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Iron Maiden Vancouver

By Oz_Media ·
okay, well I think I can move again, my throat is getting back to normal and I can hear (somewhat).

Tuesday night was Iron Maiden in Vancouver and what a night it was. Before the show I got to meet some old friends on their road crew, amazing how these guys are still at it after all these years, didn't catch 'arry and the lads preshow though, they are pretty tied up and isolated before taking the stage.

The show itself was a stunner, just like Powerslave in '84, but somehow even better. Vancouver (apparently)marked the first gig on the tour so far where they had the Pharaoh's head split in half and reveal the old Eddie mummy, what a classic!

Anyway, they played Transylvania while running video of the Iron Maiden 757 landing at an airport, some tour clips etc. showing the band getting set up etc. Then they ran into Churchill's speech, the opening chords of Aces High started up and the sold out arena went insane! The cue was hit with 6 major pyro shots as the stage lit up and they went into Aces High, with Bruce in TOP vocal form, much better than other stops on the tour so far anyway, plus the Coliseum has phenomenal acoustics. What best to follow Aces with but Two Minutes to Midnight? After TMTM, Bruce did a wee intro and said how happy they all were to be back in Canada, they were all pleased to see such a huge fan base and how Canada was into Maiden a full 2 years before the USA and they haven't forgotten it, etc.

Straight into an old Piece Of Mind favorite, Revelations, they tore the stage up, Bruce running a marathon, Steve Harris firmly planted on the monitors with his galloping bass lines and with Janick turned down so low you can barely hear him, as usual (there's just no place for his sound in older material).

The Trooper backdrop curtain appeared, Bruce in his British Army reds waving his Union Jack started to belt out the opening words "You take my life but I'll take yours too!" Man, that guy can still break the octaves out like he did 30 years ago.
Moving forward in time a bit, they went straight into Wasted Years before the stage went blood red in the dark Coliseum and that familiar Vincent Price intro started "Woe to you oh, Earth and Sea" many more columns of HOT fire blasted through the opening bars of Number of the Beast, make that through the entire song! Followed by Can I play With Madness, the pace was picked up before slowing right down with Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (one of my most memorable moments of the '84 show). Once again, the Coleridge passage was recited under low level lighting as the light rigs dropped and swayed to the creaking sounds of an old ship. The second half of Mariner was to an amazing fireworks spectacular popping from the upper rigging to simulate the thunder and lightning (much more impressive than thunder and lightning though!).

No time to catch your breath as an ancient classic was played for the first time in over a decade, Powerslave, with Dickensen hitting every note effortlessly, or it appeared effortless anyhow. Heaven can Wait and Run to The Hills kept everyone on their feet (seriously, right to the top of the upper blues everyone was standing and rockin' out) until the lights dimmed, the lighters came out and then blazing spots hit the audience as Bruce let Vancouver begin the first verse of Fear of the Dark. While your mind is still sparking from the energy and cold chills run down your spine, there was no time to catch your breath as without hesitation they played the opening bars of Iron Maiden to an ecstatic crowd; this is where the Pharaoh's head split (just like the Powerslave tour) and a giant mummified Eddie closed the song with sparks shooting from his eyes (too cool for words!).

After a brief, false exit, the band came back to play an encore set including another giant walking Eddy (this time the Somewhere in Time version)as they played Moonchild and the Clairvoyant, the show finished with Hallowed Be The Name. Bruce commented the crowd made him think it was a Friday night crowd, that they had a new album due out soon and would be back far more often than in recent years.

All in all, WOW!

In true Maiden Fashion, the light rigs were on the floor before most people had reached the doors as they are off to Calgary for the next stop on this grueling tour schedule. Having joined one world tour in the 90's, I can tell you it is exactly as tough as and far tougher than you'll hear.
How these guys pull it off year after year, this year an even bigger tour due to Ed Force One (Maiden's converted 757 for hauling the band and gear around the globe) is beyond me, talk about stamina, must be all the football (aka soccer) they play with local teams.

Backstage, I was giggling about Janick, while he is always fun to watch as he dances around, throws his guitar in the air, plays the Townsend windmill, all the while you don't hear a flaw in the sound or a single note from his guitar. It's too bad, he's a great guitarist, but the third guitar just doesn't work in to the older stuff.

ahhh, but we love to watch him play, even though it is only one step above air guitar when touring with Maiden.

Again, had some beers with friends on the crew, what a tight bunch they are; as they have always said, it's the Maiden family and a family it truly is. I think this is what makes it all work year after year, family and good friends.

As for a warm up act, Lauren Harris (Bassist Steve Harris' daughter) was absolutely stunning! Visually anyway, her sound was incredibly sibilant, with a small frontline her sound was weak and needed more work, but that's what you get when you aren't the headliner. I think most reviews have been pretty harsh on her, she sounds like POSH spice but rocks like Pat Benetar, Americans so far have said she was awful and that her set sucked, but that's to be expected from people who don't like anything new or different. UP here she seemed to have a better reception but still has a long way to go, with her first CD releasing soon, I don't think she'll do that bad after all.

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Right sure

by Ben "Iron" Damper In reply to Iron Maiden Vancouver

"Americans so far have said she was awful and that her set sucked, but that's to be expected from people who don't like anything new or different"

And how do you justify that statement?

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And how do you justify that statement?

by Oz_Media In reply to Right sure

I have worked in and around the US record industry for the last 20+ years. \I have travelled and promoted music around the world and currently work to support North American acts seking development contracts outside of the country (though I am slowing right down and getting into other things these days, as contracts expire I don't actively seek new ones an simply take on personal projects that interest me).

The trends are set by the big four, they own the radio stations, cd stores, venues etc. Complete and utter market domination and musical styling control.

Kids buy what they are told/forced/brainwashed to buy due to overrtotation and retail space domination (I've been a payola guy for a label, my job was to bribe stations to increase rotation, with free trips, lumps of cash for teh program directors and DJ's, hockey/basketball games etc.). Payola has technically been banned, but it is still part of the insutry today and just falls under greater scrutiny. For this reason, the big four decided to buy everything they could to stop paying payola.

I started a company with three offices, two in teh US, to scout acts and get them packaged to go after development and tour deals around the world, OUTSIDE of North America. Bands get a fair shake in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Brazil and especially Japan.

The labels don't want to own a band but will fund development and tourig for them.

In other countries, musical tastes with teens are widely varied, in North America kids get beat up for listening to their choice of music or expressing their individual choices. They are left out of social circles as "he listens to wierd music"! Meanwhile kids are loading songs that they would NEVER have found or chosen on their own into i-Pods because that's all teh stations have forced on them.

I am sure you remember when Enrique Iglasias was a teen idol? How so? Marketing by labels, overrotation and saturation of the marketplace got kids buying music made for grandma, in the same playlist as Nirvana.

Artists are not allowed self expression, they have no staying power as North American fans have NO loyalty and simply buy what they are told is flavour of the week.

Market research and demographic over the years proves that North Americans will not choose to demonstrate self expression unless it is cool or hip to do so. Other than that they have closet cases but it is kept quiet.

Don't take my word for it, I just speak from personal experience, you'll have to hear it from one of Americas big four before you'll buy into facts though.

Seeing as most people I talk to here already know, accept and understand this is the way things are now, I think that NOT knowing these issues just shows your lack of understanding the industry as a whole.

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I wonder.

by bassrage In reply to And how do you justify th ...

How seriously should we take a so called expert who can't even spell Bruce Dickinson's name right? Not to mention Eddie, not Eddy. I wonder indeed.

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None at all

by Oz_Media In reply to I wonder.

In fact go crawl back into your igloo and forget you ever read it.

That's why I have an editor proof my copy before it is submitted, I am not gonna pay to have TR posts checked though.

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lightening strikes dan... He agree's with oz

by DanLM In reply to And how do you justify th ...

chuckle, couldn't resist oz.

But I agree with everything you said about the media conglomerits. They shove it down our throats. All you have to do is listen to the radio. And the click thing with music and kids is so true. All you have to do is listen to what is blaring out of windows of cars or house's. I have a daughter who is 17, and I can say the same for what she listens to. By the way Oz, she probably likes Iron Maden too. I know I do.

roflmao, oz... I'm sorry, I have to say this.. He nailed you on spelling... God, that's usualy my problem not yours.

Glad you enjoyed the concert.


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by Oz_Media In reply to lightening strikes dan... ...

I have two editors who check my copy before it goes out so I usually don't pay any attention.

I should have paid more attention, I doubted my spelling at the time too but couldn't be bothered to confirm it, I was in NASTY shape at the time, not even close to being coherent.

Anyhow, some icicle living in Nanuvut wouldn't know a good concert is it smacked him in the face. At least he got a spelling poke in, makes him feel SOMEWHAT a part of the rest of the world.

I was actually at the show though, not reading about the real world on the internet, so I guess I get the last laugh anyway. :)

We (a friend and I) shared a press box with about 20 others crammed onto the patio overhanging the endzone during the show, here's a crappy little compilation vid I did with a Sony Cybershot.

Didn't cath the very end of the show so the encore is cut short and missing Hallowed Be Thy Name (which I wanted to get too), we were trying to get back downstairs before the crowd let out, most of the highlights are in there though; unfortunately they don't have private elevators like GM Place does, you just have to beat your way through the crowd to get to the dressing rooms/press rooms for M&G in the basement.

P.S. On another note: Our largest local newspaper interviewed Bruce and Steve, in his press release he spelled "Iron Mayden" wrong, so I don't feel too bad when some twink finds a spelling mistake and gets a little boost of self importance off of it.

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Glad you had a blast :)

by w2ktechman In reply to Iron Maiden Vancouver

when I saw Maiden, I was too messed up to remember hardly anything (but some of your descriptions brought back some memories).

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So was I, as a kid

by Oz_Media In reply to Glad you had a blast :)

I find these days even the bands don't get messed up though. Meeting with crew and event staff I used to party pretty hard with and they are now grey haired with kids the age we were when in party mode is a bit of an eye opener.

the only people that last in the business are those who know when to stop and start doing it right. With the amount of video out these days, it is pretty hard to mess up and not be called on it.

I find that shows are not as much of a sheer adrenaline rush but I actually appreciate and focus on little things through the show more, like lighting positioning, clever sound desk work, colour choices etc. This sure beats babysitting a drunk and stoned band and lets the audience appreciate the show more.

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