Iron Maiden "Brave New World" -- Mountain View, CA -- September 16th, 2000
TOUR: Iron Maiden / Brave New World Tour
SUPPORT: Halford, Queensryche
VENUE: Shoreline Amphitheater -- Moutain View, CA
DATE: Saturday, September 16, 2000
ATTENDED W/: Motorhead Jeff
GEAR WORN: n/a
MERCH PURCHASED: 1 Maiden Shirt "Here I am Mum!"
MOSHING REPORT: n/a
EDDIES AWARDED: n/a
REVIEWED: January 9th, 2005
It is 1986. Hot Turkey Ed hears Iron Maiden for the first time in his British Literature Honors class in high school. The song: Rime of Ancient Mariner off Live After Death, vinyl on a really bad record player. He doesn’t give it a chance, as Maiden is the music of the freaks, losers, and outcasts who have significantly lower GPAs and constantly wear stupid black shirts all the time.
It is 1987. Hot Turkey Ed owns the classical music he has grown up on along with a couple of Weird Al and Dr Demento albums. He sees Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night” video on MTV and soon buys a cassette. No one else hears it or even knows he has it.
A few months later, Turkey goes off to college to get edu-ma-cated. This guy named Nicko (no relation but one hell of a coincidence) wanders by Turkey’s dorm room while Turkey is freely blasting his now worn Whitesnake tape. Nicko tells Turkey there’s something he has to hear and slips Piece of Mind into Turkey’s white boy ghetto blaster. Hearing only “Where Eagles Dare”, Turkey’s musical life is corrupted forever.
Within weeks, Turkey owns all of Maiden’s studio albums and Live After Death which quickly becomes his favorite album of all time and Rime, his favorite song of all time followed closely by Revelations. Turkey buys Seventh Son of A Seventh Son on cassette on its release a year later and wonders where the hell those fucking synths came from but loves the album dearly anyway.
It is 2000. Now an early thirty something who skipped music during the 90s, Turkey hears on the radio that Iron Maiden is playing an amphitheater down the road from his dotcom digs and calls a ticket broker the next day to secure the best possible seats at whatever price because god damn it, it was time to hear Iron Fucking Maiden.
That’s really where our story begins. Iron Maiden stopped in Mountain View at the Shoreline Amphitheater on Saturday, September 16th, 2000 on their Brave New World Tour. That show was my first metal concert, my first Maiden concert, and the first concert I attended with Motorhead Jeff – a memorial plaque should be laid at Shoreline for that last reason alone.
We arrived very early in the afternoon, despite an unplanned stop at a local grocery store for tailgating provisions. Little did I know that mounted police would be patrolling and enforcing their brand of modern day Prohibition on a very thirsty heavy metal Shoreline parking lot. I completely disarmed the mounty hovering near our truck with my wisenheimer naivete: “This is my first metal concert! My buddy’s a teacher and I’m in IT… we totally don’t belong here… Hey! Can I get a picture of you and horse?” That drove him away and I was fairly free to pound a couple beers until Motorhead Jeff and I decided to head on into the venue.
A noob, I was, not knowing the rules about cameras! I innocently handed my cheap ass digital unit over to a smiling security chick. After yipping “it’s my first metal concert”, the lady let me through and told me just not to flash the bands. I beelined it to the merch stand to buy my very first Maiden shirt. “30 Fucking Dollars? For that, I could get a blow job from that nasty shrapnel chick in black standing by the rest room… Fine.. fine.. whatever.. just give my fucking shirt.” It was the “Hey Mum! It’s Me!” shirt with Eddie on stage and the posing freaks in the audience.
I’ll never forget the walk down to our seats. Section 103. Row D. Seats 9 & 10. Sure, I knew we were close to the stage but knowing is different than actually walking down past forty rows to our 4th row stage-right seats. When you’re that close, even a big concert becomes a private performance. It’s easy to forget that thousands of people are behind you.
On stage was this bald leather-clad mother fucker in sunglasses screeching to the heaviest metal I had ever heard in my life. Ours seats were a few feet from the PA, and it spewed forth a thundering, muddy wave of sound that assaulted and penetrated through our bodies. I awkwardly banged my head around briefly but eventually surrendered to the unintelligible noise crushing my eardrums. So I tugged at Motorhead Jeff, signaled up and out, and we went up to the concessions to have a couple of beers. It is with the greatest shame that I must confess: I walked out on ROB HALFORD.
Queensryche followed and I blew them off too over the objections of Motorhead Jeff. I had no excuse. Somebody should have kicked my ass right then and there. I apologize for bringing shame on my family name.
Darkness fell before Maiden took stage. The crowd was going absolutely fucking ape shit in anticipation. I can’t speak for Motorhead Jeff, but I never heard the intro music. Maiden just burst on to the stage out of the blackness and exploded into an unfamiliar song. It didn’t matter because I was as a deer caught before the headlights of an oncoming Maiden show. I just stood, stared and thought: “Holy Shit! That’s Steve Fucking Harris! Holy Shit! That’s Bruce Fucking Dickinson! Dude, what’s with those fucked up pants? Holy Shit! That’s Iron Fucking Maiden up there!!!”
I didn’t know any of the Brave New World material. Hell, I didn’t even know Bruce had left. That’s out of touch I was with metal in the 90s. Needless to say, portions of the set list were a blur. I clearly remembered the classics from my college years: Wraithchild, 23:58, The Trooper, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. A couple of tracks, like the Clansman, I picked very quickly. How can you forget Braveheart Eddie and a “FREEDOM!” screaming crowd? Fear Of The Dark was completely unknown to me. My Maiden collection had ended with the 7th Son. Iron Maiden (the song) sounded 1000 times better live, and of course, it helped that virgins toasted in the Wicker Eddie.
A very familiar voice soon ignited the crowd: “Woe to you o earth and sea…” The Number Of The Beast! I went back into deer mode and just stared until the reddish flames exploded at the end of the song. I can’t explain but it’s like I can still feel the heat and smell the gas from my first metal pyrotechnics.
The rest of the encore was a bit of a blur. Bruce invited the first few rows to the rail, teaching us noobs the meaning of the Maiden Sardine Can. My route to the rail was a bit different. Earlier in the night, I bought beer for two stoners immediately behind Motorhead Jeff and me. My reward? They threw me on the top of the fish in the makeshift pit who carried me right up to the front. I rushed back to my seat to do it again. The crowd was totally cool about it; no one pummeled me although I did lose my pager. A guy at a pet store in San Francisco returned it a couple of days later after responding to my text pleas of “I’m lost. Help me find my way home.”
Alcohol is nothing compared to post concert Maiden Euphoria; I practically floated back to the car. Every few steps I screamed “MAAIIDDEENNNN!” clearly exhibiting a case of Metal Tourette’s. Motorhead Jeff and I hung out in the parking lot until things cleared. I cracked open the remaining beers and handed them out to those in the same boat. On the way home, we stopped at In ‘N Out. Normally, I order food like a third grader but I fucking slammed a Double Animal. There were a few concert-goers doing the same; you could just look around the joint, give the horns and get an immediate post-concert shitgrin and some horns back.
I was a tad hungover the next morning. There was an unfamiliar buzzing in my bedroom, some kind of ringing really. The hangover I cured with a Taco Bell lunch but the ringing lasted three days. I wore my new Maiden shirt (probably still reeking of beer) to work and reveled in my adventures to all who would listen. No one could shut me up – like I could hear them talking anyways. Soon after Maiden Euphoria came post-concert depression. I began lurking on the Iron Maiden bulletin board and buying albums again. Many people consider the Brave New World tour historical for many reasons but all of them were lost on me. It’s important to me because that tour delivered my first Maiden show, the exact day metal permanently re-entered my life. UP THE FUCKING IRONS!
Jaco died for our sins so that modern bass players could be free to play more and be heard.