Iron Maiden "Dance of Death" -- Los Angeles, CA -- January 31st, 2004
TOUR: Iron Maiden / Dance Of Death
SUPPORT: Arch Enemy, Cage
VENUE: Universal Amphitheater -- Los Angeles, CA
DATE: Saturday, January 31st, 2005
ATTENDED W/: Motorhead Jeff
GEAR WORN: Brave New World California Maiden Shirt
MERCH PURCHASED: None
MOSHING REPORT: None
EDDIES AWARDED: None (but Maiden always counts as 10).
REVIEWED: Febuary 1st, 2005
This isn’t a review; it’s a confession. It’s a short story about me being drunk and stupid, so much so that it ruined a Maiden concert. Listen if ye have ears…
A few weeks after Gimme Ed, I ceased my lurking on the IMBB and began to post frequently. Over the next couple of months, we all watched the gig reports from our friends in Europe after their shows from the Dance of Death World Tour. A lot of us in America were very concerned that Maiden would return to us so quickly after a summer tour. As the European leg progressed, no American dates were announced. There was zero positive buzz, a couple of alleged insiders even claiming that the normal venues had not been contacted. Iron Maiden only announced six dates in the US: four nights in New York City and two in Los Angeles. I paid my usual mild ransom on eBay for pit tickets for the Universal Amphitheatre on Saturday, January 31st, 2004.
Motorhead Jeff and I left in the early afternoon for Los Angeles so that we could make a stop at a humongous military supply store. MJ picked up an olive army bag he would later use for his global travels; I picked up some boots and an American flag to display during the Trooper. Despite our stop-and-go freeway crawl through downtown Los Angeles, we arrived at the Universal complex very early. Passing the Hard Rock Cafe at first, we casually scoped out the CityWalk and found the Ampitheater. It must have 3:30 or 4:00; some teenagers, who had driven sixteen hours from the state of Washington, were already in line….very fucking metal.
We had another reason for being so early: an IMBB meetup at the Hard Rock. We headed back to it, and took up sentry at the bar for an hour until people started showing up. A few of the names on this board were there. Bouville and I talked a lot because he lived just up the road. Of course, he hardsold me on Blaze. TP was there. Pabla was smokin’ hot in her Maiden and glowing horns. I know I’m leaving people out but pounding rum and cokes for two hours impairs your memory. By the time we left the Hard Rock, all of us were lit (except MJ who was driving that night) but I was already unquestionably fucking smashed.
We utterly terrorized the Universal City Walk. Every thirty feet on the walk back to the amphitheater, we shouted “MAAAAAIDDEENNNN!!!!” at the top of our lungs; it would set off an echo of responses from off in the distance. We probably traumatized some poor family schlubs with drunken metal behavior. Our yelling continued well past the massive cattle queue forming through the entry gates to the Amphitheater, although “MAIDEN! morphed into “MoooOOOOooOOOOooooo!” to reflect our new found status in the herd.
Motorhead Jeff abandoned us drunkards for the pit almost immediately. We hit the bar stands to starve off the effects of sobriety, since we hadn’t had a drink in like 20 or 25 minutes. We pounded some beers, slammed an undersized, overpriced shot of Jack, and picked up travelers as Arch Enemy took the stage. I was going strong and two fisted.
Descending the steps to the pit was a real chore because my spectrum of vision was only about three feet. To walk, I leaned forward a bit and let gravity do its thing. Either, my feet would take steps or I would faceplant. I only remember one thing about the Arch Enemy because I wasn’t there that long. One of the guitar players was on stage in a shirt sporting a pentagram, and I took an incredible umbrage to it. It took about two minutes for me to storm out in an alcohol-fueled protest. The details of said protest are classified.
When Arch Enemy returned to Hell, I returned to the pit for Maiden. My beer goggles now extended out to about a foot. I remember the Maiden Sardine can in the center of the pit but not much else. The lights fell; again, I missed the intro music over the PA. Maiden roared on stage with Wildest Dreams, then quickly moved on to Wraithchild. I’ve never really enjoyed Can I Play With Madness and I didn’t that night. Bruce launched into his famous Ice Cube rant roughly before or after.
When Maiden sounded off The Trooper sounded off, I hauled out the American flag I purchased earlier in the day. Someone held up the other side (I think it was SnakeCharmer) , but I could be wrong. I honestly don’t remember. It wasn’t up for long before some clown ripped it down. We hoisted it a couple of more times before the asswipe practically took it from me; I was fucking livid. Unfortunately, I was in no condition for a scrap as standing up without swaying was difficult. Instead, I made the decision that if I could not raise an American flag during the Trooper, I did not need to be at a Maiden concert, period, end of paragraph. I stormed out of the pit yet again for another protest, details of which are also classified. Only to retrieve Motorhead Jeff, I returned for Fear Of The Dark and Iron Maiden. That was my Maiden concert.
Here’s the set list I mostly didn’t see:
Can I Play with Madness
Dance of Death
Brave New World
Lord of the Flies
No More Lies
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
Run to the Hills
We’ve all seen people passed out at concerts and wonder why the hell they drank so much. I didn’t pass out because I can hold my mud. For as much as I enjoyed the concert, I might as well have. I should be writing about the opening to Dance of Death, the lights and barbed wire of Paschendale, or Bruce singing Lord of The Flies. Instead, I’m recounting my worst personal metal moment. So there you go.
During Brave New World, I was a virgin n00b. Our seats, although very close, were horrible because we were in directly in front on Maiden’s PA. Gimme Ed quickly passed me by because I was darting about so much and was buzzing more than I care to admit… and I was still a n00b. In Los Angeles at my Dance of Death show, I royally ratfucked myself because I was just plain old-fashioned drunk and stupid. Beyond the reasons you all would expect, you now know why I am looking forward to my next Maiden, wherever it may be. Although my fourth, it is going to my first and will be a concert like none I’ve ever experienced. Hopefully, you all will be there to share it with me.
Jaco died for our sins so that modern bass players could be free to play more and be heard.