Concert Review: Iron Maiden

Friday night, I went to see Iron Maiden at Agganis Arena over at BU. My friends and I met up at T’s Pub before the show. It was filled wall to wall with folks sporting Maiden shirts from days past right up to the current tour. Some ruckus was made by some which had everyone pretty psyched up and ready for the show.

We skipped the opener and headed over about 20 mins before Maiden hit the stage. Grabbed a t-shirt and a beer (which took WAY too long, they really need to teach their employees how to pour a lot of beer so you can just hand it out instead of waiting for an ID and payment before even starting to pour). I was impressed that they actually did have beer though.

We got in to our seats, which were way in the back, but being Agganis is pretty small, there really aren’t any bad seats. Right around 8:40 or so, the band hit the stage with “Different World” and from there ran right through the whole new album front start to finish. I had heard that this might happen a few weeks ago (on the MTV2 making an album special) and knew they had done it the night before. I like the new album, so this was fine with me. After finishing the album, they kicked in to “Fear of the Dark” followed by “Iron Maiden” and then left the stage. After about 5 mins off the stage they came back with “2 Minutes to Midnight”, “The Evil That Men Do” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and that was it.

As I said, I like the new album and had no problem with them playing it. What I would have liked to have seen was them do that, take a 10 or 15 minute break and then play another hour of old stuff. I’ve been listening to Maiden since I was like 14 and this was the first time I got to see the real Iron Maiden (I saw Iron Maiden Lite a few years back at Avalon, but without Bruce, it wasn’t the same). So, 17 years of listening to a band, you want to hear some of the music you have loved for all that time, not just the new album and a couple of old songs (in the end, they only played 3 songs from their first 6 albums, which are by far their best). A 90 minute show where almost 75 of it is material that came out three weeks beforehand is sorta weak.

Other than the bad song selection, I did enjoy the show. Agganis is a bit echoy and you couldn’t hear the singer all that well much of the night (seems like they were having this problem on stage as well, from what their manager said). Overall, I had a good time with some good friends and at least got to see a few of the songs I have been banging my head to for many many years.

14 Comments so far

  1. Hugh Jarce (unregistered) on October 17th, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    I saw Maiden in Toronto last night on October 16th and I must say, I was a little disappointed. Let me say one thing first, I’m a die-hard Maiden fan, I’ve always liked their music and the new album is good but it doesn’t compare to Dance of Death or Brave New World for that matter when comparing to the relative new stuff. I don’t care how good a band thinks an album is, they should not play the ENTIRE DAMN THING! The fans are there to hear the classics, the songs that made them popular, the songs that you love however they come out and play track 8, 9 and 10 along with the songs that are actually worth playing. Give your head a shake boys.

    I would not have went if I knew that was their plan and am disappointed in it. Plus, we had very good seats in the 8th row right at the side, but whomever designed the stage must not be thinking properly, if the guitarists were on the left side and back a bit, you couldn’t see him at all. Never mind Nicko, it could have been anyone playing the drums however Nicko’s style is very distinct. If they moved those speakers out of the way, the stage would be fine.

    Bruce made a comment that if it wasn’t for the fans, there would be no Iron Maiden, well Brucey, listen to your own words and change that set list up. Very few classic albums could ever go start to finish in a concert setting and Maiden’s new one isn’t one of them. Alot of the people who went to see the show want to hear the classics. Not playing NOTB or The Trooper would be like AC/DC not playing Back in Black and Highway to Hell, that’s just wrong.

    However, the last 5 songs of the night were very good and the boys ripped it up. I took my son and his bud and they couldn’t wait for the new stuff to end. They won’t be winning any new fans with that cd.

    Another comment…. is it just me or is Janick Gers the gayest heavy metal guitarist you’ve ever seen? What a flake!!!!

    However, all in all, it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Monday night.

  2. Eric (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    After seeing the show last night, October 17 in Auburn Hills, MI, I totally agree that the decision to play the entire new album was a poor one. Maybe if they played one of the classics all the way through, it might have been cool; but all it did was bore people to death. I’ve never seen a crowd leave the stadium as fast as I did last night after the show. I understand that they want to remain viable and not just play the oldies, but I was really bummed only to hear 3 of the old classics (as was everyone around me). It was better than the time I saw them with Blaze Bailey (I’ve seen hundreds of concerts, and this is the only show that I left half way through) but not nearly as good as the show right after the band reunited.

    Honestly, had I also known of their plan, I might have stayed home.

    The sound quality was OK. Niko split a bass drum skin a few songs in and they had to stop the show to replace it. Bruce’s banter gets a bit annoying after a while. The stadium was nowhere near full, and the crowd wasn’t that into the new stuff.

    I saw Roger Waters do the Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety a few weeks back and it was absolutely amazing. But that’s because it’s an amazing album that has stood the test of time. I also saw Rush do 2112, also a classic. Last night’s presentation of A Matter of Life and Death was a dud …

  3. T-Unit (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

    I also saw the show last night at the Palace in Auburn Hills, MI. I am also a fan of the old Maiden, the new stuff is ok but let’s not kid ourselves… Anyway, I listened to the new album a few times just because I like to know the songs I see being performed and I figured they would play a few off the new album.

    When they came out and opened with three songs off the new album I was thinking “Ok, maybe they are just gonna get all of the new shit out of the way, and then spend the rest of the show playing classics…” Nope.

    Around the fourth song, Bruce explained how he was planning on playing the entire fucking album, all 72 minutes of it… I was crushed. Like someone else said, very few albums can be played straight through, and A Matter of Life and Death is not one of them. This isn’t Operation Mindcrime. To make matters worse, everyone was under the impression that there would be a second encore because the lights went out again and everyone was cheering. THe guy behind us said they did a second encore in Cincinatti and played Run to the Hills and The Trooper. Everyone was cheering and then the lights came on and the stage crew began tearing down the stage. Disappointment swept over the entire audience.

  4. ALSO DISAPPOINTED (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    I was at the Maiden show in Toronto at ACC a few days ago also. Just came online to see what others thought and not surprised that everyone else here feels the same way. I’ve been a DIE HARD Maiden fan for over 15 years and was expecting a lot more. Maidens last two shows in Toronto were much, much, MUCH better.

    Maybe now that they moved up to a larger venue again … they think that there will be more newer fans there, who know more of the newer stuff. But disregarding your loyal fans like that is just wrong!!!

    I hope this doesnt happen next tour.

    Nonetheless … Up the irons!

  5. Paul (unregistered) on October 19th, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

    I too saw the show @ The Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit). Like many of the comments expressed, I was a little disappointed that they chose that set list. Unlike many of you, I think the new disc is phenomenal. It hasn’t been out of my disc player since the day I purchased it. I agree, it’s difficult to play an entire album from start to finish, especially when it’s only been out for 3 weeks, however I thought the new material stood up fine. My only gripe is that they didn’t play longer. They could have easily played another 5 songs in a half hour and gave everyone their $$ worth. Just a thought….they opened the tour in the States and played only 8 shows. They are #1 in multiple countries and sold out everywhere. Did you ever get the feeling this was a practice tour to get ready for Europe?

  6. Deathpool Dave (unregistered) on October 19th, 2006 @ 4:44 pm

    At the risk of opening myself up to the marauding hordes of Maiden fans, of which I consider myself a most loyal part of it, I shall offer up an honest personal opinion and they can crucify me as they see fit… I just saw the 10/17 show in Detroit. What a blithering pile of self indulgent egocentricity. Why is it that bands fail to even remotely consider the desires of those footing the bill and paying for their services? For the first time ever at a Maiden show there were people booing. Several began walking out at about the halfway point. Several more turned their backs to the stage and stood in protest. Just brutal treatment from people who obviously thought highly enough of the band to buy a ticket (and pay another $15 for parking, but that’s a separate rant). Out of any 100 given fans, how many would choose to hear an entire new album over the many songs that have made the band near and dear to their hearts for so many years? A few perhaps, but those would be in the distinct minority. And this particular record, while decent and much better than most being produced these days, suffers from a similar flaw to those that recently preceded it. In essence, the songs are too loooooooooonnnnnnngggggggg….. Everything starts with an extended, minimalist, snooze inducing slow tempo acoustical introduction, followed by far too many seemingly incompatible parts that just don’t quite gel together, followed another agonizingly long outro. Only one song under 5 minutes – most extending much longer – and for no other reason than to make some claim towards epic status. “Look at us – our songs are really long!” And often boring…. Spinal Tap – esc, one might argue. Not that the record is without merit – there are times when it absolutely blisters as only Maiden can. Unfortunately, it’s about 15 minutes of kick ass metal gloriously packed into a 70 minute disk. Rarely has a band been more in need of an editor… By the way, while I’m thinking of it, can someone tell the extra guitarist that Adrian is back and three’s a crowd? It’s like having a fourth circle in a Venn diagram – everything just overlaps a little too much and becomes muddied. Back to the show – one song from the first record (the same one they always do). Nothing from Killers – not even the usual Wrathchild bone, which I would have settled for. One song from Beast, and nothing from Piece. Only one from Powerslave, and Somewhere in Time was not represented… Seventh Son and Fear of the Dark – two of the weaker Maiden offerings – each had one song. And that’s it… other than the boring new stuff, which never seemed to end. Boooooooorrrrrriiiing…. Come on Maiden – you are one of the pioneers of true metal, and one of the most significant bands in the history of the genre, but your new record is not all that meaningful to anyone other than you. Play the songs that got you to the dance and that everyone wants to hear. Throw in some deep cuts that you don’t play often. Invaders perhaps – I’ve probably seen you 15 times and I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one live. Add two or three of the best songs from your new record to promote it and so that everyone knows that you are not just a nostalgia act. We’ll buy the record – you know we will! Stop trying to prove something and instead just please the crowd and give the people their moneys worth. PS: I love you anyway, and yes – I’ll probably go see you the next time you come around too. But I’m going to check out the set list first… OK all you Maiden fans that will defend the band no matter what (and even though you secretly agree with me) – let me have it… DPD

  7. Diana (unregistered) on October 20th, 2006 @ 4:44 pm

    Saw the show in Chicago 10/18. I agree with everyone else who was disappointed that they played the ENTIRE new album and just a few oldies. I saw them about 6 years ago and the show blew me away. This time was not the same. We brought some friends who are old Maiden fans that had never seen them live, and they were extremely disappointed as well. I talked up about how much they kicked my ass last time I saw them…this show didn’t kick my ass. Don’t take me wrong, it was a good show, and the Chicago crowd was awesome, everyone was very much in to it. If anyone was disappointed, it didn’t show. We gave the Maiden our love even though they weren’t returning the favor with their set list. I agree that it is selfish to subject thousands of fans to brand-new music when they darn well know none of us know it or have had an opportunity to get to know it. I’m looking forward to the next time, hopefully a “normal” set list with a sampling of ALL their work will come back. The new album is OK but it will take about 10 listens before I really warm up to it.

  8. Glueleg (unregistered) on October 20th, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

    I too went to the Toronto show on Oct 16th. I must say that my friends and I were dissapointed (some more than others). Up here in Canada the radio stations have played 1, maybe 2 songs off the new album….hence no one really knows it yet.

    I will say that I had no real problem with them playing the entire album at the time…I figured a full set of “Classic Maiden” was forthcoming. That was not the case. Of the “best”, they picked Fear of the Dark…?!? and not (insert you favourite Maiden tune here)!! That is just wrong!

    I’m going to see Alice in Chains in a few weeks…I KNOW that will be a better show!

    I always loved Maiden but that was just not right.

    Good luck with the tour boys…A lesson to be learned – A band IS what your fans make you!

    – Not Impressed

  9. ryan (unregistered) on October 21st, 2006 @ 12:55 am

    Went to the show recently at the ACC in Toronto. I’ve been a maiden fan since grade 4 and I’m now 31 (just a note seeing as people seem to be representing their ‘Maiden-stripes’ on this blog) and I must say I too was severely disappointed by their offering. It’s not about the money spent or the two months anticipation for the show but what would drive such an ego to actually play the new album in its entirety? With no alcohol allowed on the GA floor I was relegated to sit in the VIP platinum lounge of the venue waiting for a classic. I popped out here and there to feel how the vibe was going and ultimately ended back at my post with many disgruntled other die-hards, left to soak the sorrows in pricey suds until the fleeting glory of the 20-minute encores. Sure, give the new stuff some buzz and show us that you guys can still write 10-minute fables but if I knew things would unfold in such a way I’d just go to a Leaf game and hang with a bunch of disenchanted suits – almost equal in excitement. I guess in hindsight it’s still a blessing for all fans Maiden that we can see them perform live – atleast for now until they implode once again from their own egos. Anyway, I hope they enjoyed their evening in Toronto and their stay at the lovely Four Seasons Hotel. I hope they truly see the value in the dedication of their die-hard fans, if not, maybe the next time the ‘platinum lounge’ at their venue will be the parking lot. At that point they’ll have to reflect and realize their true luxury is the loyalty of their fans who grew up with their music and passion for playing. For real though – who would play a 2 week-old release to a legion of 10,000 fans???… Ashlee Simpson – not Maiden.

    ‘Up the Irons!!! – to a better show next time around gentlemen

  10. mike (unregistered) on October 21st, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

    i was bummed I missed the Maiden SHOW but maybe not after I read these reviews. I just couldnt make the 3 hour trip from my home to the Detroit area. I have seen Maiden 6 times starting when they were opening act for Judas Priest and Rainbow. For Maiden to omit any song from Piece of Mind or Somewhere in Time is asking to dissapoint fans.
    Guys you can still rock but you gotta remember the people who helped you stay in the business as long as you haave survived.

  11. Tom from New Zealand (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    OMG! you guys are the most complaining ungreatful pieces of shit!!! how dare you say things like that to Maiden. fuck I live in New Zealand and have never seen Iron Maiden! hearing some of you have seen them atleast 6 times is amazing. you have seen the old songs before, after 30years of them touring i think they might like to change it up a bit with there new album which they did and I respect that.
    Stop being sulky little brats.
    Bruce is back and what more could you ask for.
    Be greatful you have the opportunity to see them.

    Hope they come down under one day.
    PS: New Zealand loves you MAIDEN!!!

    From Thomas Burrows
    ~New Zealand

  12. Mark Adam (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    I can’t believe you people are complaining about them not playing the classics. Have you people not stopped to consider that Maiden has been playing songs like Run to the Hills and Number of the Beast for 24 years. They might think their fans want something different instead of the same old. They might get a little bored of playing the old stuff. So get over it and appreciate how damn good “A Matter of Life and Death” is you whiny little turds.

  13. Daniel (unregistered) on October 29th, 2006 @ 2:28 am

    I was at the Bu show a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty impressed peronsally with the sound quality and performance of the show, and everyone that I talked to before that show that knew about the set list greatly enjoyed it. I noticed that a lot of people that came with certain expectations were certainly left disapointed. The only thing that annoyed me in this way about maiden was that they didn’t reveal the set list untill the first day of the tour. I loved their choice and certanily would have gone no matter what the set list, but I feel like the lack of information about it was definetly problematic. Maiden has never done the whole album thing before, and it was brilliant, but if unexpected might be quite frustrating. Last time I went to a maiden show on the Give me Ed Before Im Dead tour, I spent days listening to the backcatalog and getting pumped up. If I had done this for this show and then not heard any of those songs, I probably would have been pretty annoyed as well. It was not at all a pretentious or arogant move imo, but one that shows that the band actually loves and respects their new material; however, better communication between band and fans would in this case have alleviated a lot of the complaining and etc

  14. doug (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 10:33 am

    saw maiden in boston. I like the new album but they played too many songs from it. Like previously stated, play maybe 4 of the best from the new cd then on with the classics. The drummer was tucked away in the stage and most couldn’t see him. NOT COOL! Maiden is one of the best who should put on a great show, not just an alright show.

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