Close to 14,000 fans turned out in force this past Thursday night, June 21 for the opening show of IRON MAIDEN's "Maiden England North American Tour" in Charlotte, North Carolina, setting the spectacular tour off to a flying start.
Singer Bruce Dickinson commented: "We haven't played in Charlotte since 1988 so we really didn't expect anything like this number of people would come and see us! And what a terrific audience! Truly magical. We had expected this to be a sort of lower key warm-up show to get the production, pyro and stuff into shape, and ourselves too! It was our first show since those at London's 02 Arena last August so band and crew can all get a bit rusty. But a crowd this loud and supportive soon blew the cobwebs away. Thank you, Charlotte!"
Bass player Steve Harris added: "It was fantastic to see so many fans since we were last here with the original 'Seventh Son' tour 24 years ago. Some of the songs we've not performed for many years and the crowd reaction was just amazing, especially among the younger fans hearing them live for the first time. A response like that on the first night was incredible. We're totally knocked out and can't wait for the rest of the tour!"
Courtney Devores from The Charlotte Observer commented: "The crowd response was that of fans that had been waiting over two decades (and in some cases their entire lives), The reaction to 'The Trooper' . . . was arguably unparalleled throughout the night."
Creative Loafing's Jeff Hahne called the show "a feast for the eyes and ears... MAIDEN isn't on a nostalgia trip this time round. They're putting everything they've got into the music, getting the crowd involved at every chance and loving every minute of it."
The band's setlist was as follows:
02. Can I Play With Madness
03. The Prisoner (performed for first time since September 21, 1991)
04. 2 Minutes To Midnight
05. Afraid To Shoot Strangers (performed for first time since December 12, 1998)
06. The Trooper
07. The Number Of The Beast
08. Phantom Of The Opera
09. Run To The Hills
10. Wasted Years
11. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (performed for first time since December 12, 1988)
12. The Clairvoyant
13. Fear Of The Dark
14. Iron Maiden
15. Aces High
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Running Free
The 34-date "Maiden England" tour is the band's most extensive visit to North America for many years and includes a number of other cities the band have not played in a very long time such as Atlanta, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and Sacramento, and places like Sarnia (Ontario, Canada) and Cadott, Wisconsin where they have never visited before. The tour is based on the band's "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Tour", with a setlist almost exclusively from the 1980s featuring all the classic songs and hits. The same spectacular stage set as was used on the original 1988 tour has been recreated, complete with a magnificent light show, pyro and a newly reincarnated Eddie!
The extraordinary and legendary ALICE COOPER is IRON MAIDEN's very special guest on all shows up to July 21. After that date, special guest will be COHEED AND CAMBRIA, the inspiring, cutting-edge band from New York.
For a complete list of "Maiden England" 2012 tour dates, visit IronMaiden.com.