Dating back to their debut at the 1985 edition of the Rock in Rio festival, Iron Maiden return to Brazil for the tenth time in their 38 year career, this time with a setlist drawing heavily on their prog-rock-leaning 1988 concept album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Although they haven’t released a studio record since 2010’s The Final Frontier, they’ve remained busy touring and issuing live discs and DVDs: 2012’s En Vivo! recorded in Chile in 2011 and Maiden England ’88, a re-release of an original video taken during the Seventh Son tour, which was made available earlier this year.
The British six-piece – who were five for a quarter century until they transformed into a three-guitar lineup in 2000 when Adrian Smith returned to the band along with primary vocalist Bruce Dickinson – still trot out the horse-galloping rhythms and historically-minded lyrics of fan favourites like ‘Aces High’ and ‘Run to the Hills’. Their elaborate stage set also continues to feature their recurring album cover mascot character Eddie in his usual larger-than-life size, lording over the proceedings from behind the band.
Opening this mini-metal fest, are American thrash metal icons Slayer, who continue cranking out their speedy blasts of nightmarish dissonance, soldiering on after the death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman in May of this year.
The night of wall-to-wall metal kicks off in the early evening with the decidedly Satanic band Ghost from Sweden, whose surprisingly mid-tempo sounds are led by the melodious voice of the skull-faced Papa Emeritus II – a demonic papal vision fronting the backing band of masked players all going by the name of A Nameless Ghoul.
Unholy as this lineup might sound – especially with Maiden likely playing their classic 'The Number of the Beast' – it should be one hell of a show, leaving the only real damning element coming from trying to maintain a good vantage point among the 20,000 fans at Anhembi.