Live After Death -- Jim Thorpe, PA -- November 2nd, 2007
Tonight myself and 3 good friends of mine decided to head up to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe as I found out about a week ago that an Iron Maiden tribute band, "Live After Death" was playing, and due to our obvious huge Maiden fanship, we figured it was worth the trip as the band was pretty highly acclaimed.
We got up there around 6:30. There were a lot of people there, gradually increasing over the next hour, we managed to grab a great spot right up front while most other people were all sitting on the sides having drinks and whatnot. The show started promptly at 8 PM, and I was really impressed right from the start, as their intro went far beyond what I was expecting. Rather than the predictable prelude of say Churchill's Speech, they had assembled a 2-3 minute intro piece comprised of bits of songs fading in and out (primarilly Deja Vu, "I feel like I've been here before", indeed), as well as spoken word bits (Churchill, Prisoner intro, Seventh Son spoken word), sampled sound effects (gun noises as heard in Where Eagles Dare), and above all, epic orchestral versions of a few memorable Maiden melodies. It built up the anticipation ever so perfectly.
I pretty much predicted how they'd start off, Aces High was no surprise being the name of this band and their history that they got their start playing the entire Live After Death album... the majority of the set was reflected by this, featuring a great number of songs from Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave.
Performance wise I can't say enough about these guys. Firstly being that their singer has clearly studied Bruce in-depth, probably working a long time to perfect just about ever little nuance of his stage performance, even down to the exact screams Bruce is known for doing live. His voice sounded great, better than Bruce does on the average night these days. The guitarist imitating Dave was also VERY impressive, both in the adoption of his persona and the playing, which was flawlessly note-perfect to the studio recordings, as were the Mock-Adrian guy's solos. The rhythm section was tight, though these guys didn't try to capture the essence of their subject's performances quite so much. I would've liked for the guitars in general to be a bit louder but I could actually hear the vocals for once so I'm not complaining.
Overall set-list wise it had it's ups and downs. I was somewhat expecting more rarities, as according to the band's site, they really do play some great less-played songs (Rime, Caught Somewhere In Time, Paschendale, amongst others), but overall it was a good retrospective set with a couple nice surprises. I would've expected more rare stuff and a longer set, but unfortunately this was a double bill with an AC/DC tribute, so I figure that they thought it best to not take too many set list chances. Either way, can't complain, wound up being a fantastic set and performance, I'm VERY glad I went and if you ever get a chance to check these guys out, take it.
2.2 Minutes to Midnight
4.The Wicker Man
7.Flight of Icarus
8.Hallowed Be Thy Name
9.Can I Play With Madness
10.Fear of the Dark
11.Number of the Beast
12.Run to the Hills
** not much of an encore, they didn't even leave the stage, but they got a great response and asked if we wanted one more, so they threw it in. I'm very glad they did.