This is a summer of firsts. Listening to heavy metal on the radio or the computer or CDs never really appealed to me. Loud, screamy, cacophonous: not my idea of great music. I’ve always respected people’s preferences, but I’ve never made an effort to understand why some people love Iron Maiden so much.
Usana Arena, Wednesday August 1, 2012. This concert supported my love for live music, but it also speaks to production quality and the expert performers who are Iron Maiden. Their songs are actually quite catchy. The band is rather old (the living ones who haven’t overdosed [j/k]), and they still riff (mostly) flawless solos and jump around the stage. Their mascot, Eddie, accompanies them on tour in his many versions and still awes and scares the hell out of fans. Well, at least I was scared.
Bruce Dickinson kept saying in his British accent, “SCREAM for me, Salt Lake City!” and the audience would go wild. He mused on Utah’s weak alcoholic beverages, and he expressed that if he had a choice of being stoned from pot or a little bit lit from a few beers, he’d definitely want to be drunk. Which was his way of questioning the audience’s choice to drink weak beer and smoke doobies.
I get what he means though. At this kind of concert, I’d rather have the audience jumping up and down and singing along and not quiet, contemplative, and mellow. The audience was perfect, though. They pumped their fists to the beat, they screamed along. They were even impatient and yelled for music during the only time Bruce Dickinson told a story, which actually annoyed me because I wanted to hear the story. Who doesn’t love stories? Marginally buzzed Iron Maiden fans, that’s who.
At the introduction of the band, Bruce Dickinson told us that Nicko McBrain, their drummer, predates the Book of Mormon. I believe in and have firm testimony of that fact.
Having actual seats for the concert made the experience better for me, because I could sit down whenever my feet got tired, because, although the show was great, I didn’t have the same chemical distractions and enhancers as my fellow audience members. However, I couldn’t put my seat down all the way because the guy sitting next to me did not have small bones, but big arms and big tattoos coming out of his big muscle shirt, and he was SLEEPING during part of the show. Dark, flowing mullet and deep breathing; peaceful, friendly face, like Jabba the Hut’s in a good mood. I didn’t want to disturb him.
I understood him, though, even as much as I understand much better now (but not completely) the life and soul of Iron Maiden fans. What a seriously fun show.
More pictures here.