Live: Iron Maiden at BankAtlantic Center, April 16

Iron Maiden
BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
Saturday, April 16, 2011

More Metal Than: Everything. Maiden all but created heavy metal.

A humongous banner decorated with the Final Frontier cover art -- futuristic and ghoulish and perfectly metal -- loomed behind the stage, colored lights ripped in every direction, and fans of every age and ethnicity screamed and hopped and flung their arms skyward -- pinky and pointer fingers extended. All the while, the most mega-epic rock-god sextet of all time, Iron Maiden, rocked and sliced its way through one awesome anthem after another.
The set list included ass-kicking hits from the band's more recent albums -- Brave New World, Dance of Death, A Matter of Life and Death, and of course, the tour namesake -- as well as the classic "Iron Maiden," which includes these lyrics: "See the blood flow, watching it shed up above my head/Iron Maiden wants you for dead."

On this night, Maiden embodied all things heavy metal -- it did, after all, help to define the genre. What unfolded was brutal, hardcore, and filled with monsters, war, death, and destruction. But as proudly as it wields both its brutality and British flag (I doubt those two are related), so too does Iron Maiden wield a playful understanding of the heavy metal camp factor in general and how vital it is to the band's act and image in particular. During the encore, and more precisely during an awesome performance of the group's 1982 hit "The Number of the Beast," someone in a terrifying and detailed two-story-tall alien suit walked on stage. The monster-alien -- Ed the 'Ead, or Eddie, the group's demonic mascot in his latest "Final Frontier" incarnation -- proceeded to battle the band in an epic slapstick altercation. His eyes flashed a robotic red. The song and altercations ended with Eddie amiably playing his own guitar.

The only bad thing about the show was that it didn't last all night. Dickinson's voice was knock-you-on-your-ass powerful; the guitarists romped around the stage with incredible vigor; Nicko McBrain (introduced by Dickinson as "not just a restaurateur," in reference to his Coral Springs rib joint) thrashed his drum set furiously. Also, the night's last song, "Running Free," seemed to indicate that Iron Maiden -- despite a 30-plus-year career -- isn't slowing down yet: "But they ain't got a thing on me; I'm running wild, I'm running free."

Critic's Notebook

Personal bias: I cannot count the number of times I have driven very fast down a highway blasting "Wildest Dreams."

Random detail: Camo-pant-clad lead singer Bruce Dickinson worked up such a sweat that he wrung his beanie hat out all over the crowd at the end of the show.

By the way: More than half the audience -- including several very young children, sporting medallions and spiked hair -- was clad in concert, v-cut, jersey-style, embroidered, baby doll, tie-dyed, and anything else you can image Iron Maiden shirts.

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Location Info


BB&T Center

1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise, FL

Category: Music

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Kick ass show! Flew from Pa for one day just to attend.... That is what a maiden fan will do. Up The Irons!!!!


Great write up and great show!!!


I have been an iron maiden fan since 1982. Seen all the shows at the old hollywood stadium. Loved the show, but was not satisfied with category of songs. Would of been nice to of heard more older songs, like run to the hills,rime of the ancient mariner should of made the list. I guess i am old school. Never the less it was a good show.


omg i enjoyed this show so much, but i was only one of few banging my head real hard to Maidens songs.... im a 30 year old gurl, lol, and it was my first Iron Maiden concert, totally worth it. I Loved it!! btw i agree with Maiden Fan down there: , Eddie came during Iron Maiden, not Number of The Beast, but it was friking cool.\m/ \m/long live to metal!!!!!

Tom Joad
Tom Joad

what was the attendance number for the show?I was there row 28. My first maiden show.I'm 34 and Maiden has been my all time favorite band since I was a little kid. got most of it on video really crappy though...great show

maiden fan
maiden fan

What happened here? There are a couple of mistakes. While I trust you were there, your review reads as if you weren't. First, they did not play any songs from A Matter of Life and Death. Second, Eddie came during Iron Maiden, not Number of The Beast. I know you have the right spirit, because I know exactly what you meant when you talked about speeding down the highway blasting Wildest Dreams. I've done the same, and it feels great. Considering that about half of the set was dedicated to new-ish songs, I would have like to have read more about how strong their 21st century material is, especially considering that the songs from The Final Frontier sounded absolutely killer live.

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

Funniest moment of the evening occurred when teenaged lead singer of local opening act Black Tide tried to get the crowd to separate down the middle for a wall of death. The crowd responded with laughter and a general flipping of the bird. Lead singer responded complainingly with: I guess you guys don't want to have fun.I appreciate the kid's enthusiasm, but you gotta know your crowd. The chance of the Maiden crowd (not exactly a bunch of high-schoolers) listening to this kid and giving up their spots in front of the stage for a wall of death was exactly zero. Unfortunately, the crowd kinda turned on them after that moment.


Don't forget the fact that Bruce Dickinson was not very happy with the crowd all night, hence why he kept taunting the crowd and walked off the stage immediately after the last song, leaving the rest of the band to an awkward goodbye. The crowd participation on the floor and seats was just pathetic - not worthy of the show these metal legends put on. All the polo-and-shorts-wearing dads were too cool to sing in front of their unappreciative teenage kids. Only a handful of people knew the new songs and couldn't even keep up with the classics. The whole experience made me realize why Iron Maiden didn't come down here for years before the 2009 show. The crowd was a total letdown for me, but Maiden put on a hell of a performance nonetheless.

Tara Nieuwesteeg, You must've been near the front :)

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