Iron Maiden gives bucket-list show at sold-out PPG Paints Arena | TribLIVE.com
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Zach Brendza

There was a flamethrower. There was an airplane. There was a sword fight.

But more importantly, there was an iconic band making their way back after 9 years.

Saturday night was Iron Maiden’s return to Pittsburgh, having last played the area in July 2010.

In front of a sold-out crowd, the legendary heavy metal band put on an excellent show at PPG Paints Arena.

Iron Maiden is a bucket-list concert for many. All the band had to do was show up and people would have gone wild. But they did more than show up. They put on a 2-hour performance that will stay with fans for the rest of their lives.

Frontman Bruce Dickinson said that nearly 15,000 came out for the show on the “Legacy of the Beast World Tour.”

“Couldn’t get anymore people in here. Believe me, we tried,” Dickinson said.

Saturday’s show was a celebration of all things Maiden, Dickinson said. They would not be playing new material, but when they come back to Pittsburgh, they’ll have new songs, the singer promised.

Dickinson and company seem unaffected by time, as all members are over 60 years old and sound great. Dickinson especially shines as his vocal performance still holds up.

Most of the show’s material was from Iron Maiden’s early LPs, coming from “Piece of Mind,” “The Number of the Beast” and “Powerslave.”

Throughout the set, there were visual elements that added to the surreal nature of the show. A fake airplane hung overhead of the band during the first song, “Aces High.” Dickinson brandished a sword and proceeded to fight Eddie, the band’s mascot, dressed as a soldier during “The Trooper.” He found a flamethrower and put it to use during “Flight of Icarus,” shooting fire five feet or more into the air when he was and wasn’t singing. There was more fire play as flames shot up from the stage, seeming to synchronize with the music in “The Number of the Beast.”

Fans had to wait nearly a decade in between Iron Maiden shows in Pittsburgh. Next time, whenever that may be, a new album may be part of the equation. As might the latest innovations in fire and stage effects.

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