But it’s business as usual for guitarist Adrian Smith, who insists anyone who’s unhappy about their 1980s-themed setlist just needs to look at things the other way.
The band’s Maiden England tour focuses on and around their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son era with no up-to-date material making an appearance.
On the opening night of the US leg in Charlotte, North Carolina, Maiden’s set list was Moonchild, Can I Play With Madness, The Prisoner, 2 Minutes to Midnight, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills, Wasted Years, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, Aces High, The Evil That Men Do and Running Free.
Over the years the band have faced criticism from some sectors of their following for songs they’ve included – or failed to include – on the road.
But Smith tells The Aquarian: “We love to keep going forward. The band keep being creative and don’t just recreate the past.
“Okay, we’re playing a lot of the old stuff on this tour, but we’ve done tours in the past where we’ve played a lot of new stuff.
“We just thought it’d be fun to revisit that period in time. It’s great revisiting some of the songs we haven’t played for a long while. It keeps us fresh.
“This is a celebration, if you like. It’s a fun thing of playing a lot of old stuff – but that’s just a part of what the band’s about. The band’s always moving forward as well.”
It’s been speculated that their 2010 album The Final Frontier would be their last, but band members have put paid to the rumour in the past. Smith adds: “We don’t really get together and rehearse songs on the road. We tend to take a bit of time off it and see maybe next year. We haven’t got any plans at the moment – but more than likely we’ll be doing something.”
The guitarist believes the secret of their continued success is that whatever they do, they do for the right reasons.
“We’ve always toured out music and brought it to people,” Smith says. “We’ve never relied on media and radio play. In that way we’ve built up a strong following. We’re in it because we love the music, and I think people get that. They come along for the ride, so that’s great.”
-Classic Rock Magazine