IRON MAIDEN – DEAD OR ALIVE?
Show Date: October 6, 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Venue: Agganis Arena
This is why I’ll probably never get paid to review any concerts or events.
It’s been a whole three nights since I went to see the Mighty Iron Maiden live, in Boston, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, and I’m FINALLY getting down to writing about it. Cool.
Anyway, the show was good. But just… good, not great.
The band sounded great, had lots of energy for their ages — no offense intended, to anyone, especially since I’M probably not currently capable of the energy good ol’ Bruce Dickinson has on stage — but there was something missing, like… the classics.
Of course the band have been around for almost 30 years, and the classics I speak of are some 20+ themselves, a ripe old age for any song, classic or not. But what the band did was spend the bulk of the evening playing what I believe was the entirety of their latest disc.
Okay, I can respect the desire to get the new stuff out there & heard, the wish to turn more recent compositions into classics themselves, the urge to keep your oeuvre fresh and scintillating. Great. Admirable even.
Unfortunately, most of what I heard bored even me after a while.
Now, I’m usually willing to give something new a shot to win me over, to impress me, to offer a change of pace or additional fodder for my entertainment and edification. I’ve heard some of the new CD online and liked it, am still intending to buy said disc when I get home from vacation.
What I’m getting at here however, is that for Iron Maiden, I’m beginning to think their comeback might be faltering a little.
People dig retro, and I’ve seen a handful of older bands start coming into the new age offering great comeback material, classics and new. But what I heard and saw on Friday was sadly just a little disappointing.
Performance-wise they did great, but in my humble personal opinion, I think they should perhaps salt their set with a few more of the oldies because, let’s face it, the majority of the audience were essentially middle aged white trash (I know it sounds snobby, sorry), young white trash, and late twenty and thirty-somethings looking to relive a little of their past with some classic old-school Metal. Well, I’m afraid a handful of us walked away, after spending some $50 bucks each for tickets, feeling a little gypped.
What I believe a goodly portion of the audience were there to hear were dyed in the wool CLASSICS, like “the Trooper”, “Number of the Beast”, “Run to the Hills”, “Wrathchild”, “Aces High”, “Flight of Icarus” and “Can I Play with Madness”, to name a few.
If we were lucky, we got maybe one or two of those. They played “Two Minutes to Midnight” and perhaps “Iron Maiden”. No real encore to speak of, no massive onslaught of memorable hooks and headbanging, no… no real satisfaction for either the audience or the band.
Oh, there were a few moments of great applause and cheering, Eddie the demon corpse came onstage, huge as ever, and pointed a gigantic tank’s cannon at the audience. Some lighters were raised, fists pounded the air a little and some heads were banged, but overall, the whole affair was rather lacking, all except for some retarded drunken meatheads tooting and yelling after the show, in the cavernous and echoey parking garage. Whoop whoop. Excitement.
It was only about 6 years ago I saw the band both at the Orpheum Theater in Boston, and the Tweeter Center (nee Great Woods) in Mansfield, MA and they OWNED the crowd, kicked some ass, and left everyone feeling elated and on an 80’s leather studded testosterone high for hours, maybe even days after. Both shows were impressive to say the least, which left yours truly with high hopes for their triumphant return. Not to be had.
I’m not saying it can’t happen again. In all honesty, I think it can.
I’m hoping it will.
If the band take some lessons from the lukewarm reception the bulk of their show received this time out, then maybe they’ll see fit to revamp their setlist, keep some new, add some more old, and run with it to show the world they’re not washed up yet (because they’re not).
Truly, when I go to an Iron Maiden concert, I don’t want my pinnacle of excitement to be when they play the intro tape of the UFO song “Doctor Doctor”.
It’s a GREAT f**king song by great f**king band. But they weren’t there, they didn’t play it live, and I didn’t spend my hard earned money to listen to a record of a cool song I have on CD at home… I paid to see one of the pre-eminent classic metal bands do what they do best.
Maybe next time.