Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wasted Years

I arrived in Denver on 29th of July 2005. Turned out, I missed Iron Maiden in concert by 2 days. My host for the first few weeks had been to the show. I asked for pictures, and there was just 1 - him outside the venue. "The show was so mind blowing I couldn't take any more pictures", he said. I cursed my luck, travel agent and Thai Airlines. Iron Maiden had some old geezers who hadn't been young since the 80s, so what was the chance I'd see them again?

Years have passed, and I've gotten to see nearly everyone on my checklist, but on Monday the 14th it finally happened. Iron Maiden played in "Comfort Dental Amphitheater" to a 12,000 strong crowd. Incidentally, Comfort Dental Amphitheater has to be the worst venue name ever since Staples Center (screw you Lakers!!), so the locals call it Fiddler's Green. Me and a few friends got some drinks going. As always, in spite of being the DD I drank way more than anyone else - 6 shots of whiskey and so was in a good mood by 7 pm. Mostly. My stupid camera refused to switch on and I was pissed that I would do worse than my host from 5 years ago.

Dream Theater opened, and since I don't care about pansy ass "progressive metal" bands, I walked around the venue drinking and buying merchandise. Soon we were ejected from the seats we were squatting on and thrown all the way at the back where we really belonged. No matter, the view was still great, and had midgets in front of us. The curtains came down and after the first note I knew why it's so hard to take pictures in an Iron Maiden concert. Bruce Dickinson is a fuckin' legend. Not sure why he needs a mike, his voice is brutal. And if I'm a tenth as fit at 50, I'll go run a triathlon.

I knew most of the songs, and sang/screamed/head-banged for an exhilarating 2.5 hours. Set list

The Wicker Man
Ghost Of The Navigator
El Dorado
Dance Of Death
The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don't Run (notice the spelling?)
Blood Brothers
Wildest Dreams
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden

The Number of the Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Running Free

My neighbor was a fan putting on a Chewbacca impression. He was quite wasted, and was going "Aaaauughhh" non-stop. My voice was dead for 2 days after the concert, wonder how bad his week was. El Dorado is a new song, and sounds pretty heavy and good. He introduced the song as being "relevant" and having rap in it, to appeal to the masses. Ah never mind, fuck you record execs, he said and started yelling again.

There were jokes about the England-US worldcup game, barbs to google and apple/iphone for being the big brother, and disapproval that we weren't loud enough. After the first 3 songs, Bruce welcomed everyone to the show. It was clear that we were in his backyard. That made the difference. When I saw Metallica, they were genuinely happy to be in Denver and under the lights. Iron Maiden, on the other hand, said "you're welcome".

The debates on whether they should have played Trooper, Run to the hills, Powerslave and other oldies will go on long after the concert (and hopefully till the next one). While I don't like anything from Maiden post-Dance of the dead (and that too grew on me), this was as good as it gets. The lads at Maiden are looking ahead. They want the 20 year olds to cheer for No More Lies, sing along with Blood Brothers as their 50 year old parents stay at home to balance their checkbooks. They're talented musicians, and while Trooper would have blown my mind, I ain't complaining - that encore had my ears ringing.

Dead throat, broken neck and a grin I couldn't wipe off for the next week. Up the irons!


Bird said...

Good for you, man!

Here In Franklin said...

Hey now--I'm 51 and I haven't balanced a checkbook in 30 years.

Australis said...

Nobody worthwhile ever comes to this country so I've stopped looking at my list, too depressing!

I know one thing for sure though...I will die unfulfilled if I don't see DCFC at least once.

Damn happy for you - awesome feeling must be, to strike a name off. :)

Rassles said...

Um, YES they should have played Run to the Hills. I would have been pissed.

Thanatos said...

Bird - Indeed!

HiF - What do 50 year olds do then?

Australis - Thanks!

Rassles - Elitist!