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Summer's The Right Time For Iron Maiden

of the Oakland Press

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Iron Maiden’s new album, “The Final Frontier,” isn’t due out until Aug. 16, but that hasn’t stopped the veteran British heavy metal band from hitting the road for a long-awaited jaunt on these shores.

“It’s always fun to be in North America, especially in the summertime,” explains guitarist Dave Murray. “The weather’s beautiful. You can get out of the hotel, stroll around, and there’s always a great turnout as well ’cause people like to come out in the summer.

“We’ve been through the winter tours — minus-25 degrees here, minus-15 there. So we decided if we’re going to do this, let’s make it easier on ourselves.”

Maiden is performing one song, “El Dorado,” from the new album so far and has also made it available for fans to download. Meanwhile, Murray reports that they’re seeing some new converts to the Maiden nation, partly due to the successful 2009 film “Flight 666,” which was named the best music documentary at the South By Southwest Film Festival and has become a platinum-selling DVD.

“A lot of people come out and tell us they enjoyed the documentary,” says Murray, 53. “It got heavy play ... VH1 were playing the hell out of it, really. So there was a lot more kind of TV time than we’ve ever had before and I think that brought the profile of the band up a little bit.

“It definitely brought in some new fans — teenagers, really — and it’s kind of amazing to see them at the shows. It’s like we’ve got a whole new generation coming out now, which is great.”

Iron Maiden and Dream Theater perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $85 and $45 pavilion, $29.50 lawn with an $88 lawn four-pack. Call 249-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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