Disclaimer: All photos taken from a lawn seat, on a hill, located two football fields from the stage.
Iron Maiden was on the prowl at Madison Square Garden Monday night and it was covered by numerous news sources including the New York Post, Spin Magazine, and The Village Voice. Here’s some news you may not have heard “Back in the Village,” these metal gods sold out the PNC Bank Arts Center the night before. That is correct, Jersey had this metal militia first. Suck on that Big Apple.
Iron Maiden is not living in the past and it appears as if the band is using this Final Frontier Tour to separate itself from its golden age. It became evident when Bruce Dickinson and Maiden’s tri-headed electric axe corps attacked the sold out crowd with a setlist weighed down by cuts off albums from this decade…and let’s be honest, nobody wants to hear any of that, not even all the “new faces” in the audience Dickinson was playing cool too all night.
“Welcome to the Iron Maiden family,” said Dickinson to the newcomers. “The great thing about our community is we don’t discriminate. You are all welcome.”
They may be welcome Bruce, but how many of them did you shove away by skipping out on integral tracks from the Maiden catalogue like “Run to The Hills,” “The Trooper,” and “Aces High” to name a few?
I’m positive a band that resembled Iron Maiden played that night, but it was like viewing imposters. Bruce Dickinson did sprint across stage and jettison himself off speakers, and there were plenty galloping guitar riffs and face dissolving solos, however, something was off, the band’s metallic morals had gone missing…Did Dickinson just yell at us to go and purchase the band’s upcoming album?
“Go out on August 18th and buy The Final Frontier,” said Dicksinon, “don’t go fucking downloading it,” he scolded us, “and kick whatever limp dicked son of a bitch that’s atop the chart the fuck out of there.”
When did Iron Maiden start giving a shit about how much money it makes off record sales? Last time I checked those guys didn’t ride from city to city in a bus. They tour the world in their very own fucking jumbo jet. I think Iron Maiden is financially well off enough where its members shouldn’t be bothered with how fans get their music.
And where the hell was Eddie?!!
There are certain things you expect to see when attending an Iron Maiden concert and a two-story tall, three-dimensional zombie protruding from the rafters is one of them, ritualistic virgin sacrifices are another, and there were neither. Eddie, Maiden’s undead mascot, was replaced by a gaudy space station set, tying into the title of the new album, from which drummer Nicko McBrain was hidden inside of all night. Who did he piss off?
Here’s the deal Maiden, you sold out an entire tour of North America. Veteran fans and new blood paid good money to come and see you rock out. We want to bask in the glory of your past and celebrate your present and future. Apparently you have decided to disassociate yourself from that past and force feed us your current and future work. I have a big problem with that. If I wanted to hear songs I have no emotional attachment too I could have stayed home, pocketed the $35, and pulled up your last three efforts in my Itunes library.
I’ve read some of the stories written about this Iron Maiden tour and they all seem to be praising these shows and the band just for taking the stage. “Hey, Iron Maiden is still capable of showing up? Let’s have a big round of applause,” these publications seemed to say. Well not me. I hold this heavy-metal mammoth to a higher standard, as should all fans.
Despite this poor review, the show was by no means a total displeasure. Maiden’s tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio was something special to be part of. Have you ever seen a 250 pound metal headed man-beast with his horns raised to the heavens and tears in his eyes? I was surrounded by five of them. While 18,000 people stood together and paid their respects Maiden appropriately broke into “Blood Brothers,” a track off its 2000 album Brave New World, and the wiser of the capacity crowd sang along.
The final five songs were classic Maiden cuts that included “Fear of the Dark,” “The Number of the Beast,” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” It was a relief to see this legendary act hadn’t completely abandoned where it came from 35 years ago.
Overall, there were worse places I could have been on that Sunday night than standing on the lawn with my best friend and his brother and taking in one of the greatest metal acts to ever crawl out of the firey depths of hell. Some great memories were made and I will wear my tour shirt happily if not proudly.
-Bruce Dickinson still has one of the greatest voices ever bellowed into a microphone. Every high note hit seemed to roll up the lawn at PNC like a tsunami wave, spilling out over the hill, and into the outskirts of the Garden State. The man’s voice is that powerful and hearing it live is something every metal fan should do before they die.
-Dream Theatre was the opening act and it plays a very complicated style of progressive metal. This band’s complex compositions were spectacular. Respect to a band that hosts battles between its guitar and key-tar players.
The Wicker Man
Ghost of the Navigator
El Dorado (New Single of the upcoming album)
Dance of Death
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don’t Run
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name