Album Review

Iron Maiden – Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast Live In Mexico City: Album Review

Iron Maiden deliver another live set that documents their emphatic Legacy Of The Beast Tour on Nights Of The Dead, Live In Mexico City.

Released: 20th November 2020

Label: Parlophone

Format: 2CD / Deluxe 2CD / 3LP / Limited 3LP / Digital

Iron Maiden have a live release output to rival the most prolific of bands. Into their fifth decade as a band; live tracks, EP’s and albums of live music are central to the bands’ legacy. It’s no surprise that this tour has been given this treatment.

For anyone that witnessed the spectacle that is/was Legacy Of The Beast, you know exactly what you will be getting musically. This is a setlist culled from the very best of Iron Maiden, and takes in most stops in the storied discography of one of the greatest bands. It also contains a few cuts that haven’t been aired in a while.

The classic intro of Churchill’s Speech into Aces High is iconic Iron Maiden. First heard live on Live After Death in 1985 and opening up Flight 666 (2008), the one-two punch is the perfect opening. The war theme continues with Where Eagles Dare and 2 Minutes To Midnight. All classics from the early 1980’s.

Since Bruce Dickinson rejoined Iron Maiden, the band have somewhat shied away from the nineties period of the band save for the classic Fear Of The Dark and a recent run out for Afraid To Shoot Strangers in 2013. However, The Clansman and Sign Of The Cross are brilliant and they sound revitalised. Sign Of The Cross is one of Iron Maiden’s finest compositions and deserves to be heard far and wide. It’s brooding opening, crushing verses and epic solos sound amazing with this iteration of Iron Maiden playing it.

In terms of absence from the live arena, the resurrection of Flight Of Icarus was the one that had many Iron Maiden fans salivating. A shorter song from 1983’s Piece Of Mind, Flight Of Icarus is perhaps a deeper cut from the past. It does not sound like it is 37 years old! The guitar led crescendo still makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck and Nicko McBrain’s always stunning drumming knocks this one out of the park.

The performance of Flight Of Icarus allowed Bruce Dickinson to play with pyro in the stage production; something that doesn’t come across on the audio but looked spectacular. Would an accompanying Blu-Ray of the show enhance the experience here? There are still dates to be completed for this gargantuan tour so perhaps that will come later on. Theatrically, The Legacy Of The Beast is one of the most spectacular shows that Iron Maiden have ever conceived and one that has to be seen to be believed.

iron maiden
Iron Maiden Live In Helsinki in 2018 by JOHN McMURTRIE
Copyright: IRON MAIDEN

The most recent cut that is included is from 2006’s A Matter Of Life & Death in the form of For The Greater Good Of God. It showcases Maiden’s proggier approach that has seen them re-scale the musical mountain in the last 20 years. Again, the band sound tremendous and deliver one of the standout’s from that album in devastating fashion.

As the set flies into the final strait, it is essentially Iron Maiden dishing up hits! Fear Of The Dark, Iron Maiden, Run To The Hills, The Evil That Men Do and The Number Of The Beast will have fans old and new reaching for the air guitar and banging their heads.

Hallowed Be Thy Name graces the encore; this is Maiden at their absolute best. Alongside a few other’s (The Trooper and Iron Maiden), this is probably one of Maiden’s ever presents in the setlist; although it did miss one leg of their Maiden England jaunt a few years back.

As a document, this is enthralling for the die hard fans. It will allow them to relive epic nights with their mates and re-imagine the drama, pomp and glory that this national treasure of a band brings. For the newbie, it serves up a great platter of the feast that the band offers. The closing stage gambit from Bruce Dickinson rings out over Mexico City; ‘we’re here because of you!’ Iron Maiden’s gonna get you…they give the fans what they want and long may it continue.

Watch Flight Of Icarus below.

You can also read our round up of the Essential Deep Cuts from Iron Maiden with Winterfylleth bassist Nick Wallwork, here.

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7 replies »

  1. I wish it were on my CD. I love Maiden but wish they’d vary up the live set a little bit. There’s only so many live versions of Fear of the Dark, The Trooper and 2 Minutes to Midnight I really need.

  2. Mike here – Dom & I are actually (slowly…) working up a feature called ‘the definitive iron Maiden live album’ where Afraid To Shoot Strangers does make the list – coming to these pages soon (ish)… 🙂

  3. The version on A Real Live One is pretty good. The key to it is hearing the audience chanting during the guitar break. Best version I ever heard was at Brixton Academy in 1995 as the audience was chanting in unison.

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