After bookings and rescheduling, Iron Maiden came to Lisbon on the last date of their tour – coincidence wishing the ‘Legacy of the Beast’ would arrive on a day marked by hellish heat.
But, before the British, on a clear day and without the benefit of a change of scenery and nocturnal climatic amenities, Within Temptation showed its powerful symphonic metal which has its distinctive asset in the dramatic and emotional voice of Sharon den Adel. With nothing else to shelter them, Adel went straight to a relationship of empathy with the audience – where virtually all of his performance was marked by the usually successful attempt to establish a bond with the audience.
For any connoisseur of the Dutch band whose career spans almost 30 years, everything that went through the line-up was familiar, with particular emphasis on the magnificent “Stand My Ground” – one of the gems of the great album by 2004, “Silent Force”. Adel, in search of treble deep in his soul, never goes out of tune, never leaves the register.
Iron Maiden enters the scene on another disc – already at night and with direct elaborations –, first recounting the Japanese motifs alluding to the last album while Bruce Dickinson plays the samurai to frame three “Senjutsu” themes.
Then it’s clear that everything goes to another level when old classics enter the scene – a quadrilateral that aligns “Fear of the Dark”, “Hallowed Be thy Name”, “The Number of the Beast” and “Iron Maiden”. .
The metal world is made up of legions – worshipers who see themselves in a gigantic community spirit. For one or more reasons, Iron Maiden has long been chosen for a very select group of deities, so much so that in 2022 they defy time and longevity; the four-and-a-half-decade career takes some of its members to the 60s (Dickinson is 63), but also to the 70s – including a Nicko McBrain (70) who exudes vitality.
The various storylines give voice to the theater – telling of a band that from the unlikely, if not absurd, start emerged in England amid punk devastation with a name inspired by a medieval artifact. Link to History deepened by future singer Bruce Dickinson – who had no trouble designing an epic based on what English pupils study in school like the Portuguese study Eça de Queirós (“Rime of the Ancient Mariner “, inspired by the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge). It all worked and proved as enduring as any Egyptian mummy – where the monstrous iconography found fans of all ages in the national stadium.
If Sharon den Adel, in tune with Western media, wrapped one of her performances with the Ukrainian flag, Dickinson returns in the encore by assuring “The Trooper” of more dubious status with the flag of England – even because that he is an artist who openly campaigns for Brexit. It may be an awkward moment for old British imperialism – but if it’s all rock ‘n’ roll, he remains the singer dressed as a pilot for the tribute to British aviation in WWII in “Aces High”, the last chapter.