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Iron Maiden live review – Christchurch, New Zealand, Horncastle Arena

Business as usual for Iron Maiden down under.

Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden, onstage in Christchurch, New Zealand
(Image: © John McMurtrie)

Three songs into their set, Iron Maiden blow the dust off Children Of The Damned, a song they haven’t performed live since the 80s. It’s a timely reminder that while much of tonight’s set (a hefty six songs) is built around new album The Book Of Souls, the band’s roots stretch back way further than that.

And much like anywhere else on the this latest mammoth world trek, the packed Kiwi crowd go as bananas for a slice of heritage as they do for the newer material. That’s probably because Iron Maiden pretty much operate on the old ‘If it ain’t broke…’ maxim. Although if truth be told, new songs such as a vibrant and buoyant Speed Of Light carry far more oomph than other bands of Maiden’s ilk who work along similar lines.

Bruce Dickinson’s recent epic prog marathon Empire Of The Clouds doesn’t get an airing, perhaps understandably, but that’s not to say the band aren’t capable of springing a surprise. And along with the aforementioned Children, Powerslave is a more than welcome addition to the set. Evergreens such as The Trooper and Hallowed Be Thy Name – played against a stage set that is one of the best the band have had – are greeted with rousing cheers, and by the time a 3D Satan appears for Number Of The Beast Iron Maiden are sprinting down the home straight, safe in the knowledge that victory, once again, is theirs.

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.