Maiden Houston


15 jun 2010, 14:50

I went to see Iron Maiden this past weekend in Houston, and I got to say that it was kind of disappointing. I didn't think Maiden looked like they were really into that night. The other times I've seen a show by them, they seemed like they were really into it.

The trip to the Woodlands Pavilion was marred with traffic jams and people trying to change lanes at a toll booth. That was above frustrating. Then there was a wreck, which had traffic backed up for more than a mile.

Once we got to the Pavilion, I was surprised to hear the opening of Dream Theater's opening song As I Am starting up. I figured they would start late. Every other concert I've ever been to did. So with this show starting up 5 minutes early, I was surprised. We wound up having to go all the way around to the main gate at the venue to get our tickets from Will Call. Then we stopped at the merch tent and got shirts.

By the time we got to our seats Dream Theater started their last song for the night Pull Me Under. That was cool to hear that song live. Over all I think I'd like to see Dream Theater again. Then maybe I'd get to see them perform some of their material in a better environment.

Iron Maiden's show started fairly quickly. I was pleasantly surprised that they were ready to play that quick. The stage kind of looked like a space station, considering they are about to release a new album called The Final Frontier.

I was really excited when I heard the opening bits of Holst's Mars: The Bringer of War. That seemed to fit so well as the intro to a metal concert. The video that was played along the same time was really cool, showing pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, Atomic Explosions and Wars.

Maiden came out on stage and played The Wicker Man first off, then followed up by The ghost of the navigator. Both great songs off the Brave New World album. Then they went right into Wrathchild, which has been a long time favorite from the Killers.

Bruce Dickinson did a little speech and introduced the new song El Dorado from the forthcoming album. Then they played Dance of Death. I actually think of this song as one that I routinely skip on the Dance Of Death album. They followed this up with The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and These Colors Don't Run which are great songs from the A Matter of Life and Death album.

It was at this point that I started noticing more and more people sitting down around me and pulling out their mobile devices. There were lots of people holding conversations on a variety of topics. All of this very distracting from the reason I went to the show. I would have thought that people who spend upwards of $50 per ticket would be inclined to watch the show. Not make it into a social gathering for Facebook friends.

Next they played the song [track artist=Iron Maiden]Blood Brothers, which is a great sing along song. Following that was [track artist=Iron Maiden]Wildest Dreams
, which I think of as a Can I Play With Madness type song. I have always thought that songs like Can I Play with Madness and Wildest Dreams are sub par Iron Maiden tunes. To me they are more like a shot at radio friendly, borderline pop metal songs. This was followed by the repetitive No More Lies, and one of the weaker songs on Dance of Death.

Another great sing along song, Brave New World was played. This was followed up by Fear of the Dark. These are great songs, but the combination of slower songs in a set full of slower paced songs was just not as fun as I had hoped for.

Finally they played Iron Maiden. This is a song that has to be played at every Iron Maiden gig. It was also when they brought out Eddie. I think this was one of the better costumes of Eddie I'd ever seen. When the song was over, Maiden left the stage to come back for an encore.

The encore consisted of The Number of the Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Running Free. When Running Free, a great song by the way, started, Bruce got a Monty Python type police helmet and started talking about Iron Maiden's sense of humor. I think me and the others I was with were about the only people to get the "Laughing is right out!" reference.

The whole night the show was plagued by the vocals being dropped out. During Running Free the vocals dropped for almost an entire verse. There were several other times when Bruce was singing, and nothing coming from the speakers. The band didn't seem to be into playing, and the crowd didn't seem to be into the newer material Maiden had chosen for the tour. Add to that they didn't play two songs I was really excited to hear live. At the Dallas show, their set list included Pachendale and Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. I was really looking forward to hearing those.

So as much as I like Iron Maiden, and have enjoyed seeing them perform every time I've ever watched them, this show was a bit disappointing. I hope next time I get to see them, they will be a bit more energetic and choose a little bit more spry set list. Of course I was really excited that they were not playing some of the songs like 2 Minutes to Midnight and The Trooper again.


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