Sunday, June 24, 2012

Iron Maiden & Alice Cooper 6/23/12

While both Alice Cooper  and Maiden's  the preformances were great the venue  reminds me why I don't like big shows. Big show is putting it mildy on a few fronts 15,000 thousand bodies were crammed in a testimony to the band's staying power. It was also big on a porduction front as well as both Cooper and Maiden had huge Spinal Tap like sets though without the malfunctions.

Alice Cooper went on while the sun still shone, weird though not the first time I have seen him forced to preform in a shed undeer those conditions, he did so in 91 on the Operation Rock n Roll tour with Preist and Motorhead. The daylight didn't diminish his performance. His band was more honed than the other gaggle of hired guns he had working for him back then. This band was comprised of members of Sixx-am, Beautiful Creatures and Dio, as well as know that "According to you" song,when I first heard it at the gym I thought it was Pink myself and last night we were trying to figure out it it was Jennifer Batten. She helped pull the weight were Cooper's aging vocal chord's faltered. He has never been a Bruce Dickinson power house and his pipes have always relied on attitude more than range so it was a glaring problem.
His set could have  have refrained from visting anything past the "Hey Stoopid" period and other wise predictably hit heavy, while the chorus to "I love the dead " was played during his execution scene , the whole song would have been better than "Brutal Planet". Overall I enjoyed his set as Cooper was a early teen favorite of mine so I have seen his full show half a dozen times already, he won the crowd which is a much better job than anyone can expect  of Coheed and Cambria  when they take his place on the final leg of the tour.

  I joked with my friend to be the trailer parks emptied out. I'm sure if you were at any bar  last night you notice not a meth dealer could be found. Another thing I noticed about the crowd was they gave no credence to the metal rule of not wearing a the shirt of the band you are going to see to the show , I think Metallica's crowd also shares this fashion sense. at one point had a guy stop me to take a picture of the King Diamond shirt I was wearing as it was an original from 88 and not the pristine Amazon variety of shirts which dominates the un-Maiden shirt crowd. Speaking of which Maidens shirts were too brightly colored and just variations of art work from past albums, so I skipped out on throwing down 40 bucks for one as I already own four.

Maiden took the stage at 9 and came on strong with "Moonchild" in fact the only song in their set I found worthy of heading to the bathroom for was " Afraid to shoot strangers" which created and exodus to the beer lines. Speaking of  beer those who drank threw down 11 bucks a pop for a beer, when I remember the venue saying there were going to be four dollars beers. I think "Running Free" and "Fear of the dark" were the only two songs I had not heard before and was surprised how well the latter translated live.

 The band appeared to have more energy than when I saw them 15 years ago. Bruce cleared the monitors with two feet to spare , running across the top of the giant set which he sand atop half the show and from his normal one foot propped metal god  stance the other half. His voice benefited from a prominant vocal mix was strong, "Aces High" was the only point where he struggled and the songs could have been placed earlier in the set. This was my first time seeing the 3 guitar line-up, I was surprised how well it worked, they gave it other plenty of space and Janick Gers had some of the bands best stage prescene presence .Thanks to their soccer regiment the bands age did not effect their energy at all,  they bounded and hopped across the stage for the close to 2 hr set.

Sound wise to have three guitars they certainly could have stood to have been louder, either I'm growing death but my ears did not ring a bit ,perhaps there is more of a decibel cap on the venue now due to zoning or something, so beware to those expecting a deafening set from Motorhead when they roll through with Slayer and  the caravan of teeny bopper bands, oh yes and those of you talking shit about Maiden and so sure Slayer will rule , remember Maiden doesn't have to tour with tattooed boy bands to draw. Look for a metal state of the union coming later tonight as my commentary on metal today.  

While their songs have always displayed their chops their were none of the cheesy metal unaccompanied solo or showboating, they stuck working as the time tested unit. Like drugs there's never going to be  another first time to the inital blow away experience was not recaptured from when I saw them as a kid, but they did raise the bar to a height it's doubtful another rock band will be able to recapture this year...yes I'm talking to you Prog Power, Nightwish and Slayer.

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