Heavy Metal gods Iron Maiden will return to the U.S. for several shows this spring, as part of the band’s mammoth world tour. During...

Heavy Metal gods Iron Maiden will return to the U.S. for several shows this spring, as part of the band’s mammoth world tour. During the first leg of the tour, the band only had two American dates: Feb. 19 at the Los Angeles Form in Los Angeles, CA, and one next month on March 14 at the Izod Centre in East Rutherford, NJ. Both shows sold out months in advance.

The next leg of the band’s Somewhere Back in Time–World Tour 08 will take them to a number of cities they have not played in many years, along with a return to the Los Angeles area for two more nights at the Verizon Amphitheatre May 30-31. Tickets for the majority of these shows will go on sale to the public on March 1; information can be found on the band’s website.

The Somewhere Back in Time–World Tour 08 was inspired by Maiden’s recently released DVD, “Live After Death” (New Door Records/Ume). Filmed and recorded over four nights at Long Beach Arena on the Powerslave Tour in 1985, this has long been a benchmark for rock concert videos and live albums, and the CD remains one of the biggest-selling live albums ever with sales in excess of six million worldwide. With the video having been largely unavailable for many years, the fan’s massive interest in this legendary concert continues to this day with the DVD debuting at No. 1 on charts around the world (including The UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland), as well as No 2 on the Billboard USA Chart and in Canada.

This tour revisits the band’s history by focusing almost entirely on their classic 80’s period in both choice of songs played and the stage set, which is based around the legendary Egyptian Production of that Powerslave Tour as portrayed on the “Live After Death” DVD. This will arguably be the most elaborate and spectacular show the band have ever presented, and will include the colossal mummy of “Eddie” as featured on the “Live After Death” DVD, on many of the summer dates along with various other elements of the show that would not fit on the band’s private 757 on the first leg of this tour.

If ticket sales to the upcoming international shows is any indication, the band expects to play to more than 1.5 million fans in 2008. On the first leg, tickets in San Paolo, Brazil, at the 42,000 capacity Palmeiras Stadium sold out in just a week ; Mexico City’s 22,000 capacity Sports Arena sold out in a record-breaking four days leading to the show being moved to the 51,000 Foro Sol Stadium, which is already sold out, too; a first ever visit to Colombia, where first day ticket sales were the biggest for any music event ever, saw the Simon Bolivar Stadium in Bogota sell out the 30,000 original capacity in 10 days and this has now been extended to 50,000; 14,000 capacity arenas in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, sold out in less than half an hour with second shows being added in both cities; 25,000 fans in each of Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica have already snapped up all available tickets with the promoter asking the venues if he can get more fans in to see the show. In addition, three upcoming stadium shows in Sweden and Finland also sold out in mere hours.

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Iron Maiden’s Somewhere Back in Time–world Tour 08 U.S. itinerary:

5/21 San Antonio, TX Verizon Wireless
5/22 Houston, TX Woodlands
5/25 Albuquerque, NM Journal Pavilion
5/26 Phoenix, AZ Cricket Pavilion
5/28 Concord, CA Concord
5/30 Los Angeles, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
5/31 Los Angeles, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
6/2 Seattle, WA White River Amph

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By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen