman, either. During the song “Powerslave,” he donned a fearsome, Horus-like falcon mask, and pranced before a suddenly-blazing pyre. It wasn’t Cleopatra, perhaps (nor was Elizabeth Taylor in the front row this time for that matter), but it made for some wonderful rock theatre all the same. If the singer was upstaged by anybody, it was by Eddie the Ghoul, then band’s nine foot (and mummified, this time) mascot, who dutifully appeared and danced before the knowing masses. As a whole, the band played loud and (not unpleasantly) long, with a (pleasant) minimum of soloing. They encored firstly with their medieval battle-merch, “Run To The Hills,” and secondly with “Running Free,” a relic from the now-ancient Killers. Then Dickinson, as is his wont, bade the audience a safe journey home. Such was the show, but such a show!
The Long Beach Union – March 25-31, 1985
A SUMMARY OF SOME ALBUM CHART POSITIONS FOR THEIR LAST
ALBUM “A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH”
#1 Germany, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Greece, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Brazil
#2 India, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Columbia
#4 UK, Austria, Spain,
#5 France, Ireland, Arabia
#6 Iceland, Belgium
#11 Portugal, Japan
#15 Hong Kong
#16 New Zealand