So after my time in Paris I decided to catch the train across the border to Germany while my girlfriend caught a plane home. While I was very excited to attend shows in Frankfurt, it is definitely not the most interesting place in Germany. The city is very nice and friendly but unless youíre into high finance and banking, there is relatively little to see in Frankfurt. Thereís an old square, a decent sized cathedral, a large shopping area, and some skyscrapers. I studied in a town near Frankfurt when I was in Germany for a semester in 2011 and I had been to Frankfurt many times before so I was excited for these shows as it felt as hometown as you can get when seeing a show in a foreign country.
It was really nice that they were doing two nights as I had been expected two nights in Paris and they announced Sonisphere instead. I got to the city after a four hour train ride from Paris and did a bit of walking around and bought the new Black Sabbath album at the German equivalent of Best Buy. While there I noticed that they had taken all the Iron Maiden CDs and displayed them prominently all across the music section of the store. Pretty cool. Frankfurt felt like such a small town compared to Paris that it seemed like everyone there was going to the shows, you saw an Iron Maiden shirt on every street corner.
I had FTTB for the first night so after checking in to my hostel (which was really nice and much better than the other hostel Iíve stayed at before in NYC) I headed over to the Festhalle around 3:30. The venue itself looks really cool although it's just one part of this massive complex and confusing as hell, I couldnít figure out where the damn entrance was for the longest time. Getting into the venue with the FTTB crowd was just as much of a madhouse this time as it was in Paris, no order, no security telling us what to do or controlling the crowd. Just one guy who had us all line up in a giant block with our toes on a line like we were about to run a track competition. When he gave the word everyone started sprinting and pushing and jostling. We got to some large oak doors to get inside the venue and people were getting stuck in the doors and shoved up against the wall behind them, it was a mess. I ended up getting through them easier than many others and grabbed a spot on the rail in front of Dave and Adrian. However, it was already very crushed up there because everyone was trying their damndest to squeeze in. The general line was let in a few minutes after that and they seemed to act less like barbarians than we did. The venue looked really cool on the inside because itís a 100 year old hall with a large dome in the middle and curvy rows of balconies going back on the sides. It definitely looks like itís from a different time period. The seating section was actually pretty small so the lionís share of the 12,500 fans were on the floor. Sold out both nights I should mention.
I was very glad they had a second and third barrier out on the floor.
Voodoo Six did their thing after a long wait and again they were ok. By the time the intro tape for Maiden started rolling the crush was pretty heavy but I was thinking that would happen. When I saw Motorhead in Germany the crush was so bad it was a big distraction from the show. Thankfully that wasnít the case this time. While it was pretty heavy and led to a few sore ribs for days, it was manageable and not much of a distraction. There was a complete asshole behind me and my friend who we decided after the gig was more than likely responsible for a surprising proportion of our crush because he wouldnít stop trying to take our spots all night until near the end. One of the first things I noticed about this show was that Bruce sounded phenomenal and continued in that form all night. Of course itís hard to remember exactly but this seemed to me to be the gig that Bruce sounded best of all my 2012/2013 shows so far. Aces High may have been the highlight of this show, it sounded awesome. The guys seemed to be really enjoying the energy of the sold-out German crowd who were quite loud. They were more reserved than the French before the gig started (as per the expected norm when the house lights are up and thereís no band on stage
) but were very high-energy once the show started. I may still have to give the edge to Paris but both were very fun atmospheres. It was very cool having the show end knowing Iíd be back in the same building doing the same thing the next night. It was the first time Iíd ever seen any band perform two nights in a row in the same place.
Afterwards I snagged a German event shirt. I was afraid they were gonna sell out after I wasnít able to get one before getting on the barrier but they had plenty since they are doing six shows in Germany. It looks pretty cool. They finally busted the Eddieís head open so itís more Seventh Son-esque and its got Neuschwanstein Castle on it with a wintery backdrop and the old-school circle design. Outside the venue there were a lot of vendors set up selling beer and all kinds of sausages, it was very tempting. I walked down the road to my hostel to rest up and get ready for another great gig the following night.
2. Can I Play With Madness
3. The Prisoner
4. 2 Minutes to Midnight
5. Afraid to Shoot Strangers
6. The Trooper
7. The Number of the Beast
8. Phantom of the Opera
9. Run to the Hills
10. Wasted Years
11. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
12. The Clairvoyant
13. Fear of the Dark
14. Iron Maiden
15. Aces High
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Running Free