Iron Maiden – Concert Review – 06/12/2010
The last time I saw Maiden was in 2008 on the Somewhere In Time Tour in San Antonio, Texas. It was probably the best performance I had ever seen by the band and was my 3rd show since the Seventh Son Tour. Anyone who knows me knows that Maiden is my number one band of all time. Sure they have some albums that I despise, but I love them. Always have, always will.
When I found out that they were coming to San Antonio’s AT&T Center this year, I was stoke. Even more so because this time it was an inside arena show. There’s something special about seeing big bands in an arena as compared to an amphitheater. I wasn’t too excited to learn that Dream Theater was opening up. Sure, they’re a talented band but I haven’t cared for anything they have put out since Images and Words.
As usual for just about any show, I bought 2 tickets. Someone always wants to go who may have forgotten to get a ticket or couldn’t afford one at the time or whatever. My spare ticket was originally purchased for my guitar player but he decided a few weeks ago that he didn’t want to go. No biggie. So I asked my beautiful friend Christine to go with me as my guest and thankfully she obliged. Her knees may have even buckled a little when I asked. :)
The only unfortunate thing was that I bought my tickets late in the day when they went on sale as I forgot all about it. I got decent seats, but not great seats. No biggie. Just being there is all that matters.
A few weeks ago my friend Michael asked if he and our mutual friend, Sean, could go with us and of course I said yes. He’s a huge Maiden fan as well, no matter that he’s the bass player for a well known country band in Texas. A few days before the show we were chatting he said that he may be able to get us better seats or a box suite for the show. He knows a dude who knows a dude or something like that. I got even more excited about the show, but even without a hookup, the trip with good friends to see the greatest band in the world was going to be wonderful…and it was.
I saw the setlists from the previous 2 shows in Dallas and Houston and was originally a little disappointed that it contained stuff primarily from the last 3 albums with 3 or 4 old songs thrown in at the end. After a day or 2 of rationalizing, I figured hey, they did the hits tour 2 years ago, why not play stuff that is fresh to them, eh? Sure, having to endure songs from the painful Dance of Death wasn’t making me excited but they were playing some stuff from Brave New World and the awesome A Matter of Life and Death. So, we’re all good here.
So here we are on Saturday, show day. I played taxi and picked everyone up separately and we headed south to San Antonio. We get to the venue around 6:30PM and the crowd is rolling in. It’s a hot and beautiful day.
There was a merch booth outside and we grabbed a load of shirts and then get in line as the doors were open to the venue. Michael and Sean had to go to the will call booth to get theirs so we met them inside. Christine and I hit another merch booth and I buy some more shirts. Iron Maiden always makes shirts especially for their Texas shows and this one was no exception. In 2008 I only bought one shirt for me and the next day they were selling on eBay for $100 or more. You see, I am a capitalist. If I can turn a profit on my investment, I’m going to do it. So I bought a small load of the Texas only shirts. We’ll see how my venture turns out. :)
Michael calls us as we are finishing up at the booth and we meet him near the main entrance. We get introduced to his “guy” and we’re ushered up the step to the box suites. He says, “I’ll bring some beer in a little bit but this is the best I can do for the moment.” The best you can do? Dude! You just put us in a beautifully decorated box with a great view of the stage! None of us were complaining and we were all a little freaked out by the whole thing. It was very special treatment and I certainly owe my friend something huge in return for this.
After getting my head back down to earth, the lights go down and Dream Theater takes the stage. I’m not really a fan even thought I like their first 2 albums. I don’t know any of the material beyond Images and
Words and suspected that they wouldn’t play anything except Pull Me Under. I was right. Their performance was solid but I was a little bored. The rest of crowd seemed to enjoy them pretty well.
Here’s their list:
- As I am
- A Rite of Passage
- Constant Motion
- Panic Attack
- Constant Motion
- Pull Me Under
Between sets, Michael and Sean go down to see where their seats are and they’re close to the front on Gers’ side and they stay there for Maiden’s set. Christine and I stay in the box. It was literally about 10 rows straight up from where our seats were, so why leave?
Maiden hits the stage and starts the rock with Wicker Man. The sound was good and the band was energetic. In true Maiden style, they changed back drops quite a bit and Bruce was all over the stage. The band was
great. They always are. As most who know me already know, I despise the fact that Gers is still in the band. It always pains me to see him prancing around the stage and playing sloppy solos. Last night was a little different though. It seems as if they have maybe reigned him in a little bit. Sure he did a little of his prancing and guitar twirling, but he mostly stayed to his side of the stage. I think also that since they were primarily playing songs from “his” era, he was involved in the music a little more. His solos were pretty good. It does still pain me to see him doing some of Adrian’s solos in the old stuff while Adrian is standing there on stage. I would assume that Adrian isn’t bothered by it.
Christine and I rocked it in the suite. It was a blast and was a very special night. Any night seeing Iron Maiden is special for me. Bruce stated that the show was sold out but I saw lots of empty seats. Maybe some people got mad about the setlist and didn’t show. Who cares. We were there. Dallas got to see them do Brighter Than a 1000 Suns but for Houston and and San Antonio we got Wrathchild. I would have preferred 1000 Suns. I love that song. I think they threw it in the list as a replacement to keep the crowd involved. Bruce said several years ago that US fans only wanted to hear the hits and that it was annoying. He was right. We got the hits 2 years ago so I can totally see why they wanted to do a set of stuff that was more fresh to them. They played a new song from the upcoming album…El Dorado. It sounded much better live than on the studio recording that was released last week.
One awesome thing that I saw was that there were 2 people on the floor behind the soundboard doing sign language to every song for both bands and all of the between song banter. Obviously there were some deaf people in that section. That was pretty cool to see.
Here’s Iron Maiden’s setlist:
- The Wicker Man
- Ghost of the Navigator
- El Dorado
- The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
- These Colours Don’t Run(!!!)
- Blood Brothers
- Wildest Dreams
- No More Lies
- Brave New World
- Fear of the Dark (I hate this song…and album)
- Iron Maiden
- Number of the Beast (encore – they have a new devil!)
- Hallowed Be Thy Name (encore)
- Running Free (encore)
Let me just add in here that I am so friggin’ glad I didn’t have to sit through the Trooper. That almost made the show worth it right there.
Overall it was a great night with great friends seeing the greatest band in the world. I am utterly humbled and thankful for the special treatment that we got. The drive home was great and went by quickly. All of us talking about the show. This was Shawn and Christine’s first Maiden show and they were blown away. It’s funny, Michael and I have only known each other for about 2 years. He’s originally from Virginia as well. He was wearing his original Seventh Son tour shirt and we both saw that show at the Hampton Coliseum in 1988. Small world. Thanks Michael, Christine and Sean. Always nice to share experiences like this with good people.
I’ll have videos uploaded soon. For now, enjoy the pictures.
UP THE IRONS!
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