What I Did On My Summer Vacation (So Far) – My First Metal Concert
Wow, how are we closing in on the end of July already? I moved up to the Boston metro area, then Summer started and it’s been a blur. I’m going to recap some of the highlights. And no, unfortunately, I am not on vacation for the Summer. I’ve been very much working. However, summer continues to feel like a special passage of time when vacation-like events happen, apart from everyday life. So if I were a kid, having to share with the class, these are the kinds of things I would share.
My First Metal Concert – Iron Maiden: Maiden England Tour 6/26/12
A funny thing happened over the past year, I fell in love with heavy metal. It’s not that I’ve never been into “harder” music, but I’ve always swung much farther over the punk side of the fence. I never got the metal thing. I could even listen to some of it and be impressed with the craft and skill involved by the musicians, but it didn’t really resonate with me. Until recently.
I’m not sure why suddenly it became a thing that I could hear in a different way, but it started with Iron Maiden. Specifically with listening to live recordings of them and seeing clips from various live shows. The men are in their 50′s and clips from recent shows are particular good – better even – than tons of musicians half their age. I think I was intrigued by their energy and commitment to their music and their fans. This is a band that never really had any kind of commercial radio mainstream success and yet have amassed a truly legendary status and cult following over nearly 30 years of playing together. Bruce Dickinson has a phenomenal (rivaling musical theater performers) range and power in his vocals and is generally kind of a badass. I was tired standing and dancing at their show… while he had the energy to run and jump all over the fucking stage for hours and sing his face off.
If I can reach 50 and be that impressive at anything, I’ll be quite pleased with myself.
Anyway, I found out that this summer they would be recreating a tour they played in the 80′s – so it would be revisiting a lot of their early music. I love that as a concept, because nothing is sadder than being so late to any particular party that A. You will never get to see a band live. and B. Even if you do, they will be playing all recent stuff and never whole sets of tracks from their early albums. Here was the opportunity to get both, from the band that I fell in love with metal listening to. For my first ever live metal show. The day before my birthday. Had to. Right?
It was phenomenal. I had been concerned I was too excited going in and that, having been listening to live concert albums for weeks, I would be a bit unfairly hyping it and get disappointed. No need. It was beyond…Probably the most outstanding show just in sheer musical technical skill that I’ve ever been to. Other than some sound issues at the beginning, everything was perfect.
It’s nearly a month later and the buzz hasn’t worn off.
For an idea of what this concert was like, here’s a clip from the concert documentary Flight 666 (shot a few years ago) of “Aces High.” They haven’t lost anything since then. They did this as the first encore when I saw them. I genuinely got chills when it started. I nearly cried.
And now I’m tempted to go roadtrip somewhere to see another date on this tour. I won’t though. I can’t afford it and having had such a fantastic night, I feel like it’s best preserved and left alone. Until the next tour comes around, at least.