Iron Maiden @ Utilita Arena, Birmingham – Tuesday 4th July 2023

Iron Maiden – Birmingham Utilita Arena – 4th July 2023

When you consider the sheer number of iconic artists we have touring the UK this summer it is hard to remember what it was like during the dark days of 2020 and 2021, when doing something normal like going to a gig was impossible. Thankfully, many of the bands that we grew up with are still going strong and none more stronger than the mighty Iron Maiden. What has been terrific about Maiden shows during the 21st Century is how they have successfully struck the right balance between new and old material, with some tours celebrating their past and others focused on the present. With The Future Past tour they have managed to combine both, presenting a setlist evenly split between 1986’s Somewhere in Time, 2021’s Senjutsu and classic anthems.

Iron Maiden – Birmingham Utilita Arena – 4th July 2023

‘Doctor Doctor’ ringing out loud and clear the PA let the audience know we were moments from showtime, the Blade Runner theme revealing the futuristic stage production before they burst on stage with ‘Caught Somewhere in Time’. ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ was the cue for an early appearance from Eddie, in his sci-fi inspired space cowboy guise, and it was already apparent that the band were firing on all cylinders. This was followed by a trio of songs from the deliciously dark and brooding Senjutsu, ‘The Writing on the Wall’, ‘Days of Future Past’ and ‘The Time Machine’, each complete with slow burn atmospherics and progressive arrangements that have been a trademark of their later period. Patrick McGoohan’s appearance on the video wall was the cue for a galloping ‘The Prisoner’, this tour marking the first time it had been played live for almost a decade.

Iron Maiden – Birmingham Utilita Arena – 4th July 2023

Still in tremendous voice, the energy from Bruce Dickinson could be felt from the front row to the back of the arena, albeit he did have to be reminded by Steve Harris that he was about to introduce ‘Can I Play With Madness’ as the band were preparing the haunting ‘Death of the Celts’. The three-pronged attack of Murray, Smith and Gers traded solos at every opportunity and, buried somewhere behind his kit, Nicko remains a genuine drumming colossus. Eddie reappeared for ‘Heaven Can Wait’, exchanging gunfire with Bruce, (who, it has to be said, possessed a much larger weapon), before returning yet again in Samurai form to torment Janick during ‘Iron Maiden’. It was back to Senjutsu for the encore with the epic ‘Hell on Earth’, giving everyone a moment of reflection, before they upped the tempo once again for a furious ‘The Trooper’, finally laying waste to the arena with the tour de force of ‘Wasted Years’.

As powerful and engaging as ever, any talk of retirement is thankfully premature; nights like this prove that Iron Maiden remain at the very top of their game.


Caught Somewhere in Time
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Writing on the Wall
Days of Future Past
The Time Machine
The Prisoner
Death of the Celts
Can I Play With Madness
Heaven Can Wait
Alexander the Great
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden

Hell on Earth
The Trooper
Wasted Years