Why don't Maiden delve deeper into their back catalogue?

First thread I've posted so be kind!

Firstly just to say I've seen Maiden on every tour since 7th son and every show has been awsome. However in recent years with the history tours I have been disappointed with the somewhat unimaginative set lists! A reluctance to vary sets between gigs and the bizarre reluctance to delve deeper into such an amazing discography? Even on the Book of Souls Tour they roll out, The Trooper, HBTN, NOTB, FOD. Even Blood Brothers, Powerslave, Waster Years are becoming over played set list regulars. Whilst I've never left a Maiden show disappointed or feeling short changed I do wish they'd vary things up a little and experiment a bit more! Even songs from the Bruce 90's onwards era like Brave New World, Holy Smoke, From Here to Eternity, Paschendale would be a welcome change. Of course I'd prefer Infinite Dreams and Stranger in a Strange Land but......Jus wondering people's thoughts on this or is it just me?
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
Well first off, welcome. Second, while one certainly agrees that there is a certain lack of delving done when it comes to setlists I fear you may well be insane to consider Powerslave and Wasted Years to be 'over played regulars.' Still, yer right. The reason? Fuck knows. Different reasons for different songs i guess, maybe they feel they cant do it justice (Alex, Infinite, Thousand Suns) or maybe the just dont feel they would fit into the set (Black Bart, Sheriff).

Personally, the number I want to see resurrected the most is I've Got The Fire. T'would be a crackin encore tune, to be sure. Am I wrong?
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I think that's a fairly common grievance (static set lists) with the band from long time fans. I've inferred that the stage production, ever increasing back catalog, and Steve's general disposition to the "tried and true" live hits are the culprits. I'd love to see them rotate in one or two deep cuts that they've never played per tour, but I don't see it happening.
 
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mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I always wondered why they don't mix things up from date to date.
Some of the more theatrical high notes would have to remain each show but have 15 or 20 songs rotating through the other ten or so slots on any given tour.

Also, why not bring back the "true" encore.
Give us 90 minutes including one scheduled encore.
Then, depending on the crowd, the band, the venue - whatever Maiden feels like - add in one to three unscheduled songs where they will play something unexpected and unstructured. Not choreographed, let the light man improvise and the band have some fun. If they mess up, who cares? Just musicians having fun.

Maidens structured approach is responsible for a lot their succes, but this is a way I could see them loosening up and being better for it.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Most of the time they believe that the song isn't very good. The rest of the time they can't play it live as it's either too hard or it wouldn't sound as good as it does on the record.

An example for a song being too hard would be Alexander the Great, as Adrian can't remember the solo.

An example for a song that wouldn't sound as good would be Prodigal Son. This is because it's hard to replicate Dave's sound that he uses on those back-to-back solos.

:D
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
It's a fair question, but I think Maiden do a pretty good job all things considered. The Book of Souls was my 5th Maiden tour and of the 15 songs played, 8 I had never seen played live before. Two I had only seen once. That leaves only 5 repeats, which is pretty reasonable I think. I disagree with Blood Brothers, Wasted Years, and Powerslave being overplayed. Especially Powerslave. The other songs you mentioned are just songs they have to play. Or they have to at least play 2 of the 4 at each concert. I think they've been pretty good about bringing out rare songs every tour. They're not digging extremely deep but at the same time, I think a lot of the songs they don't play anymore from the 80s are that way for a reason. They just didn't hold up as well. Obviously some exceptions, like Still Life, but most songs that were played live in the 80s have been played since the reunion. The ones that haven't aren't ones that I'm desperate to see, personally. Now the 90s and on are a different story, tons of songs in the last 20 years that could use more attention.

I agree that rotating setlists would be a good idea. Lets say using TBOS as a template: You have 6 new songs, the the 4 staples, the rest is open. Instead of doing Children of the Damned every night, they could rotate between 2 or 3 other "lost 80s hits". Blood Brothers could be rotated with Coming Home.
Even with new songs, you could have 4 that get played every night (IESF, TRATB, TBOS, Speed of Light) and then rotate between Tears, Death or Glory, WTRRD, and Man of Sorrows. Now more of the album gets played.

All this being said, The Book Of Souls was an amazing setlist and I probably wouldn't change anything. Wouldn't even get rid of the staples. A Maiden show wouldn't feel right without them.
 
It's the Hallowed and Fear double wammy every time which really does me in. I'm not keen on the tracks to start with, and they're long buggers.
I don't see them live nowadays but watching dvds I encounter this long, dry spell which I sit through once and FF forevermore.
How do people interact with gigs now? Beast and IM are definitive staples, short and sharp too. The crowd need to say "I saw Maiden play 666". I get that, but Hallowed and Fear? They could do so much more from a fantastic back catalogue. It's a bit heartbreaking to me 'cos they won't be here forever and it feels like squandered time.

Having impromptu encores will cause havoc with staging unless they use a stripped down approach. Could be good.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
The crowd need to say "I saw Maiden play 666". I get that, but Hallowed and Fear?
!!!!!!
Hallowed Be Thy Name over TNOTB. It's pure magic live. Actually, everytime I've seen Maiden and they played Hallowed, it feels like they should end the gig with it. This year was the same. Where can you go from there? Nowhere.
 
Thanks for the views. Ok I agree Powerslave and Wasted Years are not overplayed.... yet but hey they could easily turn into FOD, Trooper, Madness, Wrathchild, Evil that Men Do etc. The lack of rotation is a real shame. They must get bored with playing the same set every night? Surely they could knuckle down in some downtime and polish up on a few old gems? On the last 2 History tours they really only re-learnt 2 songs being Mariner and 7th Son. Bit lazy eh? That said just to repeat I've never left a Maiden gig disappointed.... but when FOD came on at the live stream at the Wacken last week I did check my emails.....sorry!
 
It would be great fun if indeed they would mix up setlists during a tour. All the bickering that Maiden played song X while you were at the show and both the show before and after that one they played song Y. Let Y be your favorite track.
 
Maiden played a fantastic set list this time around. As far as "deep cuts" go the last time Powerslave was played on an album tour was the World Slavery Tour. The last time Children of the Damned was played on an album tour was 87. The last time Wasted Years was played on an album tour was 1990. (There is every chance I'm wrong with these absolute truths my mind throws up)

I felt a little disappointed that they played only 15 songs but Running Free or Sanctuary weren't played so they made the most of all 15 songs. Plus Nicko is 62 according to the Mayans and the band still plays the same number of songs they played as youngsters in 84-90.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Maiden played a fantastic set list this time around. As far as "deep cuts" go the last time Powerslave was played on an album tour was the World Slavery Tour. The last time Children of the Damned was played on an album tour was 87. The last time Wasted Years was played on an album tour was 1990. (There is every chance I'm wrong with these absolute truths my mind throws up)
This is a good way to look at it. The new album tours are usually the ones without any surprises, they tend to play it safe when picking old songs.
 
It is a joke of big proportions that they did not play empire of clouds on this tour.That would be a deeper cut!
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I always wondered why they don't mix things up from date to date.
Some of the more theatrical high notes would have to remain each show but have 15 or 20 songs rotating through the other ten or so slots on any given tour.

Also, why not bring back the "true" encore.
Give us 90 minutes including one scheduled encore.
Then, depending on the crowd, the band, the venue - whatever Maiden feels like - add in one to three unscheduled songs where they will play something unexpected and unstructured. Not choreographed, let the light man improvise and the band have some fun. If they mess up, who cares? Just musicians having fun.

Maidens structured approach is responsible for a lot their succes, but this is a way I could see them loosening up and being better for it.

Yeah, that's a good point. I've heard the band allude to the fact that they have various drape backdrop, smoke, lighting, pyrotechnic and theatrical (e.g. Eddie props & stilt Eddie) cues which prevents them from going off script...but they could reserve a 5 -6minute slot somewhere in the setlist with a plain drape backdrop and simple lights for a "rotating deep cut" where they could bring out a gem.
 
Instead of (eg) Hallowed and Fear they could do, I don't know, To Tame a Land and These Colours don't Run. Or 3 shorter ones like Rue Morgue, Still Life and Futureal. Or 1 big one. The list is huge and exciting.
I find it strange that fans back the staples to the hilt as surely they're the one who'd benefit most from a change.
I realise the band are getting on a bit and maybe don't wish to spend to much precious time in rehearsal, so I can't see the situation changing. Most people seem happy with the status quo. Or are they asleep?

It feels like a waste of a unique and talented band. They could do so much more.
 

JudasMyGuide

The resident reactionary
The last time they tried to be innovative (first leg of the AMOLAD tour), they got booed by the PlayClassics audiences pretty damn harsh. Some people really want to hear their Halloweds, Troopers, Numbers etc. Too bad for us who only got around to that second leg. I would now do pretty much anything to see AMOLAD live in its entirety.

And 'Arry's going to play FOTD as long as he lives, as he thinks it's the perfect Maiden live song, so good luck with getting rid of that one.
 
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