By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Legendary English heavy metal band Iron Maiden will perform live in Barra da Tijuca’s HSBC Arena on Thursday, March 17th. The group is currently touring around the world in support of their sixteenth studio album, The Book of Souls, which was released in September of 2015.
Formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris, Iron Maiden currently consists of Harris, vocalist Bruce Dickinson, drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers. The group was last in Rio de Janeiro performing as part of the 2013 Rock in Rio lineup.
The band will return to the city on the 17th, despite losing their famous tour plane, Ed Force One, in Chile last week. The plane, a 747 leased to the band by Air Atlantic Icelandic, was grounded following an accident while the aircraft was refueling at Santiago’s Aeroporto Internacional Arturo Merino Benitez on Saturday, March 12th.
No Iron Maiden members or supporting crew members were on board when the incident took place. However, two of the Chilean airport staff were injured during the incident but will reportedly make a full recovery.
Ed Force One was an important part of Iron Maiden’s entourage, transporting the band, crew and equipment since 2009. Famously piloted by vocalist Bruce Dickinson, the plane was also the subject of the 2009 documentary film, “Iron Maiden: Flight 666.”
In a posted notice about the incident on their website, the band stated; “Fortunately the 20 tons of equipment had not been loaded onto Ed Force One at the time of the accident, and none of the band or our road crew were onboard or near the airport.”
“Although this is tragic for our beautiful plane,” the noticed continued, “we do not expect this to affect our concert schedule including the next 2 shows in Cordoba and Buenos Aires. And we hope to find a new Ed Force One to continue this adventure with us in the near future.”
Following the Buenos Aires show, Iron Maiden’s stop in Rio de Janeiro show will mark the first of five shows in Brazil. After the concert in HSBC Arena on the 17th, Iron Maiden will perform in Belo Horizonte’s Esplanada do Mineirão on March 19th; Brasília’s Ginásio Nilson Nelson on March 22nd; Fortaleza’s Arena do Centro de Formação Olímpica on March 24th; and in São Paulo’s Allianz Parque to a sold out crowd on March 26th.
Bands Anthrax and The Raven Age will perform to open all five of Iron Maiden’s shows in Brazil.