6 things to expect from Iron Maiden’s Future Past UK tour

Ahead of Iron Maiden’s UK headline tour, we dive into the show itself and spotlight six (six, six!) things to look out for…

6 things to expect from Iron Maiden’s Future Past UK tour
Luke Morton
John McMurtrie

Next week, the mighty Iron Maiden will make their return to the UK for a string of sold-out shows at some of the biggest venues on these shores. A collision of two disparate worlds, the heavy metal heroes are crossing the streams of the Samurai-inflected recent album Senjutsu and their 1986 futuristic full-length Somewhere In Time for the aptly-titled Future Past Tour. Having just completed a greatest hits global trek under the banner of Legacy Of The Beast, now’s the time to dig out some forgotten classics and new anthems in waiting.

Because we were too impatient to wait for the UK run to kick off in Glasgow this coming Monday, we headed over to Hannover in Germany to experience Maiden’s latest live offering. Here are just some of the things you can look forward to when the beast comes to town…

1Two incarnations of Eddie

Why have one giant undead killing machine when you can have two?! It is, of course, tradition to have Eddie duel with guitarist and skinny jean enthusiast Janick Gers, but with two albums being celebrated onstage, it’s only right to have both Big Scary Bastard Samurai Eddie and Gunslinging Cyborg Eddie make an appearance and wreak havoc on the Maiden men. Speaking of which…

2A laser gun battle

While the Senjutsu manifestation of Eddie is mostly preoccupied by taking sword swipes at Janick, the mechanised assassin from Somewhere In Time’s iconic cover has his crosshairs aimed squarely at Bruce Dickinson, which can mean only one thing… an epic laser gun battle between the bitter rivals right across the stage! Sparks fly and shots are fired in one of the most gleefully fun set-pieces Maiden have put together.

3Screen for me, more like

But it’s not just about the action onstage, it’s also what’s going on above it. On the band’s Legacy Of The Beast run, intricately detailed banners were draped across the stage for each track or period, and while that is very much the vibe this time, Maiden have leaned into the futuristic technology of their ’86 release and embraced the power of giant vertical screens to embellish the narrative. From digitised versions of Eddie to music videos to TV clips (like for The Prisoner), it makes the mammoth arena show that just that little bit more all-consuming.


As you’d expect from a set celebrating an album released 37 years ago, Maiden have dusted off some oldies from the vault, some of which younger fans will never have seen performed live, and one song they’ve never played. Ever. Yes, that’s right, they’ve finally added Alexander The Great to the setlist. But if eight-minute epics about ancient Greek conquerors aren’t your thing, they’ve also added Caught Somewhere In Time to the set for the first time in three-and-a-half decades and Heaven Can Wait for the first time since 2008. Oof!

5Old favourites

That said, it’s not a constant deep-cut bonanza, there are still a clutch of classics to belt out at the top of your lungs. Can I Play With Madness, The Trooper, Iron Maiden, the perennially brilliant Fear Of The Dark… all iron-clad heavy metal anthems. Slot these alongside the gargantuan newie Writing On The Wall and your voice will be shot for days. Worth it, though.

6Fire-On Maiden

Amongst all the banners, dry ice, screens and laser beam duels, you might think that’s it for production, but it wouldn’t be an Iron Maiden show without a towering inferno. Saving their load for the encore, as soon as the suitably-titled Hell On Earth revs into gear, there’s suddenly enough firepower onstage to heat a small city. And if seeing one of the biggest metal bands of all time blast out a tune raging against the state of the planet while surrounded by hellfire isn’t your thing, then you really need to sort out your priorities.

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