Sunday, June 01, 2008
Up The Irons! Iron Maiden and Anthrax!
Bands: Iron Maiden, Anthrax
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, California.
Date: May 31, 2008
You may find this hard to believe, but the last and only time that I’ve seen Iron Maiden in concert was December 21, 1984, at the Rosemont Horizon outside of Chicago. This was the World Slavery Tour and I had just turned 16 years old. Twisted Sister opened, and I still have fond memories of that show. The mammoth stage show with multiple Eddies, Dave Murray’s guitar solo with “The Star Spangled Banner”, and even Dee Snider insulting a heckler in the crowd are burned into my memories.
I somewhat lost interest in Iron Maiden after “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, but picked up on them again with “Brave New World”. When I heard about the Somewhere Back In Time Tour and all of the classics to be represented along with the elaborate stage show from 1984-85, I knew that I had to go to this one. I missed them a few months back at The Forum, but was ecstatic to learn that they’d soon be back in Irvine for two shows in late May. I managed to get a decent seat for the Saturday night show at the outdoor venue in suburban Irvine, which, as you might imagine, sold out very quickly.
I was also pleased to learn that Anthrax, another classic band that I haven’t seen since the mid 80s, would also open the show and would have a chance to showcase their new vocalist, Dan Nelson. The venue was already packed when Anthrax took the stage and played an hour long set of classics from “Spreading The Disease” to “We’ve Come For You All”. Highlights included the opener, “Indians”, as well as “Got The Time” and “I Am The Law”. Nelson’s voice is loud, strong, and comes across as a blend between Joey Belladonna’s high-pitched style and John Bush’s rougher vocals. In short, Nelson shows range and I now look forward to a new album from these veterans. Scott Ian also took time to address the crowd and thanked everyone for supporting the band over the years. A great set and I now aim to see Anthrax in a smaller setting as headliners.
Everything I expected from Iron Maiden was present. Simple as that. Hitting a string of classics with concentration upon “Powerslave” and “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, the earliest song played was “Iron Maiden” and the latest song was “Fear Of The Dark”. All of the elaborate stage effects with the huge backdrop Eddie mannequin swathed in gauze along with the 15 foot Cyborg version decked out in “Somewhere In Time” mode were there, along with flames, fireworks, a rotating back display, an appearance onstage by the entire crew during “Heaven Can Wait”, and more. Notably absent, however, was “Flight Of Icarus” and I would have loved to have heard “Where Eagles Dare”. The three song encore consisted of “Moonchild”, “The Clairvoyant”, and the closer “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. The set lasted two hours.
Intro - Churchill's Speech
2 Minutes To Midnight
The Number Of The Beast
Run To The Hills
Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Heaven Can Wait
Can I Play With Madness?
Fear Of The Dark
Hallowed Be Thy Name
More so than any other show that I’ve been to recently, this concert took me back to my youth and that’s an awesome thing. I wasn’t alone in that assessment as a huge percentage of the crowd were old hands such as myself, as well as that of a friend of mine who hasn’t been to a metal show in more than 15 years.
The t-shirt haul (front and back)...
Here's the usual garbage (even worse quality than usual)...
Iron Maiden (look for the Cyborg Eddie)
Unfortunately, I missed Anaal Nathrakh last week due to a nasty cold that I had just gotten over in time for this show...