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Iron Maiden

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Thursday, May 22, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2025 Lake Robbins Dr., 713-629-3700.

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Iron Maiden emerged from East London in the mid-1970s, and their defiantly metal middle finger to that city's punk explosion was, intentionally or otherwise, punk as fuck. Main-man/bassist Steve Harris had a vision of something timeless; 20-plus arena-filling years later, it seems he had a point. Sidestepping the obvious head-­bangin' influences of their era — Led Zeppelin's blues-based swagger and Black Sabbath's lurching doom — Maiden instead took cues from Thin Lizzy and UFO, developing an almost militaristic, galloping twin-guitar (now triple-guitar) trademark capped with Bruce Dickinson's alternately street-level/quasi-operatic vocals and lyrics that were more War and Peace than sex and sleaze. Iron Maiden are debatably the biggest cult band in America — they've never enjoyed substantial airplay or an "MTV heyday" here — and this kinda-sorta-comeback tour promises to focus on the band's '80s classics ("Run to the Hills," "2 Minutes to Midnight," etc.) amid a stage set based on their epic 1984-'85 Powerslave trek: Think middle-aged hesher guitarists scampering about the Luxor Hotel — with a giant robotic zombie.

 
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