Iron Maiden -- Guadalajara, Mexico -- February 26th, 2009
Tour: Somewhere Back in Time Tour, Final Leg 2009
Headliner: Iron Maiden
Support: Lauren Harris and Carcass
Venue: Arena VFG, Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
Date: February 26, 2009
The day started out bright and early at the airport in Monterrey, Mexico. We flew out 7:00 a.m. for Guadalajara, which meant that we had two hours of sleep. I was wearing my new Mexico event shirt that day, so most of the people in the airport saw this tall white guy with an Iron Maiden shirt on and probably assumed that I was with the band. Funny looks there! The guy at my gate told me that the airplane was still there (Ed Force One) and that I would be able to see it on my way to my plane. He, and a couple of his female assistants, showed me videos that they took with their phones when Maiden arrived the previous day. Pretty cool! Also, during our walk in the airport, we kept seeing clips on the news of Maiden's show the previous night. The Monterrey news stations were proud to have Iron Maiden in their city and every 10 minutes or so, they showed a two-three minute video clip from the night before. We would never get this in the States! These guys rule!
I didn't see the plane as I walked out onto the asphalt towards my plane. However, as my plane made its way towards the runway, something caught the corner of my eye. It was Eddie's image. My plane turned and headed towards Maiden's plane. I was excited and pulled out my camera to get the perfect shot. It was only 40 or so meters ahead and I was waiting. Then, the damn stewardess snapped at me in Spanish and went on and on. I realized then that I was not supposed to have electronic devices on. I was like "shit! What the hell!" I ended up putting my camera away and just had to watch, as we rode right past their plane. It was beautiful! I was probably less than 100 feet from it and would have had time to take at least a dozen or so pictures. Damn it! Oh well. I guess that was better than getting thrown off the plane and missing the Guadalajara show.
I landed in Guadalajara, grabbed my luggage, caught a taxi, and checked out the city on my 45 minute journey to the downtown area. Right away, I felt very uncomfortable. This part of Guadalajara resembled a very poor slum. Graffiti was everywhere and things just didn't look safe. I also noticed as soon as I landed that the smog and air pollution was horrible. I never knew that people could survive in such pollution. My sinuses were stinging bad (and stayed that way for a day or so after I made it home). I made it to my hotel, which was on two streets that were torn up (construction) and I was about ready to head back to the airport. This place looked like Beirut. I decided to give this city a chance, made my way up to my room, and then crashed...A few hours later, my buddy Mark made it as he had a separate flight. We both agreed that we were either going to get mugged or a$$ raped there (all in good humor).
Finally, it was time to head to another Maiden show. We met up with another new friend from the Maiden board and grabbed a taxi. I was glad we met this guy, as he spoke fluent Spanish and was a great guy to hang with.
After an hours drive, we finally made it to Arena VFG. This place was way the hell out of Guadalajara. It is an indoor rodeo arena that is owned by some famous bull fighter or rodeo star (something like that). It was a very odd place for a Maiden show. We made our way in and instantly felt right at home as soon as we saw the crowd and the great people there.
Not long after we walked towards the stage, Lauren Harris began her set. Fortunately, my buddy had to take a crap and I needed a bottle of water, so we headed away from the stage. We stayed away as long as we could, but still had to watch some of this set. Eventually, Carcass took the stage. Damn, these guys just tear it up! Their set was brutal and I just couldn't get enough of it! They eventually ended, and we waited for the main event. Aaah, another Maiden show!
Maiden came out and did a repeat performance of the previous night. It was awesome! The mummy Eddie was working better in Guadalajara and the show was nothing short of perfection. The crowd and arena were smaller than the previous night, but it looked like the place was very close to being sold out. I would put the crowd around 8,000 - 10,000 people. I was concerned during their various pyro displays, when the flames were going through and above the stage lights and eventually their banners above. Somehow, nothing ignited and all was safe.
A favorite of the night was Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This one just seemed a little better in Guadalajara. Every time that I get this song live, it is a bonus. Of course, I feel the same way with Aces High, Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, Phantom of the Opera, and Powerslave. It's a given that we will always get Hallowed Be Thy Name (which I hope will never change), so no need to elaborate there. Overall, the show was great and in a very odd place. It was definitely worth the effort and I couldn't imagine missing this show, now that it has come and gone.
We made it back to the hotel, crashed, and toured the historical part of Guadalajara the next morning, which was a couple of blocks from our hotel. Fortunately, this area was beautiful and full of old, unique architecture. I ended up liking this city just because of this area. I might even give this place another chance on the next tour. We'll see.
I will try to post photos of the event shirt and ticket stubs, just as soon as I figure out how to do it.
Enough of my blabbing. Here is Iron Maiden's set list from Guadalajara:
2 Minutes to Midnight
Children of the Damned
Phantom of the Opera
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Run to the Hills
Fear of the Dark
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Number of the Beast
The Evil That Men Do
Last edited by jeremysaal; 03-12-2009 at 08:05 PM.