The Metal Files

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Iron Maiden, Mexico City, MX, September 7, 2022

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It’s no secret that I love Mexico City and have been down there 8 times in the last 5 years, 3 of those times this year. I’ve made some very good friends there and there’s just something special about the place that I can’t explain.

I saw Iron Maiden there in September 2019 and had a blast so when Maiden announced another show for this year, I instantly grabbed 2 tickets on the presale. This time the show was to be held at Foro Sol, one of Mexico City’s sports stadiums and the location of the F1 track.

Two weeks ago I was at a conference in Mississippi and when I returned to the office on Thursday, I asked my boss if he cared if I was gone the following week. We were already off on that Monday for a holiday. He said, “As long as you have everything taken care of that you need to, enjoy your trip.” Typically when I’m gone like that, I still handle calls and emails so it’s not that big of a deal. So I booked the trip that Thursday and was slated to leave on Monday, Labor Day. I had thought about just flying in and flying out for a quick trip to save some PTO but the guys in Night Demon were going to be in town. They played the Candelabrum Fest in Leon the previous weekend, so I moved my trip up to that Monday so we could hang out on their last night in town before heading to Germany on Tuesday.

Monday September 5, 2022

The trip down was standard; I was on the same time/route as the previous 2 times and got through customs without incident or delays. Once I got to my hotel, Armand and Dustin showed up and we headed off to find some tacos and beers. It took forever for us to get a ride as traffic was utterly ridiculous that day. We went to one of my favorite spots for some al pastor and it was delicious then wandered off to Bizarro Bar for some beers and tequila. My dear friend Soledad showed up and Jarvis arrive shortly after. We did a couple more beers and then headed off to a little party at Jimena and Pepito’s place. That night was absolutely perfect. We were on their rooftop patio and the weather was great. Our good friend Jaime showed up and Jimena’s friends Lucy and Lao arrived as well as Soledad’s boyfriend Alonso. We were knocking back some beers, more tequila and snacks and just having some of the greatest conversations. It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a while. As always, it was great to see my Night Demon brothers. Fortunately I will see them again in a couple of weeks when they come through Texas and I’ll go with them to do 2 Cleveland shows. They had an early flight out to Germany the next morning, so we ended the party and got our respective rides back to our places.

Tuesday September 6, 2022

I got up Tuesday needing some caffeine and headed out to find the nearest OXXO for a Sugar Free Red Bull. One of the things I needed to do that day was fine a raincoat as the weather predictions called for heavy rains for the show. I walked about a mile to a local mall that had a Wal-Mart and some other shops and not a single raincoat was to be found. Bummer. I did a quick search on Google maps for raincoats and found a shop that specialized in them. Off I went to the raincoat district! Once there, the lady instantly looked at me, smiled and said, “No hablo Ingles.” I responded with, “No te preocupes, hablo muy bien espanol.” I must say their variety of raincoats was impressive. I bought a standard poncho style one in black made of heavy PVC. It was $5! Unfortunately, Maryanne did not get in the raincoat with me (extra points if you get that reference).

I went back to my hotel, dropped off the coat and walked to Zocalo to a department store that had a Ticketmaster station in it. I needed to print my tickets and the hotel printer was down. There was a line of folks already there and most of them were wearing Maiden shirts. Once it was my turn I sat down with the attendant and asked her if she spoke English. “No.” She asked me for my order number and I showed it to her on my phone. She looks it up on her computer and I see her frown a little. She doesn’t say anything but grabs her phone and starts typing away on it. At first I thought she was maybe just texting a friend or something then I realized that she was typing stuff in to translate back to me. I asked to let me know what was happening and that I’d understand her Spanish. She looked relieved and proceeded to tell me that she couldn’t issue tickets because of the “print only” option that I had mistakenly chosen when buying the tickets. I told her that I understood, thanked her for her time and headed out. Luckily Soledad’s neighbor had a working printer and was able to take care of it. After that, I just bounded around Zocalo for a while. Mexico is preparing for its upcoming Independence Day and decorations were going up everywhere.

I was getting pretty hungry and Soledad had sent a couple of recommendations, one of which was a BBQ place. I grabbed a ride, got to the location only to find out that it had been shut down by the City just a week before. Oops. So I got another ride, went back to my favorite taco spot and chowed down on more al pastor. I hadn’t eaten yet that day and was getting pretty hungry after all of the walking and such. After my late lunch/early dinner, I had a work call that I needed to be on, so I sat in a nearby park and handled that.

In 2019, Netflix released a movie called Roma which is now a favorite of mine. The house that they filmed much of it in was a 15 minute walk south into Roma Sur. I was about 5pm and I headed down through some beautiful neighborhoods and found the house. I took a couple of photos and decided to walk around the neighborhood a little more. As I was walking past some restaurants and bars that were opening up, I heard Celtic Frost coming out of one and I stopped in. Revolver Bar. It was a cool little spot and the owner is a great guy. We had some friends in common and I drank a couple of local beers. It was just the two of us in there as he had just opened up and some rain had started. After that, I just went back to my hotel to rest up.

Wednesday September 7, 2022

Show day! I didn’t do much at all as I wanted to be well-rested for the evening. I had a late breakfast in the hotel that was pretty bland then walked around the neighborhood for a little while. I took a good nap and then made plans on meeting with Soledad and Jaime to ride to the show together. Traffic was total shit getting there and once the uber got us close, we just got out and walked with the crowd. It was quite a long trek to actually get inside. Lots of vendors selling bootleg merch and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to buy any. Once inside Foro Sol, I checked out the official vendor spots and Maiden wasn’t selling the event shirt in my size. I was hoping they’d do like the last tour and have them available online after (they did!). We had general admission on floor in Section B and stayed about ¾ of the way back. We missed all of Mastodon’s set (not sad about it) and came in during Maiden’s opening song, Senjutsu. I don’t care for the new album and they were opening with 3 songs from it. We grabbed a beer from a nearby vendor and just enjoyed the show. The weather stayed clear except for a few minutes of sprinkling. They moon was out for much of the set. When they went into Revelations, chills ran up my spine. Overall, Maiden’s song selection is pretty weak. One song each from X Factor and Virtual XI? Blood Brothers? Gross. My disdain for Fear of the Dark is no secret to anyone, but it is pretty special being in a crowd of 64,999 other people who are all singing along together. That song went over better than any other songs in the set. Blows my mind. But overall, it’s Iron Maiden, my favorite band of all time and I will continue to go see them no matter the setlist.

After the show ended, we tried waiting it out a bit to let the crowd thin out. Once we started walking out, it finally started raining and I got to use my new poncho for a about 15 minutes before the rain let up. As we got to the actual exit gate, the crowd was tight and there was no way out of it. If someone had fallen, they probably would have been trampled to death. It was a little nerve-wracking but we finally got through and started making our way to where Alonso was to pick us up. It felt good to finally get there and sit down for a bit. We ended up going to a taqueria called Av Sonora Tortas El Fuego. I got el pastor, bistec and costilla tacos which were all delicious. Everyone except me had to work the next morning and Alonso was nice enough to drive me back to my place. Once in my room, I crashed out pretty quickly. It was a great night.

Thursday September 8, 2022

No real plans for the day and I probably should have booked my trip to leave on this day, but oh well. I lounged around in bed until about 1030AM and finally got up, showered and made my way out for a bit. I wasn’t that hungry so I just grabbed a protein bar and a Red Bull from 7-11 and walked around for a while. I grabbed a ride and headed off to Dejalo Ser Records to see the owner Elia and see if there were any records I needed/wanted. She keeps a pretty decent metal selection and lots of Japanese pressings. As always she greeted me with a big hug and then I went digging. I ended up buying more stuff that friends were looking for than for myself but I did pick up a Luzbel album that I had been wanting. After leaving the store, I went back to my hotel as I was feeling a little tired. Soledad, Jaime and I were going to meet for dinner later and I just chilled out for a bit. We had planned to meet up at an Asian place called Koku. Unfortunately I went to the wrong one first. Haha. Once I met up with them, we had some hot sake, beer and a nice sushi dinner. They both had ramen which was delicious, too. We sat outside and it was a perfect night and a great ending to another wonderful week in CDMX.

Friday September 9, 2022

I was having trouble checking in online with Aerobus so I decided to get to the airport a little earlier than normal to make sure there wasn’t a problem. Once there, I breezed through the check in and through security and had too many hours to kill in the airport. I went to my usual breakfast spot and had a nice meal waiting for them to announce which gate the flight was going to be. Then we got notification of a delay. It was almost 2 hours. Ugh. This was going to get me back to San Antonio airport in perfect time for rush hour. Oh well. Once we finally landed, it took about 2 minutes to get through customs where the agent told me he processed Iron Maiden the night before! I asked him if he was a fan and he replied, “I’m from San Antonio, of course I’m a fan!” haha. Once back in my car, nothing but traffic all the way home. Plus I took care of some work phone calls.

As always, Mexico City treated me well, I saw some new parts I hadn’t seen before and I made some more new friends. It was a great trip. I was planning to go back in October to see Unto Others, but the promotor canceled the show, so now it looks like it’ll be sometime after the new year.


Written by The Metal Files

September 15, 2022 at 8:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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