Legendary British rockers Iron Maiden announce Dubai date for world tour

The ageing rockers, Iron Maiden have been pleasing fans for 40 years. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 November 2019

Legendary British rockers Iron Maiden announce Dubai date for world tour

DUBAI: British rock legends Iron Maiden are set to bring the house down and have you running for the hills when they hit the stage at Dubai Coca Cola Arena in May next year as part of their “Legacy of the Beast” world tour.

The promoters had promised a big announcement for Thursday morning and they didn’t disappoint when they revealed the old rockers were bringing their tour to the venue.

They revealed on the arena’s Facebook page that tickets will go on sale on Nov. 14, 2019.

“The legendary Iron Maiden will be gracing the Coca-Cola Arena stage on May 27th, 2020!! We can't wait for these rock legends to bring their spectacular ‘Legacy Of The Beast' world tour to Dubai and witness rock greatness.”

This will be the third time Iron Maiden have played in the UAE, having made their debut in 2007 at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival and then again before capacity audience when they headlined their own show in 2009.

The band have seen a number of line-up changes over their 40-year career, but bass guitarist Steve Harris remains a constant feature.

Other members are old-time front man and lead singer Bruce Dickenson, guitarists Janick Gers, Dave Murray, and Adrian Smith, keyboardist Michael Kenney and drummer Nicko McBrain.

Their back catalogue is jam-packed full with heavy metal hits, many of which fans are likely to hear in Dubai next year, including “Run to the Hills,” “The Number of the Beast,” and “Two Minutes to Midnight.”

The tour has already seen the (old) boys – who have scooped Brit, Grammy and Ivor Novello awards in their career - play to sell out audiences across the US, Mexico and South America.

The tour started in May 2018 and has also seen them play around Europe, next year, in addition to Dubai, the rockers will also head to Australia and New Zealand.

And while heavy metal might not be to everyone’s taste – although the region is well known for its rock fans, Iron Maiden are not the only rockers to play the UAE, with fans traveling from across the Middle East.

Metallica has twice filled the Du Arena in Abu Dhabi, and Canadian rockers Nickleback have also pleased their fans when they t0o played to packed audiences.

Those who have never seen Iron Maiden before should expect an exciting stage show, the band are notorious for their lights, props and robotics and pyrotechnics.

And do not be surprised if when they come to play Dubai on May 27, 2020, if you see a passenger jet with the band’s iconic logo emblazoned across the side – what’s more, it is likely the pilot is none other than Bruce Dickenson – not only can he sing, he also has a pilot’s license.

The Iron Maiden Boeing 747 carrying the band is piloted by singer, Bruce Dickenson. (File/AFP)

There's no rocking when singer Bruce Dickenson is at the wheel - he's a long standing qualified pilot. (File/AFP)

Other bands set to play in the UAE over the next 12 months include, Lionel Richie, Lauryn Hill, and One Republic.  

‘Hamilton’ makes a successful transition to the big screen

Updated 04 July 2020

‘Hamilton’ makes a successful transition to the big screen

CHENNAI: Cinema sometimes looks to go back to its roots. Some years ago, European auteurs like Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and others introduced “Dogme 95” as a new form of moviemaking, which meant using no props, no artificial lighting and no makeup. It did not last long. However, Thomas Kail’s “Hamilton” — released to coincide with the Fourth of July and streaming on Disney Plus — is another experiment that reminded me of the very early days of motion pictures when some directors in India captured a stage play with a static camera and then screened it in remote regions, where it was not feasible to cart the entire cast.

Kail used six cameras to shoot what was originally a theatrical production. Over two nights in 2016, he filmed the play with most of the actors, including Tony Award winners, who were in the stage version. Every attempt has been made to make it look cinematic, with impeccable camerawork and editing. There is a bonus here. The movie enables you to be a front-bencher at Richard Rogers’ stage production. This closeness that allows you to see clearly the expressions of the actors establishes an intimacy between the audience and the cast.

Inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton, the 160-minute show makes a fabulous musical. The release of the film with its intentionally diverse cast comes at a critical time when race relations in the USA have hit the rock bottom. When Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr) sings that he wants to be in “the room where it happens”, the lyrics are sung by a black man.

Alexander Hamilton (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, also the creator of the piece) is the least well known of the American founding fathers. An immigrant and orphan, he was George Washington’s right-hand man. Credited as being responsible for setting up the country’s banking system, Hamilton was killed in a duel by Burr.

The musical is inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton. Courtesy of Disney

The story is narrated through hip-hop beats. Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) sings his speech to Congression, and the debates he has with Alexander Hamilton are verbalized through lyrics. Hamilton also has a lot to say about America’s immigrant past. In one scene French aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette tells Alexander, “Immigrants, we get the job done!”

Performances are top notch. Miranda is superb, and evokes an immediate connection between the film and the viewer. King George III is brilliantly portrayed by Jonathan Groff, and Hamilton’s wife, Eliza (Philippa Soo), is an endearing presence who has a calming effect on her often ruffled and troubled husband.

“Hamilton” is a great, if subjective, account of early American political history for those not familiar with that period. It must be said, however, the musical makes a long movie, which might be a trifle tiring for those not used to this format.