Following the huge international success of their spectacular Somewhere Back In Time World Tour 08, IRON MAIDEN will be taking to the skies once again in 2009 for a fourth and final leg starting in Dubai on February 13.
Loaded up with a full complement of band, crew and twelve tons of stage set and equipment, the band's customized Boeing 757, christened Ed Force One by the fans and flown again by Astraeus Airlines captain and MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson, will once again be circumnavigating 80,000 km around the planet for concerts in 19 cities in eleven countries, making it a staggering 37 countries in total visited on this tour, playing to almost two million fans.
Taking off in early February, MAIDEN will make their first appearances in New Zealand for 16 years via Dubai and Bangalore followed by the long haul journey for a return to Mexico in some even larger venues and then finishing with an extended run through Central and South America to include countries and cities they have not visited before.
The dates are as follows:
Feb. 13 - Dubai, UAE - Media City Amphitheatre
Feb. 15 - Bangalore, India Royal - Challenge Rock In India
Feb. 20 - Auckland, New Zealand - Mount Smart Stadium
Feb. 21 - Christchurch, New Zealand - AMI Stadium
Feb. 25 - Monterrey, Mexico - Estadio - Technologico
Feb. 26 - Guadalajara, Mexico - Arena VFG Jalisco
Feb. 28 - Mexico City, Mexico - Fero Sol Stadium Complex
March 1 – March 29th March 2009 - South and Central America: details to be advised soon.
The Somewhere Back In Time tour revisits the band's history by focusing almost entirely on the '80s in both choice of songs played and the stage set, which is based around the legendary Egyptian production of the 1984-85 Powerslave Tour which was featured on the recent DVD "Live After Death". This is arguably 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.
Comments Bruce Dickinson, "This unique way of touring earlier this year with everyone and all our gear onboard the plane helped to make 2008 easily one of the most successful, exciting and fun years in the band's career. Taking Ed Force One around the planet and playing to our fans in so many different countries was an incredible experience for all of us. For me personally, flying and performing was one of the most challenging and satisfying things I've ever attempted despite the rigours and all the logistical difficulties we encountered. In fact it was so much fun we decided to do it again as a final leg of this tour All in all this will be a fantastic way to round off a tremendous year for the band before we take a bit of time off and then start work on a new studio album."
Says Steve Harris, "We will once again be loading onto the plane as much of the production and stage set as we can ram in, along with arranging plenty of pyro for all the shows!! We will also be changing round the set list and replacing some of the songs, mainly with songs from the first four albums as the Early Days tour a few years back didn't visit any of these places so we thought the fans would like to hear some of that even earlier material. This tour is likely to be the last time we play many of these songs live so we really will be giving it everything we have got!"
The IRON MAIDEN plane Ed Force One has been back in regular airline service since the end of the first leg in March this year and has been used for the "Bruce Air" fan club flying trips during the European leg of the tour, as well as Bruce flying various missions to bring troops back home from tours of duty in Afghanistan and collecting stranded British tourists in the recent major airline closures. However the Boeing 757 will be taken back into the hanger soon to be completely refitted and its MAIDEN livery restored, this having been removed due to fears of evil ju-ju spirits — Eddie! — inhabiting the plane from worried passengers on its summer route from Central Africa!
IRON MAIDEN have made arrangements with the local promoters to facilitate a special first ticket pre-sale to members of their fan club, which will mean they will be guaranteed to get a ticket, and be able buy the best seats where applicable.
IRON MAIDEN performing live in Porto Alegre, Brazil on March 5, 2008: