Returning to Chicagoland for an encore performance of their Legacy of the Beast tour, British rockers Iron Maiden played to a near-capacity crowd at United Center on Wednesday evening. The show entered in ancient Japan as they tore into “Senjutsu,” the title-track from their 2021 studio release, to commence the two-hour extravaganza. Unmistakable frontman Bruce Dickinson embraced the period by sporting a chonmage, while Samurai Eddie graced the stage to bring the theme full-circle.
Anchored by bassist Steve Harris, drummer Nicko McBrain and the trio of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers on guitar were unfaltering as they effectively moved through the multiple facets of the Maiden catalog. “The Writing on the Wall” closed the book on Senjutsu, revealing a rose window centered behind McBrain, flanked by various incarnations of Eddie immortalized as stained glass window panes, forming the basis of a church interior. Fittingly, Dickinson led his congregation in choir for “Revelations.”
The solemn opening of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” showcased Dickinson's still-present vocal talent, while other fan-favorite classics “The Number of the Beast” and “Flight of Icarus” (deluxe flamethrower included) were neatly intertwined with “Fear of the Dark” and Bayley-era “Sign of the Cross.” Namesake anthem “Iron Maiden” closed out the set proper, paying tribute to the Di’Anno period—though sadly nothing from standout album Killers made the setlist.
Eddie reprised the stage during the first of two encores, highlighted by “The Trooper,” “The Clansman” and “Run to the Hills.” With four decades of touring under their belts, stage presence has never been a shortcoming and they made full use of the cavernous arena to their advantage. A nightcap of “Aces High,” beneath a full-scale Spitfire aircraft, while the sweat-drenched general admission floor swirled with fists held high was a perfect close to the show. Though this 140-date tour is slowly coming to a close toward the end of the month in Tampa, Iron Maiden are showing no signs of slowing down.