Hard Features

Hard Features

Gig Reviews & Special Features

July 2008

Iron Maiden June 11th, 2008 Allstate Arena Chicago, IL

So I’ve been collectively labeled a dork the past week or so gearing up for the latest installment of Iron Maiden’s epic world tour. Why might you ask? The ‘Piece Of Mind’ shoes I bought last month are a start. The giddiness of the coming weeks before the show for two. Wondering what Maiden tour shirt I was going to where for three. Or maybe it’s the fact that this will be the 12th time witnessing this, an awesome spectacle that is a live Iron Maiden show since I was 14. Since the real ’Powerslave’ tour. Call me what you will, but there’s no doubt that after last night’s show in Chicago, it just reassured me just how big of a fan I actually am.

As with most of us older fans, it almost seems irritating that every other album Maiden seem to put out is a greatest hits, or another live album, or another DVD. You all know you’ve bitched about it. I have too. Yet I still run out there and buy it. Just like you. Just like a lot of you.

I had felt the same way upon hearing about this latest collection and tour. Didn’t they just do this a couple years ago? Well like in many interviews, the band states that these tours are for the younger fans as well. And there are a lot of them. More so now than ever. Maiden Mania is sweeping it’s way across the world. Selling out venues with huge capacities in just hours. It is also doing the same here in the states. And for this, it makes me feel good about being a fan.

It was a trip down memory lane it was. Churchhill’s speech opened things up for the night that tore right into the likes of “Aces High, Two Minutes To Midnight, Revelations and The Trooper”. The crowd in Chicago tonight was not made up of a bunch of metal heads going out to a show to drink a few beers and listen to a band. It was comprised of a packed house of diehard Maiden fans. After these few openers, the crowd was going absolutely ape-shit. Screaming and chanting so loud and for so long, Bruce held his arms out and sat down on a monitor for a few minutes. I don’t believe there was one person who was not involved in this. It looked as if he (Bruce) just may have been able to tear up a little. I almost did. (That’s another dork moment I suppose) I can not really express the way it made me as a fan feel.

And the set rolled on from “ Wasted Years, Number of the Beast, Can I Play With Madness, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Powerslave, Heaven Can Wait, Run To The Hills, Iron Maiden, Moonchild, The Clairvoyant and Hallowed By Thy Name.”

What one has come to expect from a Maiden show is all here. A spectacular stage show with plenty of pyrotechnics , the stage set, Eddie, and the high energy of the band as well as Master Bruce. Or Capt. Bruce these days. The tunes were right on. Sounding just as perfect as on disc. And for those just experiencing Maiden for the first time, this is definitely going to be a show to remember for a long time. This by far for myself was the greatest show (not only Maiden) I have ever seen. And trust me, I’ve seen many.

So if you do not get a chance to catch Maiden this time around, sorry about your luck. Really, I am still in awe over what I witnessed last night. There is still time for portions of the country to catch them. I say DO IT!!! And if you still don’t get a chance, there were plenty of film crews on hand for the evening. And I think that they should use the films from this show for the DVD. Oh come on, you know there will be one. I’m telling you folks, best crowd then in any of their previously released DVDS. Hands down. Chicago, you rule. Maiden, you rule. So until the next one. UP THE IRONS!!!