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Old 07-12-2010, 10:17 AM
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Maiden33 Maiden33 is offline
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Iron Maiden -- Holmdel, NJ -- July 11th, 2010

Alright, as usual, with any time Maiden tours, I will be writing my own review, because I just have too much to say that I'd rather post it on its own than make a huge reply to someone else's topic.

I said on here via the "What Are You Doing" Thread, that "Nothing brings everyone I know together quite like a Maiden tour", and that's the honest truth. Between the show in New Jersey last night and the show in Bristow, VA on the 20th - I will probably have seen 80% of all the people I know. For this show though it was myself, my band's drummer, my best friend, and his girlfriend in our car. We left Allentown on time around 12:30, and stopped and ate lunch and went to the legendary Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ en route to the show. Money was tight, so there was certainly no spending spree for me, but I still love visiting that place. We got down the PNC are around 3, to be told by venue staff that we could not park in the lot till 4 or 4:30... so instead we were able to navigate through the barriers and find a secluded lot just off of where the venue is. We parked there and hung out til around 4 when we moved down to the main lot. Over the next 2 hours I mostly roamed around and met up with some friends of mine, many of which I hadn't seen in quite some time. It's always good to do that sort of thing, and for some reason Maiden shows always seem to the best place to make it happen. At like quarter of 6 we lined up to get inside, and gates opened right around 6:30. My friend and I made our way down to the front of the lawn and managed to grab an absolutely great spot right against the lawn rail, a little bit left of center.

At 7:30, followed by an intro from legendary metal blow-hard Eddie Trunk, Dream Theater hit the stage, and pretty much slayed. Their set did not drag in the least bit, driven by the generally shorter, heavier song selection. I think I did more pure headbanging for Dream Theater than Maiden, if only because their song selection was better suited for it. The highlights of their set were the super-metal "As I Am", the epic "Home", and the purely amazing "Pull Me Under". As you would expect with DT, everything was played pretty much dead on, and Mike Portnoy even threw in the drum intro to "Where Eagles Dare" into his mini-drum solo. Sadly it seemed like no one near me even caught that.

Dream Theater setlist:
01.As I Am
02.A Rite of Passage
03.Home
04.Constant Motion
05.Panic Attack
06.Pull Me Under

After a fairly brief changeover, Maiden hit the stage just around 9 PM, and as expected, it was pure bliss. Seeing a show open with "The Wicker Man" had been a dream of mine for years, as Brave New World was my first Maiden album, and that was the song that truly made me fall in love with the band, so when Adrian hit that opening riff, it was amazing. As expected, Ghost of the Navigator was amazing, and got a fairly good crowd response. "Wrathchild" was naturally one of the higher energy points, but in a set filled with so many other songs I love so much more, I can't help but nominate it for one of the 2 or so lowest points of the show for me. What it might lack in quality though, it makes up for by it's to-the-point punchy-ness, which makes it very enjoyable. "El Dorado" was fantastic, I enjoyed it a lot more live than from the studio version. They picked up the pace a little bit and it just sounded absolutely ballsy and rockin'. I loved that Adrian used his gold top les Paul on it as well.
Next up was one of my biggest sources of frustration with the show - "Dance of Death", one of the songs I was most excited to see again, but I just was astounded by the lack of excitement in the crowd. Most people were even refusing to participate in the infectious clapping bits. The band played the tune brilliantly though, and the weather on the lawn seemed absolutely befitting of the musical vibe. Adrian's solo in this was incredibly executed. "Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg" was its typical great but somewhat plodding self, though that chorus is great to sing with live. Dave took some liberties with the intro solo, but that's to be somewhat expected.
Next up was probably my favorite period of the show. "These Colours Don't Run" was probably the one A Matter of life and Death track I really, really wanted to see live again, and this performance of it was incredible. Bruce intro'd the song with an absolutely brilliant little speech that actually kinda gave me chills, and made the song seem that much better. After that it was the incredibly poignant "Blood Brothers", another song I had previously dreamed about seeing live one day, as its been one of my favorite Maiden songs for years. The Ronnie James Dio dedication was the perfect little addition to make it that much more meaningful. After that they kicked it up with a very fun and energetic rendition of "Wildest Dreams", which actually seemed to be a crowd favorite amongst all the newer material. Another great Adrian solo there, I really got my second wind at this part of the show. "No More lies" was great to see live again, but possibly the biggest gem of the entire show for me was "Brave New World", which I have been singing the live praises of and dying to see live again for over 6 years now. It did not disappoint in the slightest, it was just brilliant.
After that, the show got exciting for everyone else but honestly slightly more boring for me. "Fear of the Dark" is no doubt an incredible live tune, but having seen it by Maiden and Maiden tributes countless times, in a set filled with great nuggets, I couldn't muster the same enthusiasm for it. The same was true for "The Number of the Beast". "Hallowed Be Thy Name" always manages to pull that last little bit of energy out of me that I never thought I had left, because it always just that incredible. "Running Free" was of course great fun, and I don't get the hate. I think it's an really awesome way to end the show on a lighter note.

Iron Maiden setlist:
01.The Wicker Man
02.The Ghost of the Navigator
03.Wrathchild
04.El Dorado
05.Dance of Death
06.The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
07.These Colours Don't Run
08.Blood Brothers
09.Wildest Dreams
10.No More lies
11.Brave New World
12.Fear of the Dark
13.Iron Maiden
Encore:
14.Number of the Beast
15.Hallowed Be Thy Name
16.Running Free

Additional notes: I thought Bruce seemed like he was in an exceptionally great mood last night - as the show did not feature a single negative Bruce rant. No comments about shit getting thrown at the stage, poor ticket sales, an error in the venue management, the state of the world, etc, etc. He talked a bit, but seemed a bit more cheerful and conversational than usual - and why not? The show was sold out, tonight's show is sold out, and he mentioned that in many ways this is actually the biggest North American tour they've ever done. He asked how many people were at their first Maiden show last night, and an astounding number of people responded - the ultimate proof of how Maiden just seemed to be infecting everyone like the greatest disease ever devised.

Also, I can't stress enough my frustration with the crowd. Bruce made another comment about how grateful they were about the audiences supporting them through doing the entire A Matter of life and Death album, and tours like this - and how the band refused to buckle and just do the same old thing that was expected of them. I took this to heart because of the amount of admiration I've had for Maiden's live sets in the past 5 years, but frankly in a sea of seemingly relatively unpleasant people who just kept shouting for "The Trooper", it seemed like somewhat empty words. I guess that's sort of what you get for being on the lawn though. I'm sure I'll be singing the praises of the crowd from the rail on the 20th.
Another word on the setlist: Watching this show last night really made the whole thing "Click" for me. Yes, these are newer songs in the big picture, but it is not to be understated what most of these new tunes really mean to me and the dozens of others I knew personally in attendance. Sure, "The Wicker Man" may have only been written 10 years ago, but it essentially brought Maiden to a new generation - and these songs (Brave New World, Wildest Dreams, No More lies, Dance of Death, Blood Brothers) are the songs MY generation of Maiden fans have now grown up with and love. I bought Dance of Death the day it came out in stores, it is ingrained as a part of my musical history personally - so when I hear these tunes live, I can't help but revel in the glory of feeling like I'm 13 again, and there is nothing else in the world that matters more than these songs and this band.

I'm also very anxious to see where The Final Frontier charts in America - Bruce was very adamant about everyone buying it and trying to make it debut at #1, and I think in today's music industry, it's an attainable goal. I definitely plan to do my part.

Also, I found part of the transcription of Bruce's "These Colours..." intro bit:
"You don't need to be a soldier or fight in some fucking war to be a warrior. You can be a warrior of peace. You can be a warrior for your family. But one thing that all warriors have in common is that they never fucking give up."

A fairly relaxed and care free (yet as hard on my neck and voice as ever) night with my absolute favorite band of all-time, proving for the umpteenth time why they are the best band to ever walk the earth.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:31 AM
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I totally agree with just about everything you said. "El Dorado" is fucking awesome live; I love the added backing vocals on the chorus.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:43 AM
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Thanks, considering that's the stuff I can't post, haha. I'm sure I'll post pics from the DC show because my sister takes pictures of everything.

Speaking of: Myself, Butcher of Birth, and Irritated Trout should all get a group picture if we're gonna be waiting in line together all day.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
Thanks, considering that's the stuff I can't post, haha. I'm sure I'll post pics from the DC show because my sister takes pictures of everything.

Speaking of: Myself, Butcher of Birth, and Irritated Trout should all get a group picture if we're gonna be waiting in line together all day.
And me >.<
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:12 AM
The_jman The_jman is offline
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Nice review man, you're making me wish even more that I were going haha.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:18 AM
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And me >.<
I don't know you that well.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:20 AM
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I don't know you that well.
I'm 16 and I'm going to be wearing either a Slayer or Megadeth shirt, there, that's all you need to know you hater >.<.

Haha it doesn't matter though, I'm stuck with seats.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:21 AM
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I'm 16 and I'm going to be wearing either a Slayer or Megadeth shirt, there, that's all you need to know you hater >.<.

Haha it doesn't matter though, I'm stuck with seats.
No Maiden shirt? No wonder I hate you.

Are they good seats?
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:23 AM
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No Maiden shirt? No wonder I hate you. :P

Are they good seats?
Eh not really, 304 Row C.

And boy I'm going to get shot for this, of the 2 band shirts I own...Maiden isn't one of them . I'll prob pick 1 up that night though!
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