British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN this week landed at position No. 2 on Billboard.com's "Hot Tours" list of top-grossing tours with $19.5 million in ticket sales from 13 of the final performances on the European leg of their "The Book Of Souls" world tour.
"The Book Of Souls" world tour played in six continents from February 24 through August 4. Overall ticket sales from the tour reached $54.6 million from 47 reported shows with 816,721 tickets sold during the 23-week run.
Out of the 13 concerts from the band's final stretch through Europe, the highest gross was logged at Ullevi Stadion in Gothenburg, Sweden, where a crowd of 54,507 saw the band perform on June 17 and grossed $4.1 million in ticket sales.
IRON MAIDEN's "The Book Of Souls" world tour concluded on August 4 when the band performed at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany, marking the end of the trek that began in late February and touched down on six continents.
In a video recap, which can be found below, the members of IRON MAIDEN share memories from the tour and thank fans for coming out to the shows.
IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith told South Africa's The Blacklist about the band's setlist on "The Book Of Souls" tour: "It's a balance [between the new album and the classic songs]. The thing is, with the Internet now, as soon as you play one show, everyone knows the setlist. Because the show is so theatrical, there's a lot of cues in it, so it's not like we just get up there and play and change songs every night. It's a coordinated show, so we [aren't] changing much. It's a good balance of [the classic tracks and] our favorite of the new songs, from the new album, 'cause we wanna promote the new album, 'cause we're very proud of it. As a band, as musicians, we like to be moving forward and be creative. That’s always been the biggest buzz for me."
Asked if it is ever frustrating that the fans expect MAIDEN to keep playing songs the band wrote decades ago when MAIDEN has released so many other albums since then, singer Bruce Dickinson told Noisey: "I don't mind, because the new record's really good; it stands up a hundred percent on its own. To an extent, we can always tweak the setlist. We'll see how the new record goes down, we'll get some ideas from fans, what they think about it, what tracks they super super love, what tracks they'd really like to see. But I think that there's three or four, maybe five, songs off the new album which would be terrific to play live. And that's half the album, you know? That's 45 minutes!"
Regarding whether there are any songs he would never want to play live, Dickinson said: "Ah, no, it's not that there are songs that we don't necessarily like, but the one that would be the biggest problem in the context of a regular IRON MAIDEN show would certainly be 'Empire Of The Clouds', because it would be so different. On the other hand, it could be really, really cool to perhaps do it in a different context, just because it is so different, you know? Just do something special for it, but that special thing might not even be MAIDEN, you know? It could be that you just do a special event based around it. I don't know though, that's all speculation."