It was apparent from the get-go, some 30 years back, that Iron Maiden would be a band that endured. By the time Maiden parted ways with original singer Paul DiAnno and found the mighty Bruce Dickinson to replace him, the die had been cast. Of the much-touted "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" bands unleashed on the world in the early 1980s, Maiden was the one to watch. Its combination of relentless energy, top-flight musicianship, and knotty, progressive, multipart metal-epic songwriting endeared Maiden to a rabidly devout worldwide audience, and left the competition in the dust.
In 2012, Maiden remains a daringly inventive and vital band, one of those rare collectives about whom one might comfortably insist that the newest album is at least as great as one of its "classics." Maiden has been on a hot streak since the release of "Brave New World" in 2000, and is very much a band located in the here-and-now, not one out to relive past glories. That said, the band members are justifiably proud of their success, and the band's 2012 summer tour is a celebration of one of those successes. Dubbed "Maiden England," after the 1988 live concert movie of the same name, the band is honoring the setlist from that year's tour, heavy on material from the "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" album.
The tour stops at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Amazingly, as if the prospect of seeing Iron Maiden in concert wasn't enough, Alice Cooper will open the show. Remaining tickets can be purchased through LiveNation.com, $95 for limited standing room "pit" tickets; $39.50 to $52 for reserved seating; and $28 general admission on the lawn.
-- Jeff Miers