Somewhere Back In Time Tour
February 2008 – April 2009
Iron Maiden released the Somewhere Back In Time album as an excuse to tour again and show the younger fans what they missed in the 1980s, when the band was scouring the world and conquering crowds everywhere on the planet. This time around, they once again visited places they'd never been before, essentially in South America (even Manaus, in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest!). Like during the previous tour, they flew to some venues in Ed Force One, a specially commissioned and converted Astræus Boeing 757 nicely decorated with the Iron Maiden logo and Eddie designs, and of course with Captain Dickinson as the pilot.
A mention should be made of the choice of the opening bands. Lauren Harris, Steve's daughter, had opened at many venues during the previous tour. This was Steve's way of helping her out start her musical career, and this is what any father would naturally have done. However, having her band open once again on virtually all gigs of this tour was quite unnecessary, as her music is not at all fit to warm up an audience before a Maiden concert. Whereas any other band would have been booed off stage (Murderdolls, anyone?), Lauren Harris's band was playing before crowds that were politely waiting for Maiden to start playing, knowing that Steve wouldn't be pleased at all by a hostile reaction to his daughter's musical outfit. Let's simply hope that this nepotism will stop with this tour, and that Lauren will be able to pursue her career without requiring daddy's band's opening slots.
On a last note, it must be said that, although many older fans accused Maiden of cashing in on their past glory and of becoming a cabaret act, this doesn't seem to be the band's real intention. As Maiden gigs are often a family matter, with two or sometimes even three generations in the audience, this is the perfect opportunity for parents to proudly show their kids what they used to enjoy so much when they were themselves some twenty years younger – arguably the perfect initiation to great music! So, even if the latest compilation album is a totally useless purchase (you're better off getting the original albums instead!), this tour was the occasion for the veterans of Maiden concerts to re-live the hay days of their past, as well as a wonderful introduction for the new fans who were not born at the time of the legendary World Slavery Tour.