Nicko McBrain -- Frankfurt, Germany -- November 5th, 2011
Well, I'll start by saying that I've already written a nearly 7 page word document regarding this show although I'm sure no one wants to read something that long. I'll try and do a short review here. One thing I gotta say is that words do not do how cool last night was justice. Nicko is so energetic and entertaining and you just can't help but love the guy. Hell, this show could've been billed as a comedy tour and no one would've gone home disappointed. He was funnier and more lively than most comics I've seen on Comedy Central (I've only seen one live comedy show and that was Jerry Seinfeld). He also played a few songs, talked about Maiden, promoted his new kit, took questions from the audience, signed stuff and just generally goofed around. One of the great things about this show was that it was so spontaneous. There were times were he obviously had planned out what he was gonna say, like when he was promoting the new drum kit, but he would just go off on tangents all the time and just tell stories and jokes that were all over the place. One of my favorite bits was his impersonations of all the other Maiden guys.
As far as songs go he did The Trooper, 2MTM, and Moonchild with Flight 666 backing music. The video screens behind him spliced his playing and the F666 DVD together, it was pretty neat. He did The Wicker Man up to the chorus after the last verse and he did a medley of different parts from Where Eagles Dare (that intro :drool:). He wasn't supposed to do Hallowed but he did on the spur of the moment (more on that in a minute).
It was cool just being able to yell stuff out to him all night and have him comment back or make a joke about you. It was very personal too, the lights were up and there were only maybe 100 people there. He was also on a very, very tiny stage with no barrier that was only elevated by about a foot. I was in the front so I was about 2 feet from him when he spoke and 3 when he played. It was so cool.
The question and answer session was fun, it was cool to have him answer my question. I asked him, “Are there any songs in particular, that either haven’t been played live before or haven’t been played in a long time, that you would like to do—“. I was going to say “on a future tour” but he had already given a quick and matter of fact response of “Alexander The Great”. I was pretty shocked and the crowd all started cheering. He then got really excited about the song and about how great he thought it would go over live. He started mouthing all the drum parts and singing the riffs and having fun. He then looked me in the eyes (:party:) and explained that they had rehearsed it, although he didn’t say when, but that Adrian couldn’t get the weird solo part down right (from 4:02 to 4:38 in the song I think). He sung the part and asked if I knew which part he meant and I'm pretty sure he meant that. He said that Steve originally told Adrian to play it like that back in the day and that Adrian couldn’t get the timing of it right during rehearsals.
He said that Janick had offered to play that part for him and Nicko got a funny look on his face and the crowd had a good laugh about it. Nick said that Dave just sat back and didn’t say anything when Jan offered to take the part. In the end he said it would be a really cool song to do and he’d like to do in sometime and the crowd definitely agreed. I was really glad that my question had got such a warm response from both him and the crowd.
A lady asked the last question. She asked him what was the hardest Maiden song to play and what was his favorite to play. He said that all the songs have their own difficulties to them except for the ballads. He said it was nice to play Coming Home because it gave him a break during the gigs. He then started singing the lyrics and making fun of Bruce and it was really funny. He said that When The Wild Wind Blows was one of the really hard ones because of something about playing so far behind the beat it’s almost off-time. He said he only got it right a few times on the whole tour but that the guys did a really good job with it and encouraged him. He then said that his favorite song to play was Hallowed. The crowd gave a big cheer to the mention of that song and someone shouted that he should play it. He said that it wouldn’t be right to play it alone but he did go over to his cymbal and start hitting it like he does in the beginning of the song and started singing the lyrics.
Everybody else joined in and soon the intro was being sung very loudly. This really got Nicko going and he ran over to get behind his kit and, as everyone was still singing the intro verses, he started into the song. The reaction was awesome. The whole crowd kept on singing and then began singing the riffs where the song picks up speed. We sang all the lyrics and all the riffs up until a little bit after the last verse. It was very loud, and very spontaneous, and very cool. Once it was over Nicko came back over to the mic and seemed very, very impressed by our enthusiasm. He thanked us all for coming out and for making it the best night of the clinic that he had done so far. He said that he wished he could bring us over to England to show them how it’s done.
Oh, and Sooty was also there but he sat off to the side. Nicko had a different dog puppet on his drums. He said it was because it wasn't a custom kit, it was a replica, that Sooty wouldn't sit on it. After the show was over (which lasted a little over an hour and a half), Nicko went backstage for a few minutes and then came out to do another signing session, his second of the day. At the first one I got my copies of AMOLAD and 7th Son signed and Nick was very friendly but I wasn't too talkative because I was very nervous. I was glad I got a second shot at it though because I talked to him a lot more when I got him to sign a poster they were selling of him after the gig. It was very cool and he even personalized it to me without me asking him to. I also got a picture with him (and the camera guy moved the camera too quickly right as the flash went off:hmm:) and he was very humble and sincere about thanking me for coming out to see him. I thanked him for the great night and said I'd see him later.
Ended the night by getting a Twix McFlurry at McDonalds (first time I've been there in I don't know how long). I don't think we have them in the States but it was chocolate bits, caramel sauce, and cookie pieces in vanilla ice cream. There's usually not enough stuff for the ice cream but this time there wasn't enough ice cream for the stuff. It was great.:lol: I feel like the average American would gain 10 pounds if they introduced them back home.
Great, great night.
2 Minutes To Midnight (with F666 backing music)
The Wicker Man (up until the solo)
The Trooper (F666 backing music)
Drum Solo (pretty long one)
Where Eagles Dare (Bits and pieces of it)
Hallowed Be Thy name (up until after the last verse, surprise performance)
Moonchild (F666 backing music)
A few of the many pictures I took:
That's so cool, man, congratulations! I'm a diehard Maiden fan myself, so I can only imagine how much of a thrill it must've been to be so close and have so much interaction with him.
I love how Maiden won't play a song that's requested like hotcakes because of a solo Adrian can't figure out yet they've been playing Hallowed Be Thy Name for almost 30 years and neither Murray nor Smith have never, ever, ever, ever, ever played those solos properly. Honestly if Janick playing or butchering it playing is what its gonna take I say go for it at this point.
Sounds like you had a fun time though.
awesome report man !
Nicko is the only one I have never met but that's how I imagine him
So I guess there's hope that Alexander the Great could be played on the next tour. Adrian must practice!
this was so cool to read Man, it sounds like you had a great time and your writing reflects that. Very Awesome!
things like this always sound so interesting. thanks for the review.
Great review, sounds like it would of been a good night, hope he brings something like this to Australia.
I was at a drum shop in Sydney in 1992 to buy some sticks and in walked Nicko, and for the next hour he entertained all 10 of us who happened to be in the store at the time with his funny sense of humour (he could make a living as a comedian)and just bashing on the kits in the store.
Standing right behind him as he played Where Eagles Dare minus the band was something i'll never forget :D
Those pants :lol: so metal!! :rocker:
Come on Adrian! don't let Janick play that section, he will kill it
Learn that freaking thing again
pleasee haha :D
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