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Head Wound City -- Los Angeles, CA -- September 21st, 2014
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Otherwise -- Sturtevant, WI -- September 19th, 2014
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:09 PM
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Iron Maiden -- Bristow, VA -- July 20th, 2010

Well, where to begin? I guess this will work out best if I start from the beginning... the very beginning. First of all, if you know me, and you know how I treat concerts, especially for bands I really love - it's not just a show, it's an experience - and this was absolutely no exception. There were two shows on Iron Maiden's "The Final Frontier 2010" Tour that were closer to me than this specific show at Jiffy lube live in Bristow, VA - but I couldn't get the tickets I wanted for those shows, so my sister and I decided to drop about $105 per ticket on GA Pit tickets for this show. I absoluely detest Iron Maiden's First to the Barrier competition, and was incredibly happy that they weren't doing the drawing for this show - not that it would've wound up making much of a difference in hindsight. I figured things were golden, and an 11 AM arrival at the venue would've secured our spot on the rail. I had no idea what would lie in store for me. But more on that later.
Given that this venue was located about 4 hours from home, my sister and I decided to stay the night with our good friend Scott, but his place was rendered impossible by a storm which left him without running water - so just before we left home at 6 PM on Monday night, we had a change of plans and headed to his friend's very nice and large house which was very spacious and everything worked out for the best there. We arrived around 10PM, bed around 1, and up at 7 AM on Tuesday. Unfortunately we got lost on the way to the venue (took a wrong turn), and that delayed us a good 45 minutes - so instead of our planned 10:30 arrival it was more like 11:30. We came fairly prepared with drinks and chairs and a few other things. Our general group for the day was about 8 people strong, including a few very cool people from here (IrritatedTrout, Butcher of Birth) that I really enjoyed meeting up with. As usual the first several hours pretty much flew by, aided by the venue's close proximity to a 7-11 down the road. Unfortunately it was about 95 degrees and sunny, and we were stranded on black top with virtually no shade. That in mind, I managed to make it out with minimal sunburn. Around 4:30 or 5-ish we took everything back to the car and got in proper "line" mode. We (along with everyone else) were getting incredibly anxious, and there was this anticipation that at 6:30, all hell would break loose. And it did.
Disaster struck Jiffy lube live at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 20th. I think everyone had concerns over how Paperless Tickets were going to work with the whole GA Pit experience, and it failed. HARD. With standard tickets, the process would've gone off without a hitch, and we would've been in quick and simple, probably on the rail. First, when they started letting people in, certain guards frisked people and others didnt, which resulted in half the lines getting people in a good 20 seconds before everyone else, and chaos just broke out everywhere. A bunch of people operating the receipt-printing machines had absolutely no idea what they were doing, and the machines were malfunctioning. Tickets weren't found, wrong tickets were printed, people got held up for a good 30 seconds. It was just absolute fucking nonsense, which resulted in all the people we knew (who had been there since 11 AM) getting fucked out of the rail. In the end, I guess it comes down to luck, for if we picked a different line, none of this may have happened. But that doesn't excuse the absolute incompetence and inconsistancy across the board of the venue staff. There is no reason why they couldn't have had someone bring out one of those machines earlier in the day and print our receipts in a calm, timely fashion, so we were all cleared when gates opened. The 3 minutes between 6:30 and 6:33 were some of the longest and most painful I've ever experienced, complete with the brutal run around 60% of the perimeter of the venue to get to the pit entrance. Considering all the bullshit that went on, the fact that I wound up 3rd row, pretty much where I wanted to be in terms of side of the stage was a fucking miracle. But at what a cost. I was DYING when we finally got down into the pit. It was 95 degrees outside, so it was well over 100 down there with everyone pressed up against eachother. There was more than one moment during Maiden's set where I really felt like I was going to pass out. Not to mention the people were just animals, which brings me to my next rant of sorts.
I don't think I'm ever going to get pit tickets for Maiden again, because I am sick of dealing with the people. Every time I think I have seen the rudest, most idiotic thing someone could possibly do, it quickly gets topped. First off: I don't care where you came from, how much money you spent, and how many other shows you went to (no offense to those who do that stuff, I went to two shows this tour), if you got to the venue after me, get the fuck behind me. I can't stand people who show up late and then insist on elbowing and pushing their way through the people to try and get a better spot. I am also tired of getting the impression that apparently 95% of all serious, hardcore Maiden fans know absolute shit about music on the whole. I don't just mean "music I like", but those token folks who seem to think metal is simply Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, and Metallica - and everything else sucks. You can love Maiden as much as you want and it's fine by me, but these people just come off like complete clowns. This also goes for the people shitting on and making fun of Dream Theater. Hey, if you've given them an honest shot and don't like them, that's cool. But there is absolutely no question that the amount of musical chops must be respected, and that they are without any doubt one of the best opening bands Maiden have had in America in a long, long time. Hell, I'd honestly say one of the best ever. If this wasn't good enough for you, you will probably never be happy. I hope Maiden actually does bring Kittie on tour next time so people might actually have something to bitch about. Also, it's very inaccurate to bitch about support in the mindset that "if they weren't here, Maiden would be playing". Ummmm, no. Maiden's headlining shows on a proper tour have never, ever exceeded two hours (approximately). If it wasn't X support band, it would be Y support band. End of story.
So anyway, onto the sets themselves. Dream Theater was great I thought, to be honest I may have had a slightly better time during their set than Maiden's, since I could still breathe comfortably. It goes without saying that everything was brilliantly played, and for himself, James sounded pretty good. I would've liked to be closer to Petrucci, but second row for Dream Theater in any form is fine by me. In the middle of their set they did a really fun medley of Maiden teasers, at the end of which none other than Adrian Smith walked out on stage, clearly amused. It's SO rare to see anyone from Maiden pop out before their set, so seeing Adrian just standing up there chuckling was a real treat. They were trying to coax him into an impromptu cover of The Prisoner, but it didn't happen. Damn. I still feel privileged to have whitnessed that really great bit of fun. The crowd in the center was very into DT, but over on my side it was just an OK reaction. I thought they were great, but still probably could've assembled a better setlist. Oh well.

Dream Theater setlist:
01.As I Am
02.A Rite of Passage
03.Home
04.Maiden Teaser Medley:
-Where Eagles Dare
-Run to the Hills
-The Trooper
-The Prisoner
05.Constant Motion
06.Panic Attack
07.Pull Me Under

So, after a half hour wait that seemed liked an eternity in the heat with my already extreme dehydration, Doctor Doctor hit the PA and things started picking up. The Wicker Man was the absolute blast of an opener I always expected, and the set as a whole was great much as I expected. I wish I would've had more energy left, but I kept finding little bursts of enthusiasm when I thought it all was gone. My only realy out for a disappointment/"lowlight" would've been Breeg, which I just think kinda drags live. I quite like the song, it's just pretty sludgy and doesn't translate THAT well live aside from the chorus. I have to confess Blood Brothers wasn't quite the magical experience I had drempt it would be, but still, seeing one of my absolute favorite Maiden songs live was a treat. For highlights, I'm gonna have to first go with "Brave New World", which I have been singing the live praises of for years. I absolutely love this track done live, so much power as the song progress, continually picking up. "These Colours Don't Run" was also fan-fucking-tastic. I think this is absolutely the best live song from the last record, and I would definitely be up for seeing this yet again before Maiden calls it a day. I think that's probably a legit possibility given the great response it got and the band seem to really enjoy playing it. I also really love Bruce's intro speech he's been doing before it. "El Dorado", again, rocks live much moreso than in mp3 form. "Dance of Death was superb as expected, and the clapping bits are a blast. Adrian seemed to be having lots of guitar troubles, and kept coming back with his tried-and-true beautiful gold-top Gibson les Paul. It's hard to really mention specifics about a Maiden set, for every show is the same in some sense - Maiden doesn't have a bad night. As usual, there is a certain amount of "holy shit, I am this close to them" going on, and the interaction is so much fun, especially with Steve. I unfortunately didn't catch anything, so I will have to keep worshipping just my Adrian pick from 2008.

Iron Maiden Setlist:
01.The Wicker Man
02.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

The show ended on time just prior to 11 PM, and we filed out quickly and just sat in the lot for about an hour afterwards. My sister and I then made our way back up into Maryland and I was in bed by 2 or 2:30-ish. We departed to come back around noon, but unfortunately ran into tons of delays along the way - resulting in not actually getting home until 5:30 PM. To say my ass was sore from all that time in the car (nearly 12 hours out of 48 total away from home) would be a colossal understatement.
And that's a wrap on The Final Frontour '10 experience. Was it worth the effort? Yes. Was it worth the money? Eh, maybe not, we spend a lot just to make it all happen. There was a lot of frustration, but at the end of the day, it's hard to let it bother you much when you bask in the glory that is Maiden live, especially from that close. I'm just not sure I'm willing to do it again. I've seen Maiden 4 times from within 10 rows of the stage, that might be enough for me.
A HUGE thanks to everyone I met up with and hung out with that made this whole experience worthwhile and a lot of fun. You guys rock.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:20 PM
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Honestly, judging by the Facebook status updates I saw over the past 24 hours, I thought something awful happened. This isn't so bad. Some of that really sucks, but it sounds like it was still a really great show.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:21 PM
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Sorry bout the pit thing bro.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Honestly, judging by the Facebook status updates I saw over the past 24 hours, I thought something awful happened. This isn't so bad. Some of that really sucks, but it sounds like it was still a really great show.
It was, no doubt. But it felt like the world was ending at 6:35 PM yesterday, hahaha. Also, I was just updating my status from my phone, I wasn't going into much detail. "FUCK LIVENATION!" seemed totally appropriate at the time. Everyone was fucking pissed except for the people who wound up benefiting from the fuckery - such as the kid directly in front of me who got into less than 5 songs in Maiden's entire set. I was (and still am) just really fed up with a lot of things, that going to see Maiden just isn't that fun to me anymore. I just don't think I want to do this again.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
It was, no doubt. But it felt like the world was ending at 6:35 PM yesterday, hahaha. Also, I was just updating my status from my phone, I wasn't going into much detail. "FUCK LIVENATION!" seemed totally appropriate at the time. Everyone was fucking pissed except for the people who wound up benefiting from the fuckery - such as the kid directly in front of me who got into less than 5 songs in Maiden's entire set. I was (and still am) just really fed up with a lot of things, that going to see Maiden just isn't that fun to me anymore. I just don't think I want to do this again.
I guess maybe next time avoiding paperless tickets may be best..even if it means taking chances.

Also if anyone wants to read my review it's in the other thread.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:28 PM
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Well, without any doubt I will never, ever do another Maiden show with GA + Paperless Tickets. My first experience with the system was OK being that it was a 2,000-capacity all-seated show. But this was such a god damn clusterfuck.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:29 PM
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My write up will be almost the same as yours up until getting in the pit. I fortunately found a spot surrounded by "old" people that didn't push, weren't tall, and eventually let me onto the rail before the encore.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
It was, no doubt. But it felt like the world was ending at 6:35 PM yesterday, hahaha. Also, I was just updating my status from my phone, I wasn't going into much detail. "FUCK LIVENATION!" seemed totally appropriate at the time. Everyone was fucking pissed except for the people who wound up benefiting from the fuckery - such as the kid directly in front of me who got into less than 5 songs in Maiden's entire set. I was (and still am) just really fed up with a lot of things, that going to see Maiden just isn't that fun to me anymore. I just don't think I want to do this again.
That's disappointing, man. I love seeing Maiden live and have enjoyed all three shows I've seen a good deal, but I can sort of see what you mean. They're not my favorite live band. They're a band I would go to the ends of the earth to see, and they're my favorite BAND, but I'd rather be at a GA only, small venue Clutch show or Opeth show or some other show of a smaller band with a very consistently dedicated fanbase than a Maiden show. I'd like to see them two more times before they retire, and possibly a third if they announce a "last show" somewhere (London? Rio?), but I can see them not being a band I'd enjoy seeing as much the 12th or 13th time around.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:36 PM
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Anybody else love the "Or, somewhere near Washington DC"
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
That's disappointing, man. I love seeing Maiden live and have enjoyed all three shows I've seen a good deal, but I can sort of see what you mean. They're not my favorite live band. They're a band I would go to the ends of the earth to see, and they're my favorite BAND, but I'd rather be at a GA only, small venue Clutch show or Opeth show or some other show of a smaller band with a very consistently dedicated fanbase than a Maiden show. I'd like to see them two more times before they retire, and possibly a third if they announce a "last show" somewhere (London? Rio?), but I can see them not being a band I'd enjoy seeing as much the 12th or 13th time around.
Yep, pretty much sums it up. My goal has been 10 shows before retirement, and I still may very well accomplish that (at 6 as of this one), just from less impressive and more comfortable vantage points. I might do GA Pit on the next tour if it's going to be the proper album tour at a venue I like, without paperless tickets. But the next hits tour I'm sure as fuck not going through this again.
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