Thursday, July 18, 2019

Dream Sets: Iron Maiden

As I prepare to check the biggest band off my bucket list in a couple of months, I thought I’d give them the Dream Set treatment. The cut here was brutal. 
As Nicko McBrain announced in a series of hilarious videos, they’ll be playing 16 songs, nearly two hours, and still not hitting everything I want. My rules limit it to 13, which is even tougher. There aren’t a lot of surprises in this setlist, and as much as I tried to skip a few of the “big” numbers, I just couldn’t do it.


  1. “Wrathchild” (Iron Maiden, 1980). I love this song as an opener. It’s high-energy, aggressive and gets things kicked off the right way.
  2. “Powerslave” (Powerslave, 1984). I could have filled at least half the set with songs from this album. The title track is one of my wife’s favorite Maiden tracks, and I’d never hear the end of it if I were picking the setlist and didn’t include it. Oh, and I like it, too.
  3. “Flight of Icarus” (Piece of Mind, 1983). I was actually really excited to hear they were playing this one on the Legacy of the Beast tour. It’s always been a favorite, and it’s been quite a while since they played it live.
  4. “Prodigal Son” (Killers, 1981). The first of only a couple of “off the wall” choices here. I love this song, even though it’s kind of strange for the band, and I’m calling the shots here.
  5. “2 Minutes to Midnight” (Powerslave, 1984). The second track from Powerslave came down to a tough call between this one and “Aces High.” One of them probably wasn’t going to make it, and this one won by a hair.

  6. “Dream of Mirrors” (Brave New World, 2000). I have to give at least a little space to the “modern” era of Maiden. Brave New World is my favorite post-Fear of the Dark album, and this song would be a fantastic and powerful piece in any era of the band.
  7. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (Powerslave, 1984). I only get 13 songs, so I’m getting my money’s worth by including this monster. The last in the set from Powerslave and the longest tune of the night.
  8. “Iron Maiden” (Iron Maiden, 1980). You can’t rightly have an Iron Maiden concert if you don’t include “Iron Maiden,” can you?
  9. “Fear of the Dark” (Fear of the Dark, 1992). This song can never go missing from the set list. It’s one of the most powerful live performances in their catalog, particularly when you have a good crowd that gets involved in the sing-along.
  10. “The Trooper” (Piece of Mind, 1983). Again, I can’t imagine a Maiden show without hearing this song. It’s a strong way to close out the main set.


  1. “The Number of the Beast” (The Number of the Beast, 1982). I love the idea of kicking off the show with the “Woe to you, oh Earth and sea,” but I think it fits better as the start of the encore.
  2. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (The Number of the Beast, 1982). If you don’t think this is Maiden’s best song ever, you’re wrong. No way this doesn’t make it into my encore.
  3. “Run to the Hills” (The Number of the Beast, 1982). So the encore all comes from the same album, but what an album. Honestly, I tried to talk myself into leaving “Run to the Hills” off because it’s a bit overplayed, but I don’t want to start a riot in the crowd, and I can’t think of a better way to close out the night.

Notable absences

“Aces High” – If I’d had one more song it would have made the list.

Tough Cuts

Running Free
Murders in the Rue Morgue
 Children of the Damned
 Wasted Years
 Can I Play With Madness
 The Evil That Men Do
 Bring Your Daughter … To the Slaughter (yes, really)
 From Here to Eternity

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