Much like the rest of the tour, the two piece, accompanied by bassist Julia Lage (wife of Richie Kotzen) and drummer Bruno Valverde (formerly of Angra), strode casually onto the stage at the Fleece, with Adrian greeting the crowd with a cheery; "Hello Bristol!" before getting in the groove with opening track 'Taking My Chances'.
Much tighter as a unit than they had been in the US, this well-oiled crew got to work on the capacity crowd, making their way through their entire debut album, most of their Record Store Day 'Better Days' EP, and a couple of choice covers.
Kicking into the slow stomp of 'Some People', Richie was next to greet the Bristol crowd, saying; "I've been looking forward to this show because I heard that this one was the first to sell out".
Clearly having as much fun on stage as the crowd out front, Smith and Kotzen looked to be totally in the zone with this labour of love project. A masterclass in musicianship, the dual harmony solos at the end of 'You Don't Know Me' prompted one spectator to shout; "play that again!", much to the amusement of Smith.
Introducing the bluesy "I Wanna Stay" meanwhile, Adrian said; "we're going to do a song about unrequited love; the girl you left behind, the boy you left behind", before going on to play one of the most soulful tracks of the night.
Trading licks and vocal duties, the dual frontmen's natural chemistry was obvious, as they made their way through the set which had remained largely unchanged from the US run.
It was on the closing night in London however, that things got a little more than surprising. Taking to the stage at the Islington Assembly Hall on Tuesday night (8th March), this hometown show for the Maiden guitarist was always going to be special. However with the biggest show on the run by some distance, and a long guest list that included actor Leslie Ash and husband Lee Chapman, Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box, and a certain Rebecca McBrain, the stage was set a more than memorable night.
Blasting through their regular set, it was during the encore that Adrian revealed that a special guest would be joining them; "I'd like to welcome onto the stage Mr. Nicko McBrain!", he announced. Running through Maiden's 1986 hit 'Wasted Years' with added vigour, the energy in the room was electric as the Iron Maiden members tore it up together for the first time in more than two years.
Sticking around for the closing 'Solar Fire' - a track Nicko had originally performed on on the debut album - Nicko's unmistakable thunder ensured the night, and the tour ended on a massive high.
With this much good feeling on stage, it would be foolish to think that we'd have heard the last of Smith / Kotzen, and rumours suggest that live dates are already being looked into for 2023.
Adrian Smith returns to his day job when Iron Maiden continue their 'Legacy of the Beast' tour later this year. The and headline Download Festival on Saturday 11th June, and play Belfast's Boucher Road Playing Fields on Monday 13th June.
Watch Nicko with Smith / Kotzen on eonmusic's Facebook page.