Archive for August 2012
It was twenty-four years and 5 days ago that I had first seen my favorite band in the whole wide world. That was on the Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour. Last night in San Antonio, Iron Maiden was reliving much of that tour on their Maiden England – North American Tour 2012. This was only my 5th time seeing them, which to me seems sparse seeing that they’re my favorite band and all. After Seventh Son, they didn’t come through my part of Virginia and I didn’t travel for many shows throughout the 90s. Plus Bayley was singing for them through much of that time and I didn’t care. I did miss a chance to see them with friends at Madison Square Garden with DIO and Motorhead. I’ll always regret not going to that one a bit. So be it.
Last night was my third time seeing them since moving to Texas and Maiden has always made it a point to take good care of Texas on their tours. Back on the Beast tour, they played EIGHT different cities here. That’s crazy! And quite awesome.
I bought 8 tickets on the pre-sale as I knew that I could always sell them to friends, which I did. One of those tickets was for my friend, Don. We’ve known each other since about 85, played in our first band together in the 80s, worked together after high school for a bit, acted as the best man in each others’ wedding etc. We have some history obviously. He moved to San Antonio 2 years ago with his company and it’s great that he’s close by again. He actually paid for my ticket as a birthday gift. What a droog! He visited in 2008 to see Maiden with me on the Somewhere Back In Time Tour and we also hung out for a bit at the 1988 show. Fitting that we’d see yet another Maiden show together. Burney and Vanessa rode with me and it was the same four folks sitting together as in the recent Scorpions show. Good times.
After doing some heavy metal parking lot, we decided to all go in, the 8 of us, and see what was going on inside. Fortunately we missed every note of Coheed and Cambria. The first leg of the tour got Alice Cooper and we get this band. Ugh. I got in the t-shirt line to hopefully snag a handful of the Texas only shirts that Maiden always does but they were already sold out. DAMN! Hopefully a friend in Dallas or Houston can hook me up.
I grabbed a Coke and heard UFO’s Doctor Doctor come on and knew that the show was about to start. I shot a quick text to the others to let them know that Maiden was about to hit the stage. They quickly came and we were st our stations waiting for the show.
There were no surprises for the setlist as they’ve been playing the same list this whole tour. They opened with Moonchild and went right into Can I play With Madness. Now, I didn’t like Seventh Son when it came out and to this day I still think it’s a wimpy album, but it was a heck of a lot better than their 90s era. It was good to catch the songs live again. The Prisoner came next and it was the first time I had seen them play that since 1988. It was also the first time I had ever seen them play Phantom of the Opera. They did 2 Minutes which is one of my faves by them and just played a solid set in general.
Adrian and Dave are probably the greatest guitar duo in metal in my opinion. They’ve still got the chops. Steve was spot on and Nicko was mixing it up pretty well. His style has changed a little over the years and I only wish we could actually see him behind his massive kit and not just hear him. Jannick Gers is still a waste of space. Fortunately he seemed a wee bit less animated last night and mostly stayed on his side of the stage. And then there’s Bruce. His live voice has seemingly grown stronger over the years and last night he was on his game for sure. I am still impressed with how strong he is live. He has also changed his singing style over the years.
They went through lots of stage prop and background changes and it was nice seeing some of the old Seventh Son stuff again. There were a few moments where I felt like I was back at the Hampton Coliseum in 1988. Hearing Wasted Years always gets me right in the heart. Steve and Adrian’s backing vocals sounded really good, too. It really makes me long for Another A.S.A.P. from Adrian as I love his voice. That’s not going to happen though.
They were just great overall. If I had to complain about anything (shocking, eh?), it would be The Trooper (always hated that song), Afraid To Shoot Strangers and Fear of The Dark. I couldn’t stand that album and those 2 songs are my least favorites off of it. Oh well. Small price to pay to see my favorite band again, eh?
One observation that I will make is that many of the songs seemed to played slower than normal. Getting old or just trying to control tempo?
When is the next tour already? Let’s go!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE TEXAS METAL…but let’s clarify (again)…classic Texas Metal. Since moving to Austin in 2006 I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of guys from a lot of those classic bands thanks in large part to Jason McMaster (Broken Teeth, Watchtower, Dangerous Toys etc). Jason’s still one of the hardest working guys in the business and it’s not difficult to catch one of his several bands playing around town. Last night was one of those nights as I popped into the Red Eyed Fly to see Jason’s Metallica tribute called Killa Maul which only plays the first Metallica album in its entirety. As a bonus, San Antonio’s Martyrhead was opening up. They’re a Motorhead tribute which features Bob Catlin (SA Slayer, Juggernaut) and Art Villareal (SA Slayer, Karion). Definitely some Texas metal legends. As I was talking to Jason during Martyrhead, he pointed out that the guy in front of us was Harlan Glenn of Juggernaut. Of course I asked Jason to introduce me and he kindly obliged.
After talking with him for a few minutes, I asked him if he was going to be around for the night as I wanted to run over to my apartment to get my book and Juggernaut CD for a signature. He said he was there for the night and would sign anything. I run home and return quickly and we started talking again and he signed the book and the CD. It was cool hearing stories from the old days in San Antonio with Juggernaut and his life now in Los Angeles. Quite interesting. I always liked the album he did with them (Baptism Under Fire) and their song on Metal Massacre VII, In The Blood of Virgins.
It was a nice random meeting and I love it when I am able to get the book signed by someone from the old “underground.”
All photos by David Prewitt/DaveTV (another Austin legend in his own right).