Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson asked the Power Trip audience an easy question during the band's weekend-opening set.

"Oh, I know: How many Maiden fans are here?" he asked, his inquiry met with a volcanic roar. That much was obvious from the endless variations of Iron Maiden shirts, flags and other paraphernalia throughout the crowd, and a merchandise line that dwarfed the second Friday night performer, Guns N' Roses.

You can see the set list and exclusive photos from Iron Maiden's performance below.

A Tough Set for a Festival

Power Trip doubled as the final date (for now) of Iron Maiden's Future Past tour. They stuck to the same set list, which heavily features 1986's Somewhere in Time and 2021's Senjutsu. It was a characteristically bold and, frankly, challenging move for a festival setting, especially for the general admission audience to whom the band looked like gnats.

So, Maiden made an implicit bargain with the audience: If they indulged the band a handful of Senjutsu’s long-form epics in the first half of the performance, Maiden would reward them with a slew of '80s classics and deep cuts. The band caught fire during "Can I Play With Madness" and led the crowd in a thundering singalong during "Heaven Can Wait," which also featured a futuristic firefight between Dickinson and their towering mascot Eddie.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons Iron Maiden Should Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Dickinson was in great spirits, ribbing the obscenely far-away crowd ("Say something back! Take about five minutes for it to get here!") and waxing philosophical about the unifying power of heavy metal, gesturing to the diverse audience as proof.

"Human beings have a streak of being the biggest fucking assholes on the planet," the frontman said. Yet in the face of unceasing war and genocide, Dickinson remained optimistic. "What you can never wipe out is a culture, a language, a family, a tradition. You can talk to the Ukrainians about that."

This Is One of Iron Maiden's Most Challenging Set Lists

Iron Maiden's unwavering commitment to delivering 100% every night has cultivated one of the most loyal fan bases in metal. The band once again performed with breathless intensity and enthusiasm, running across the stage with age-defying agility. Dickinson and bassist Steve Harris jostled for the front of the stage as guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers traded wizardly solos.

This is one of Iron Maiden's most physically demanding sets in recent years, and the band occasionally fluffed tempos and got slightly out of sync with each other. For any other band it might be negligible, but Maiden's nearly spotless track record makes it noteworthy. Nearly 50 years into their career, they're finally starting to slow down ever so slightly — not yet cause for alarm, but a potent reminder that time eventually catches up with even the best and seemingly ageless bands.

But for now, Maiden will keep running, and according to Dickinson's parting words, they'll see us again.

Iron Maiden, 10/6/23, Power Trip, Indio, California
1. “Caught Somewhere in Time"
2. “Stranger in a Strange Land”
3. “The Writing on the Wall”
4. “Days of Future Past”
5. “The Time Machine”
6. “The Prisoner”
7. “Death of the Celts”
8. “Can I Play With Madness”
9. “Heaven Can Wait”
10. “Alexander the Great”
11. “Fear of the Dark”
12. “Iron Maiden”
13. “Hell on Earth”
14. The Trooper”
15. “Wasted Years”

Iron Maiden at Power Trip 2023

Metal legends kicked off inaugural festival.

Gallery Credit: Bryan Rolli

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