Orig. posted at: http://www.ironmaiden.org/showthread.php?t=22341
Well, when I finally made it back home and into bed at 1 AM last night I had a lot of things going through my mind. One of them was how the fuck could I make a review tomorrow morning that could adequately describe the show I'd been to that night. Well ladies and gentlemen, here's my best shot:
Fallen Shadow's mom came to pick me up at my house at about 6 PM to go get burritos and pick him up front his bass lesson. After that we drove to our other friends' house, whose dad would be escorting us to the gig. We waiting for our 2 other friend's who were going to get ready, then we hit the road at approxametly 6:40 PM. After driving, parking, walking, and going through light security we entered the venue at about 7:20. We were able to meet up with 2 of our friends who we were planning on meeting who aren't big metal fans but came anyways, and let me tell you, my opinion on them has changed greatly after watching them go apeshit during the show. Then, as we were walking by the merch stand(picked up a Master Of The Moon shirt, which I am currently wearing, and a Holy Diver shirt for my little 11 year old brother who couldn't go) I saw 2 kids who I recognized from the description they gave me on the Dio Message Board. One of them here is registered as MaidenisMyLife but he doesn't post too often. Let me just say that Allan and Justin, you guys are fucking cool dudes and I was so happy for you when Ronnie held up your poster. Your parents are really cool too. Rock on my friends, hopefully we'll be able to meet up for concerts in the future as well So after that we went inside. I had never been to this venue before, but it turned out to be by far the best I had ever been in. It was circular with a balcony and a large floor area(hence "ballroom"). So we all got together and chated by the stage waiting for Fireball Ministry to come on.
Fireball Ministry took the stage at exactly 8 PM, and having never heard them and only having read descriptions from various BB's on their sound I just went in with an open mind. And they did a damn fine job. Not as good as the surprise that Cage gave earlier in the year as the first opener to Maiden, but a decent enough job. The band had phenomenal energy as well, they were headbanging and shooting the crowd down with their guitars ala Mr. Steve Harris. The 2 girls were very good too, they had a good sound overall as a band. The vocals were very muddy but musically they were good. VERY Black Sabbath-ish and that influence they obviously did not try to hide. But nonetheless I enjoyed them. After their short set we scooted up a little closer to the stage for Anthrax. During the break between sets I took particular notice of 2 things:
1.) There were FAR more Maiden shirts than any other type of band T-Shirt I saw, including Dio(also saw someone with a Silicon Messiah shirt )
2.) There was a shitload of people my age and even younger. In our little area to the right of the stage there must have been 20 teenagers. The younger generation is not lost
Billy Steel of 1077 The Bone came on to introduce the mighty Anthrax, and the lights dimmed and some weird clown music came on the loudspeakers. Then out of nowhere they kicked into the opening riff of N.F.L.
AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The place erupted into a frenzy, and thank God I was not dead center because there would be some issues. The song absolutely ripped, tons of fist pumping and singing along. Even the non-metal freaks who came in our group(no one had really listened to Anthrax before except Fallen Shadow and me) went bananas. I gained a lot of respect for them right there, it was kind of funny watching my little spiky haired friend in a black button-up shirt and aviator glasses(Lord help him) headbang like a bastard The girl who came with us was next to me as well and she was going insane too. It was funny all so because they would just take a quick glance at what I was doing and then copy me But hey, that's what its all about and I'm so happy they were able to be there with us that magical night. Next, Anthrax ripped into Caught In A Mosh, which was just crazy. They played their hearts out and John Bush has gained a new respect from me. He slays Belladonna. He gave me and Fallen Shadow a nod as well when he came to our side of the stage. The band just had a load of energy, prowling the stage and making faces and all. The rest of their set included Safe Home, What Doesn't Die, Keep It In The Family, Indians(they did a weird verison of this, not at all like it was on the album), and my 2 personal fave's from the set: Antisocial and Deathrider. It was so much fun singing along to Antisocial, I hadn't even heard that song before the show but I was screaming the chorus as loud as I had ever screamed before. Then Scott Ian gave a nice speech introducing Deathrider tht went something like: "We have a lot of history in this town you know. 1984(some venue I can't remember) we played, this was a time before the mosh pit so I know what this crowd is capable of(little crowd reaction to this)....and that's not it(laughs). I know you just had Exodus and Megadeth last night, is that too much metal for the Bay Area!? Now, I want to see every motherfucking head moving up and down, I don't care if you're a bald fuck like me you all better go home tonight with metal necks. Anyways, this is our first song, from the first album....DEATHRIDER!!!!!!!!!!" Let me tell you, I sure as shit went home with a metal neck Just headbanged like there was no tomorrow for the whole song. Their set ended and the crowd gave a loud roar of approval. Now, let's make something clear: ANYBODY WHO SAW THIS TOUR AND SAYS ANTHRAX SUCKED DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THEY WERE TALKING BECAUSE THEY FUCKING OWNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's better Even my friend's dad who took us said after the show that he thought Anthrax kicked Dio's ass, and while I wouldn't agree they were defintely on par. They made a big fan out of me last night, next time I'm at Tower I'm picking p a few Anthrax titles for sure. During the loooooong wait for Dio our group got kind of separated with all the people trying to nudge their way up the front. This sucked because I was really looking forward to conversing with Justin and Allan some more but unfortunately we never got to see them again. So, after about 20 minutes of waiting the lights went down and a legend took the stage...
The intro to Killing The Dragon came in, and slowly one by one the band members came on stage in the dark. When the intro ended they kicked into One More From The Road, which they performed very well. The crowd didn't really into it too much which surprised me. Aftet this one things started going down. Sign Of The Southern Cross was next, and even if they only played part of it, it was still one of the highlight's of the whole night. How Ronnie keeps his voice in that shape is a human mystery. We will never see another singer who can belt out tunes like that when he's over 60 years old. After that beautifual rendition Simon Wright nailed the drum intro to Stargazer and off we went. This was the first sign of trouble. Throughout Anthrax there was a ton of crowd-surfing and a large moshing circle about 10 rows back of the front, which was expected, but now there wwere constant crowd surfers and the whole front was swaying side to side. it was kind of hard to keep balance but nonetheless we survived that one. One annnoying thing: some dude and his girlfriend infront of me were getting pretty "friendly" and by consequence disrupting my view of the show. My take on this: go on to the balcony if you want to do shit, not down front at a metal show. Oh well. Stargazer went down phenomenally as well, and looking back i'd say that the Rainbow and Sabbath songs were the highlight of the show for me. After that we got to...STAND UP AND SHOOOOOOOOOOOOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Things got rough during this one too, and I don't know what the hell people are talking about when they say there is hardly any moshing/crowd surfing during Dio and that "it's pretty tame." Pretty tame my ass! The most annoying were the fucking skinheads in Slayer shirts who thought they were so tough, and probably came just for Anthrax and then stuck around to cause problems during Dio's set. Again the whole front of the stage was constantly swaying and moving as a big clump making it tough. But for my first floor show up front I think I held up pretty decentl. Had I been able to make it to the railing I would have been better off but unfortunately I was stuck about 3-4 rows back, the worst area for pushing/shoving/etc. Still the song completely ruled, and thank God for the drum solo foloowing it, allowing me a break and a chance to get solidify my spot. After the solo(I must complement Simon, it was not that boring and certainly more enjoyable than the guitar solo, though Craig is just awesome and I have nothing against him). He nailed everything and had great energy thoughout the show. Finally, after ths solo the soft guitar intro to Don't Talk To Strangers insued. But that did not last for long, as a final HUGE push when the song really got going was enough to warrant my friends dad yanking me and Fallen Shadow out because it was getting really tight down there and I could barely move. We crossed the open circle of the pit where the monkeys and gorillas played Luckily I didn't take any cheap shots but my friend got bounced around a few times before making it out. We finally found a nice, peaceful spot in the middle to the left of the stage where we stayed for awhile. During The Eyes Allan and Justin's banner got to Ronnie and he held it up and complemented the guys on making it. Class act The Eyes was a phenomenal song, nice and hevay Next was Killing The Dragon which was a lot of fun too. The combo of Man On The Silver Mountain and Long Live Rock & Roll got the crowd going again. MOTSM sounds so much better played at normal pace, smart idea to do that for this tour. During the guitar solo me and Fallen Shadow went to get a soda, and we came back without having missed a thing. Rock & Roll Children was next and it was unbelievable, such a good song. Then came another highlight of the night: GATES OF BABYLON!!!!!!!! Such a fantastic song, sooooooooooo juicy The spectalcular Holy Diver came next followed by maybe the best song of the night: Heaven & Hell. Does it get any better? I lost my voice screaming the opening verse, and red light in Ronnie's face during the "There's a big black shape looking up at me..." part was just perfect. Again we lost it during the fast part of the song near the end. PURE. HEAVY. METAL. We stayed downstairs on the floor for The Last In Line because it's Fallen Shadow's favorite Dio song, but then we went onto the balcony for the final 2 encores. The view from up there was awesome, we went to the far left almost on top of the stage. It was really cool. Rainbow In The Dark and We Rock closed the show on a high note. We drove home and that was the end of it. Tonight I will see Fallen Shadow and the kid with spiky hair and aviator glass and the girl as well at a Halloween party, and we will talk and remember those moments that really stuck out, maybe it was Caught In A Mosh, maybe it was when Dio took the stage, who knows. But those memories, they will be with me forever. My first floor show, my first taste of a real metal atmosphere.
And I can't fucking wait to do it again
LONG LIVE ROCK & ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !