Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Iron Maiden, 3.14.08. Thoughts And Observations

Photo by Heidi Coluzz

It's a challenging task indeed to attempt to to encapsulate the Iron Maiden show in New Jersey's Izod Arena in a single post. But overall, it's safe to say that the experience was grand, and Metal Inquisition staffers have put their thoughts together in this post for you, the reader. Yes there were some flaws (backdrops only? No huge mummy version of Eddie in a coffin behind Nicko?) but overall it was a satisfying experience. Here are some thoughts, observations and memories tied into the event.

Right as we came into the arena, I was amazed to see a guy with no forearms (just tiny, tiny hands at elbow level) throwing the horns and sticking his tongue out as his friends screamed "Maiden!" I knew this would be a memorable event.

Seeing a young kid, maybe 18 years old, with a very new-looking tattoo of the cover of Repulsion's "Horrified" was a breath of fresh air. If metal is still alive, it's alive within that kid. Sadly the kid looked like he had fetal alcohol syndrome...but beggars can't be choosers.

After the show ended, after drinking beer, and chanting "six, six, six, the number of the beast!" all the metalheads rushed to the Mrs Field's cookie stand by the door to buy warm cookies. Talk about reverting to their youth! It's odd to see a dude with an Overkill "Fuck You" t shirt run up to the cookie stand and say "two chocolate chip, and ... oooh oooh! Two oatmeal ones!"

As I expected, there was a large number of older fans that clearly had well paying jobs, and had (in a way) moved beyond their metal roots. The award for most together fan goes to the guy who cut us off as we drove into the parking lot, as he drove a new Lexus LS 600L. Driving a $100,000 car to a Maiden show is a nice choice indeed. I admire the guy for driving the same car that some of the band members he was going to see may have. Not to brag, but I remember doing the same thing back in the day. I drove my Ford Festiva to a Deicide show in the mid-90s, which I'm sure is what the Hoffman brothers were sharing at that point in their lives. Perhaps they still share that car. Lastly, allow me to point out that Festivas are great cars due to their "one key opens all" approach, by which I mean that the key to your Festiva will open nearly 80% of other Festivas. This is true, not safe, but true.

Celebrity sighting? Well, uh...sorta. Was that King Fowley and the guitar player from Deceased in front of me at the show? It totally was!

Security, being the usual uptight dopes that they are to metalheads (are they jealous of metal's free spirited attitude? I don't know), asked a guy in front of me to stop headbanging! I'm not even kidding! Dude was going crazy and getting WAY too into it. But still. Security dude shined his flashlight on him, and yelled at him to stop. What? It's Maiden man! Damn.

Dave Murray's hair looked like it died sometime during the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son tour. I don't mean it all fell out...most of it is there, but it's dead, expired, kaput, out of order. Look at it in this picture, it looks exactly like the Cryptkeeper's hair, who was supposed to be a corpse! Even Eddie would be looking at him thinking "man, what about some conditioner?"

Jesus, Bruce...those are some pants! He looked like godamned Big Bird.

I know the Eddie-walking-on-stilts issue is a serious one for Maiden fans. You see, some fans get mad when you point out how awkward and cheap it looks. Is it cheesy? You bet. Does the guy in that outfit and stilts move awkwardly as hell, making for a comical moment of stupidity in the show? Yes. But would we all miss it if it weren't there? Yes. Hey, at least they're not busting out the weird dancing couple or Chewbacca from the "Number Of The Beast" video.

Photo by Heidi Coluzz

This concert had further proof for me that metal is indeed an equal opportunity sub-culture. Right as we came in, a fat midget (okay, okay... little person) was chillin', talking to his friends with a swagger normally reserved for top-of-the-pecking-order individuals in most sub-cultures. This guy was badass, talking about "some chick dude, I don't even remember who she was". I was amazed. Here was this lil' guy, wearing a vintage "Killers" t shirt talking about "some chick." I was happy for him, and for all of us. Metal, the great equalizer.

Note: Not actual midget sighted at Maiden show.

Though only shown quickly from time to time on the big screens on either side of the stage, Nicko's face has obviously gotten even more grotesque over the years. What happened to his nose? It looked like a pug was playing drums.

A sad, sad fact dawned on me while the audience rocked to "Fear of the Dark". I looked around and noticed there were a lot metal chicks. Most of them weren't that hot, but the point is that they were there with their dudes. Some guys out there ended up with metal chicks, but none of us did. We were an 8-dude sausage fest. I never thought about it, but NONE of my friends ended up with a kick-ass girl that wears rad Testament tees. All our significant others are pretty square and dull. What a bummer. I wish my lady had bad tattoos on the cleavage.

Most embarrassing moment of the evening: As Steve Harris played the first few notes of The Clairvoyant, I turned around and yelled "Fuck yeah, TAILGUNNER!" Uhm, I have no excuse, I confused a song from 7th Son with a song from No Prayer. I'm pretty lame, I know.

Opening for Maiden has to be a tough job. Who wants to see a band before Maiden? I paid my money, let me see what color spandex Harris is wearing NOW, dammit! Dude, Steve Harris' daughter's band opened for them. I don't even know where to start with this bunch of fucktards. Wow! They sucked... Every song was generic with terrible generic lyrics, generic riffs, generic solos... BARF! The one good thing is that they only played 5 songs. If they ever come to your town: RUN!

I don't know why, but where we were standing the sound wasn't that loud. So I could hear everyone around the singing. Ew! They all sounded terrible! "Hey, bro, just 'cuz you are wearing a Somewhere in Time tee and know the words, it does not mean you can carry a tune!" That's when I realized the guy in front of me was probably thinking the exact same thing. "I'm sorry, dude, I guess I should practice what I preach" Let me illustrate may point:

Moonchild is a fucking amazingly metal tune and I owe it my sore neck and throat.

We all know that Maiden are big soccer fans. I was aware that they were West Ham supporters, but they really took it to the max on this tour. Not only was Steve Harris wearing his WH wristbands and bass strap with the Hammers sticker, but Nicko's Whole drumset was WH colors. I think that's awesome. I wonder if Frodo hangs out with them <--Really, really obscure reference. Anyone?


  1. Nice blog, sounded like it was awesome.

    But I've seen that midget picture on MetalSucks before. :)

  2. But I've seen that midget picture on MetalSucks before. :)

    yeah, that wasn't THE midget we saw. we didn't get a photo of him. we wanted an image to go with the comment, in case people don't know what a midget looks like.

  3. i hate Maiden a lot, but wow! this was a great post! i especially liked this part:

    Sadly the kid looked like he had fetal alcohol syndrome...but beggars can't be choosers.

    and the ms. field's stand... what a sad, sad day for metal!

  4. We can forgive you for The Clairvoyant / Tailgunner mistake. I heard a story from my cousin (who knows EVERYTHING about Maiden) that Bruce himself made that very same mistake on the October '06 tour in Montreal.

  5. I was at the concert with these guys and the least meatal thing I saw the whole night wasn't the security being dicks, or gorwn ass men running for cookies, it was these dudes dicussing after show what they were gunna write in their blog....DORKS

  6. What a night. From the posers on the bus who were yelling "YEAH!!! GO FUCKING CRAZY!!!" Who turned down our offer of a beer, saying "Oh, that's ok. I'm trying to cut down on beer," to the classic set. The chicks in spandex and whorish fishnets. The 60 year old dude who tried to hit on my girlfriend after the show.

    I was kinda bummed they weren't selling their west ham replica shirt, but then i saw that the soccer shirt they WERE selling was $125 and was happy. I was so drunk I woulda bought that shit for sure.

    Iron maiden--best show. West Ham--worst team, but I love em.

  7. i totally have to agree, the night went from manly and metal, to not-so-manly when i had to stop everyone and come up with a blogging strategy. i did acknowledge that it was lame...but it had to be done! our readers deserve the very best we can give them.

  8. excellent write-up. i noticed the car thing too. the same Lexus parked three cars away from us. coulda been the same guy?

    there weren't many, if any, metal sluts around at all. we were commenting how going to see shows at the Birch Hill brought out the best NJ had to offer. surprisingly, this show brought next to none :(

    i was bummed about no Eddie behind Nicko... i thought that was part of the deal w/ this tour.

  9. captain frodo?

    i love it how 80% of the review is about midgets, baby-arm dudes and other random shit. hilarious.

  10. captain frodo?

    nope...c'mon anyone? it's an obscure refererence, but not THAT obscure!

  11. The frodo thing is from Green Street Hooligans. BTW DB, you still got my copy of that movie! Don't make me come down to the suburbs for that shit! Ill knock on your door loudly and wont wipe my feet before I come in! Cause thats just how METAL I am!

  12. i'm disappointed that there hasn't been more discussion of the cookies. that's by far the best part of all this.

  13. for the record, skullcrusher, i got the green street hooligans reference, too. nice way to work that in to the post!

  14. i'm disappointed that there hasn't been more discussion of the cookies. that's by far the best part of all this.

    The flipside of that is that while the horrible opening band was playing I went to drain the old lizard and EVERYONE was in line to buy beer. Not one person was in the cookie line (or the pretzel line, for that matter). I thought "I should bring this up on MI tomorrow". Well, the fact that the cookie line went around the corner AFTER the show was way funnier, so I let Lucho Metales steal the cookie story, BUT it was me who thought of it first!

    You can't hate, tho, them cookies are chuck-full of goodness.


  15. "Here was this lil' guy, wearing a vintage "Killers" t shirt talking about "some chick." I was happy for him, and for all of us. Metal, the great equalizer."

    Ahahaha! You guys! *cry*

    Your unbelievably touching and in-depth presentation of this concert moves the essence of my being.

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