Mumbai: Following the international success of their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour 08, Iron Maiden will be taking to the skies once again in 2009 for a fourth and final leg and will be landing in Bangalore for the Bangalore Royal Challenge Rock in India on 15 February.
Loaded up with a full complement of band, crew and twelve tons of stage set and equipment, the band’s customised Boeing 757, christened Ed Force One by the fans and flown again by Astraeus Airlines Captain and Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, will be circumnavigating 80,000km around the planet for concerts in 19 cities in 11 countries, making it a staggering 37 countries in total visited on this tour, playing to almost two million fans.
The Somewhere Back In Time tour revisits the band’s history by focusing almost entirely on the 80s in both choice of songs played and the stage set, which is based around the legendary Egyptian Production of the 1984-85 Powerslave Tour, which was featured on the recent DVD Live after Death. This is arguably the most elaborate and spectacular show the band have ever presented, and will include some key elements of their Somewhere In Time tour of 1986/7, such as the Cyborg Eddie.
Says band founder Steve Harris, "We have very much enjoyed our visits to India these last couple of years – the fans are fantastic and give us a great reception; the country is very interesting and our crew tell us that the catering at the shows in India is the best of any in the world. So as we are flying close on our way to New Zealand we really wanted to stop off there to play again. Bangalore in 2007 was our very first ever show in India and we said then, to fans who apparently travelled there from all over India, that we would be back. It was such a memorable event for us."
Taking off in early February Maiden will make their first appearances in New Zealand for 16 years via Dubai and Bangalore followed by the long haul up to Mexico and then finishing with an extended run through Latin America.
Comments Bruce Dickinson, "This unique way of touring earlier this year with everyone and all our gear on the plane helped to make 2008 easily one of the most successful, exciting and fun years in the band’s career. Taking Ed Force One around the planet and playing to our fans in so many different countries was an incredible experience for all of us. For me personally, flying and performing was one of the most challenging and satisfying things I’ve ever done despite the rigours and all the logistical difficulties we encountered.
In fact it was so much fun we decided to do it again as a final leg of this tour. All in all this will be a fantastic way to round off a tremendous year for the band before we take a bit of time off and then start work on a new studio album."
The Iron Maiden plane Ed Force One has been back in regular airline service since the end of the first leg in March this year and has been used for the ‘Bruce Air’ fan club flying trips during the European leg of the tour, as well as Bruce flying various missions to bring troops back home from tours of duty in Afghanistan and collecting stranded British tourists in the recent major airline closures. However the Boeing 757 will be taken back into the hanger soon to be completely refitted and its Maiden livery restored, this having been removed due to fears of evil ju-ju spirits– Eddie! – inhabiting the plane from worried passengers on its summer route from Central Africa.
Iron Maiden have made arrangements with DNA Networks & Nous Productions for a special fan club first ticket pre-sale to ensure that members of their fan club can be guaranteed to get a ticket, and most importantly the standing tickets which will allow them to become eligible to the exclusive fan club draw for winning members of the fan club have special privileged first access to the stage barrier. This first fan club pre-sale will be open to the fan club members via www.dnanetworks.com on 15 December with tickets going on sale to the public and at retail outlets on the 26th January. Full details of this and how to join the fan club can be found on www.ironmaiden.com.