Hard Features

Iron Maiden, Halford, & Queensryche @ Irvine Meadows

All Photos Courtesy of Troy Welles

Well, even with the crazy LA freeways, our accidental trip through Compton at 11 PM, and basically being lost for far too long, I must say this show was worth the 30-hour road trip. Saturday was spent on Huntington Beach (where do these women come from???), cruising down Sunset, and hanging with Brent Muscat (LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, Bubble) ‘til 4 AM. On Sunday, my pre-show conversation with Halford’s Metal Mike went great (see interviews). Thanks to the folks in catering for the hospitality!

Rob Halford singing on stage
Rob Halford

Before sundown, Halford hit the stage with a blistering rendition of the title track to his new album ‘Resurrection’. Since we were in the photo pit, the view was amazing. You can just imagine the veins in Rob’s head during the high notes! Other highlights from the new record included tunes like ‘Cyberworld’ and the new single ‘Nightfall’. Too bad Bruce didn’t come out and do “The One You Love To Hate”! I have much more appreciation for Fight after seeing ‘Nailed To The Gun’ & ‘Into The Pit’ played first hand. The rest of the performance was spent in the glory days of Priest with classics like ‘Tyrant’, ‘Stained Class’, ‘Electric Eye’, and the obligatory ‘Breakin’ The Law’.

Geoff Tate singing with a mic and stand
Geoff Tate

Patrick Lachman’s wife escorted us backstage (thanks Suzette!) but since Maiden never showed up to the Meet & Greet, we got the audio version of Queensryche’s set. Glad to know they dropped the Pink Floyd-ish ‘Silent Lucidity’, as I’ve seen them twice before, and with all due respect, it’s a bit of a yawner live. After opening with ‘Revolution Calling’, I was happy to hear classics like ‘The Lady Wore Black’ & ‘Queen Of The Ryche’. Still not hitting that high note in ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’ eh Geoff?

Bruce Dickinson on stage looking to the right.
Bruce Dickinson

Then the show REALLY went into full force. Bruce & the boys are back with a vengeance! Of course, ‘Wicker Man’ was the opener. What happened to the lyrics ‘your time will come? The coolest part of the single isn’t even on the album! Still, I couldn’t complain. Aside from the new songs, their traditional material included ‘Wrathchild’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Number Of The Beast’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, ‘Sanctuary’ &‘Iron Maiden’. I could’ve lived without the two Blaze Bayley tunes (although Dickinson sounds great doing them), and I would’ve swapped ‘The Evil That Men Do’ & ‘Fear Of The Dark’ for ‘Run To The Hills’ & ‘Wasted Years’. I don’t recall hearing ANYTHING from ‘Somewhere In Time’ (???) which was puzzling. Janick Gers (does this guy ever stop moving?) fought Eddie with his guitar, Bruce impersonated Indiana Jones, and inside the BIG Eddie, they burned the Maidens. The backdrops, the pyros…Everything was astonishing. Every note musically & vocally was perfect. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

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