*CanuckFan's note: My friend Nancy, who is married to a metalhead, Tom, trekked from Calgary to Edmonton to see Dream Theater and Iron Maiden this past weekend. She wrote to me with a lengthy description of her experience during the gig, and I thought it was worth posting here. I was quite surprised at a lot of what she had to say...
I am a relative newbie where concerts are concerned. I saw Alice Cooper and KISS as my first concerts in 1999 and 2000. Then, essentially, nothing until last year when my husband decided we needed to attend everyone “he” wants to see, so in the last year or so I have seen (in no particular order): Black Label Society, Slayer/Megadeth, Papa Roach/Buck Cherry, Offspring, Buck Cherry/Kiss, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie, (I am sure there have been others) and most recently Iron Maiden.
I must explain. For the most part, I listen to “radio-friendly” music. Recently I have been, predominately thanks to you [CanuckFan], breaking out of that bubble to foray into European female-fronted metal(ish) bands. So, in seeing many of the above bands, I do not know a lot of their stuff so I am reliant on a show. Such is the case with Iron Maiden. Of course I knew the big stuff i.e. Run to the Hills, I’m Running Free, Number of the Beast, with my favourite song by them being Can I Play With Madness.
I don’t expect much, especially knowing I may or may not like the music or the content of the show as I tend to be a bit of a prude *laughs*. An example would be Slayer/Megadeth. Tom really wanted to see Slayer and I was more of a Megadeth fan. We watched and were impressed with Slayer but left before Megadeth was over, we were that disappointed (and we NEVER leave before the end of a show!) KISS, both times I saw them, totally blew me away. We all know they are not really talented musicians or singers, but their stage show totally makes up for it. Motley Crue, even though I did not like that Vince was running around so much he couldn’t catch his breath to sing, the stage show was amazing. Even Offspring, being a less popular band in a smaller venue, completely engaged the crowd from start to finish (I have never seen an audience so energized to the very end like that!)
Which brings me to Iron Maiden. Everyone I know who had seen them (usually both in the 80’s as well as more recently) informed me they put on an awesome show. I was prepared to be amazed because they have had nearly thirty years to perfect their show. I was SO excited! Dream Theater was okay. Their music seemed good (I knew two songs) but halfway through EVERY SONG the lead singer went behind the speakers (drinking?) and five minute instrumentals ensued. It just became too much. As they played on the singer was staggering across the stage more and more. Good thing they didn’t have a longer set. *laughs*
I was surprised when Dream Theater left and the crew did not cover the stage other than the curtain which was already there. We saw an awful lot of the setting up which should have been an indication. I did not know any of the songs in the regular set (see above) so I cannot tell you what they played. By the fourth song in I was thinking it’s quite far in for them to be starting a “show”. The second last song they brought their most recent incarnation of “Eddie” out on stage. It was so obviously a man on stilts in a costume. “He” just wandered around the stage flailing “his” arms. At one point Dave (? guitarist) emulated like he was shooting “him” with his guitar, but truly, this was the most action all night. Bruce spent the show running around the stage and dancing quite badly. The only songs I recognized were two of the three in the encore. They did NOT play my fave which nearly devastated me (I made up for it by playing it on the trip home.)
We spent approximately $80/ticket as well as the trip from Calgary to Edmonton and back (when we bought the tix, Calgary was not listed on the tour as yet.) An easy few hundred dollars on a half-assed performance.
Tom, my husband, went to the Calgary show last night and said it was a clone of the Edmonton show.
Granted, these guys are in their 50’s and are maybe slowing down, but so are KISS and Crue. One concern I have seeing all these bands who had their heyday twenty or thirty years ago is they have release a lot since they were really popular and want to play that stuff. As I tend to lean commercial (*gasp*) I don’t know much of the “newer” stuff (i.e. going to see Meatloaf in August and that scares the heck out of me!)