Monday, October 23, 2006

Maiden Show!

Last Saturday I drove all the way to Southern California to go see Maiden. The show was in Irvine (the Verizon Amphitheatre or something).

I went there with my good friend Baeleron (remember him? You should). My original plan of taking a couple of days off work for a long weekend fell through, so the trip had to be very quick. I left Northern California at around 4:30 AM, and made it down there at around 10:00. Whenever I drive down there, I try to leave as early as I can because I figure L.A. traffic will not be bad early in the morning. Well, at 9:00 AM traffic was already jammed down there. WARNING! Tangent ahead: I like Southern California a lot, and I have always thought it would be pretty cool to live down there. I've gotten pretty close to making the decision at times, but all it takes to dash any hopes is to experience traffic congestion down there. Traffic congestion really brings out the worst in me, so I'll just live with Bay Area traffic. Don't get me wrong, Bay Area traffic is bad, but not as bad as L.A. traffic.

Anyway, we hung out for a while, and then went over to the venue. It was pretty packed, and by the time we got there (7-ish), we did not really have any time to get a t-shirt or a tour book. We took our seats, and when looking at the stage, I noticed a 3 Inches Of Blood banner! I know that some band that I don't know had been opening for them, and there was none announced for the show that day, so I freaked out because 3 Inches Of Blood is one of my favorite newer bands! I was really stoked because I had wanted to see them live, but there was never a show close by that I could go to (I think they came to the Bay Area, but I missed it or something). They stormed the stage and had a really good set! I knew all the songs except the new ones they premiered (new album due in March '07!), and at some points, much to the annoyance of the people around me, I tried singing along with Cam Pipes! Well, I could not have been more annoying than the two drunk guys to the left of us who kept screaming their annoying, loud, drunk screams all night (good thing I did not bring my tape recorder!). They said that it was the biggest crowd they had ever played for, and that it was a dream come true for them to open for Maiden. I get the impression that them playing was sort of a last minute deal. One only has to listen to their music to know they have been inspired by Maiden! Them playing it was really icing on the cake man! If you have not listened to their stuff, go over to their website where they have some songs you can listen to. They may get a bit overwhelming in the vocal department. After all, they have two singers.

Maiden came out at 9:30 and it was a great show! There are many reviews out there, so I'll spare you the pain of reading another one. Suffice it to say they played the whole album, played some classics at the end and put on an awesome show. I will say however, that in my opinion, playing the whole album is a brilliant move and that it's a shame they started doing it just now. They are promoting a new album, and what better way of increasing the probability of a fan making some sort of emotional connection with a song/songs from the album than playing all the songs live? By the time they're done playing the new album, the crowd is more than ready to hear the classics, which Maiden delivered! At the end of the show everyone goes home happy, unless you're generally grumpy about life.

So, I have a few questions? Did 3 Inches Of Blood open for Maiden at any other shows? I hope this turns out to be a great opportunity for them.

Was there a tourbook? I personally did not even get close to the merchandise table, but I noticed that no one (at least that I could tell) had a tourbook. I guess I can go to their website and see if they're selling them there. If you have an extra one and want to sell it...

That about does it. If they tour again anywhere close to here, I'll make an effort to get tickets that are fairly close to the stage. I've never seen Maiden from up close.

Here are a couple of pictures courtesy of Baeleron (thanks for the tix dude!). The first picture is of the venue's marquee as seen from the freeway exit. The second one is of 3 Inches Of Blood onstage, and the last two are pretty good shots of Maiden. I understand there is a really good quality video of one of their shows floating around out there. Do you have it? :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

OH YEAH!!! Maiden plays whole new album!

Maiden kicked off their tour last Wednesday in Hartford, CT. Reports stated that they played the new album in its entirety! I was a bit hesitant to believe it since Maiden has been known for their rigidity when it comes to playing certain songs in every tour. Well, the show was recorded and the next day, the recording was posted. I was curious to know so went ahead and downloaded it. To my pleasure, Maiden DID play the whole album! The set list for that show was as follows:
  • Intro
  • Different World
  • These Colours Don't Run
  • Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
  • The Pilgrim
  • The Longest Day
  • Out Of The Shadows
  • The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
  • For The Greater Good Of God
  • Lord Of Light
  • The Legacy
  • Fear Of The Dark
  • Iron Maiden
  • 2 Minutes To Midnight
  • The Evil That Men Do
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name

The trend nowadays is for bands to play their classic (old) albums in their entirety, but playing the complete new album is a very gutsy move. For people like myself who have been wishing for years that they do something with the setlist, this is a very refreshing thing, particularly if one likes the new album (I do!). Maybe someone who is a newer fan and who has not heard The Number Of The Beast played for the 135843th time might be disappointed, but not I! Barring anything extraordinary taking place, I'm set to go down to Irvine on Oct. 21st to see the show with a good friend of mine.

According to the taper, the show was recorded on a cassette tape. Maybe I'll dust my old portable cassette player and give it a go when I go to the Irvine show! Well... maybe not. :) It is a very, very good sounding audience recording. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the whole album got played. I'm really looking forward to the show.

So far, 2006 has produced two of the best albums I've heard: A Matter Of Life And Death, and Dweller On The Threshold by the Tribe Of Gypsies