1988 – The year that I purchased my first Iron Maiden record and, as it turns out, the last time Iron Maiden played in Spokane. A few songs into their set, lead singer Bruce Dickinson pointed this date out while playing a game he called “who’s your daddy?”. By a show of hands, the age-eclectic crowd responded to Bruce’s survey with delight as he joked about his own age and established how a few of those in attendance were most likely a by-product of Iron Maiden’s last performance in Spokane.
Aware of the bands age, and having never seen them live before, I admit being concerned with how well the band would perform. Halfway through their first song, my concerns were gone. Bouncing around the stage with the energy of someone half his age, Bruce Dickinson (and the rest of the band) successfully conveyed what’s been driving them for over thirty years; their love of the music and their connection with their fans.
Those fans, some having traveled from as far away as Chile, responded with the same enthusiasm as the band displayed all night. I personally spoke with two folks in the crowd who had traveled from Alaska and Oregon, respectively. When asked what their favorite Iron Maiden record was, neither of them could give an answer, stating they couldn’t decide on just one.
Those two fans’ inability to pick a favorite seemed to be reflected in Iron Maiden’s set. Starting with songs from their most recent release “Senjutsu” and ending with their classic song “Aces High” the bands set list seemed to be motivated by what they enjoy playing rather than digging into the well of their greatest hits. It’s that non-conformity that fans seem to love about Iron Maiden and, like their onstage energy, it’s something that Iron Maiden seems to have an endless supply of.