Iron Maiden -- Holmdel, New Jersey -- June 14th, 2008
Some people get a natural high out of gore and guts, racing cars, or even reading or collecting comic books. That is all fine and dandy, but then there are folks like me who love having their ear drums constantly destroyed for two or three hours while being in the company of friends and total strangers going nutty and acting like they are eighteen again because the sound of hard rock and heavy metal music creates a sense of being a part of a brotherhood that can never be fully described by just words. Some people might not get that, but that is what makes hard rock and metal so special to the people who love it. However, due to the outrageous prices of gas, concert tickets, shirts, and even food. It is really hard to predict as you gamble your hard earned cash on if you are going to get your bank for your buck when you go to a live hard rock or heavy metal arena concert because a lot of bands from the eighties are unfortunantlly getting older and they can’t jump around and act crazy on stage like they use to when they were younger and in their prime.
However, that isn’t always the case because I got my back for my buck as I saw Iron Maiden perform in front of a sold out house on the second leg of their current tour appropriately titled “Somewhere Back in Time” at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey for the second time in three years. The special guests included Lauren Harris and Trivium. I felt honored not only to see Iron Maiden again but to be a part of this period in their history because not only did they celebrate thirty years of their music. They also played a lot of great songs they have not played in a long time. But before I review the spectacular show Iron Maiden did. I also want to give a little back story on my New Jersey adventure and also give a little review on the two opening acts, Lauren Harris and Trivium.
When arena concert season hits summer time traffic becomes a pain in the neck because you want to get to the venue early so you can get a bite to eat something, do some tailgating, talk to new people, and get a shirt in your size if you plan on buying one before the doors open. That was not the case this time around because getting to PNC was a walk in the park but that is because the price of gas is so high that no one wants to bother traveling. Before me, my friends Kevin, Timmy, and his girlfriend, Inna left for New Jersey we did a little shopping and filled up a cooler with beer and soda as well as got some sandwiches from “Subway” to also store in the cooler. After that was done, it was off to New Jersey and the show. On the car ride to PNC we blasted anything but Iron Maiden because you don’t listen to the band on the car ride to the band you are going to see. A little bit of traffic kicked in as soon as we were thirty yards from the venue. We waited about fifteen to twenty minutes to park the car and do a little tail gating. After we got out of the car we took out the cooler, some lawn chairs, and a mini boom box so we can blast tunes from Tim’s I-pod. After everything was set up, we eat our food and had a few drinks. I didn’t have any beer because I don’t drink due to personal reasons. But I digress. We also tied my British flag with a cut up “Killers” shirt held on smack dab in the middle by safety pins around a tree to show our love for British heavy metal and Iron Maiden. After I was done eating my sandwich I decided to take a walk to find my other friends in the parking lot from New Jersey who were also going to the show but I had no luck finding any of them but as I walked around the parking lot I could not help but smile to see old and new “metal heads” because they were all being there for the same reason. To be apart of Iron Maiden history! But there were some people who looked like they didn’t want to be at the show. But who am I to point the finger on who is a “metal head” and who isn’t? So I went back to my area and it was time to head upstairs.
As the doors began to open and the first act, Lauren Harris was beginning her set, I took my flag, we got inside the venue, I bought a special New Jersey/New York event shirt, and found a nice spot in the lawn area as Lauren Harris was performing I think the third or forth song into her set. After she got off the stage I had some mixed feelings about her performance because although she is beautiful and I mean beautiful. Musically speaking, Lauren Harris is the pop/heavy metal version of Avril Lavigne/Hannah Montana except she more talent than the both of them but that still isn’t saying much. I do wish her nothing but the best and I do hope she will be able to reach some sort of demo graph but the fact of the matter is that she is only on the tour because her father and bass player of Iron Maiden, Steve Harris wants her to expose her music so she can try and find her audience. As harsh as this may sound the only peral of wisdom I offer her is that she won’t find that audience at this year’s Wacken metal festival. I could be wrong though. I will admit though that her guitar player wasn’t bad and some of her songs weren’t bad either. Her performance wasn’t great. But it wasn’t bad either
Trivium was the next act to go on stage and there isn’t a whole lot I can say about them. For anyone who attended one of the L.A. shows where the bill was Lauren Harris, Anthrax, and Iron Maiden. Consider yourself lucky because unfortunantlly we got the short end of the deal. Although this, was my second time seeing Trivium in three years. I was still not impressed by their music but I would rather see Trivium open up for Iron Maiden than Bullet for my Valentine.
The very second Trivium left the stage it started poring rain like there was no tomorrow. It was like mother nature knew that Iron Maiden was up next and wanted to create a beautiful intro before I they took the stage. As it was raining cats and dogs while thunder crashed in the sky, everyone at the top of their lungs while soaking wet began to chant “MAIDEN, MAIDEN, MAIDEN!” Now remember when I said I got my bank for my buck? That is true because since it was raining so hard the security opened an area where people from the lawn area were able to go inside the venue to dry up and enjoy the show. I got an “orchestra area” spot for the price of a lawn area ticket. The chants were still going on as we waited with excitement for Iron Maiden to take the stage. The wait was finally over as “Doctor, Doctor” by UFO was played over the PA system to not only be used as Iron Maiden’s intro music but too also to get the crowd revved up and ready to fly. The arena became pitch black and there were two big video screens played some footage of Iron Maiden getting off the plane and greeting fans from around the world as the instrumental, “Transylvania” was used as the back round music. The arena grew dark once again."... We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . . " As footage from world war two played on the two big video monitors this was the excerpt from the speech, “We shall fight on the beaches” delivered by Sir Winston Churchill being used to open up the amazing show Iron Maiden was about to put on. As soon as the speech ended Nicko McBrain began the show by pounding on the drums to the intro “Aces High.” Everyone went nuts and cheered as the first of many big explosions of fire works entered the band on stage! “THERE GOES THE SIREN THAT WARNS OF THE AIR RAID! THEN COMES THE SOUND OF THE GUNS SENDING FLAK!” I felt like I took a time warp back 1985 when Iron Maiden filmed and recorded a live video and CD for, “Live After Death” at the Long Beach Arena in California. Thousands of crazy Iron Maiden fans around me including myself screamed every lyric at the top of their lungs. By the end of the song my voice gave out as I was already covered in rain and sweat. But I did not care because I still sang every lyric though out their set list at the top of my lungs as I waved my British flag with pride. I could nitpick a lot on the set list that they crafted but I am not because every song they performed last night was top notch and some songs had their own little twist. The band was in also top form. The stage show was astonishing to see as I stood is awe as the pyro, explosions, and backdrops created a whole new experience for the old and new Iron Maiden fans. If Satan ever decided to open a theme park. He would be Iron Maiden’s stage show as the theme. Some of my favorite songs of the night that almost made me shed a tear or two were “Wasted Years,” “Heaven Can Wait” and “Powerslave,” just to name a few but if there was one song that took the cake last night would be the song that has not been played in twenty three years. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Words cannot fully describe how great that song sounded so heavy and great being played live. Everything about that song to the last detail was perfect from the fog machine that was used in the middle section of the song to create some great special effects on the backdrop to the build up when lead singer, Bruce Dickinson unleashed an unholy scream as the beat drops triggered some amazing explosions. When Bruce Dickinson yelled, “SCREAM FOR ME, NEW JERSEY! ” That was the cue to play the main riff to another song that made my night, “Iron Maiden.” That song made my night because there will always be Iron Maiden fans in the world wherever you are. They also brought out an old friend of theirs as well when once again Bruce Dickinson screamed, “SCREAM FOR ME, NEW JERSEY!” Their mascot, Eddie popped out as a giant from the mummy head statue dressed as a mummy with snakes danggling and sparks flying from its mouth. I once again felt like I took a time warp back to 1985. It was so ludicrous but awesome at the same time. The stage show was so unreal what they did this time. After thirty years of touring Iron Maiden is still a band that never fails to deliver and always put 110% into everything they did last night. When Iron Maiden left the stage before the encore people were once again chanting “MAIDEN, MAIDEN, MAIDEN.” The band once again took the stage for three more songs to end the show and I could have not picked three better songs to end an amazing show with. The encore began with a rare gem, “Moonchild.” “The Clairvoyant” which was another song that made my night brought out a giant Eddie once again dressed as his cyborg self from “Somewhere in Time” as he pointed his gun to the crowd and they ended a great show that will be in my heart forever with “Hallowed Be Thy Name.”
I have been going to club and arena shows since I was fifteen-years-old and each experience is better than the last every time I go to a show. It feels great knowing that I am able to share my experience with my friends and you because hard rock and metal is a strong binding force in my life that I have experienced and shared with others. It also feels great seeing old and new fans of the music coming together for it. I just cannot explain what an awesome feeling that is as you and everyone else in the room are wrecking their necks, messing up their voices, and enjoying every minute of it because your every day life is worthless when you are shouting “IRON MAIDEN IS GONNA GET YOU. NO MATTER HOW FAR!”, or when Nicko McBrain is demolishing your ear drums with his fast drums beats, or even when you see Bruce Dickinson running around on stage like a crazy person like he is prime again while still sounding better than he did 30 years ago! Iron Maiden did what they said out to do last night with flying colors by taking New Jersey on a trip “Somewhere Back in Time.”
POSERS SAY METAL IS DEAD BUT I NEVER GAVE A FUCK. HAIL AC/DC, OVERKILL, AND FUCK POSERS!!!!!.
Last edited by Electric/Funeral55; 06-15-2008 at 04:40 PM.
Reason: Forgot to add something.