Bruce Dickinson Makes Fun of Utah’s Diluted Beer

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.

Until We Meat Again

Over the past three days, I have been near three people who smell like meat. I can’t decide if it’s bologna or pepperoni or olive loaf. Yes, it’s that smell. And, while I don’t consider the aforementioned substances “meat,” I will concede they are a subclassification of meat in general. An ilk that most decidedly does not come from elk.

Who are these three people? I do not know them personally, but I will work backward chronologically and introduce them to you.

1. Wednesday, on the subway: some guy who sat by me on the 2/3 line on the way to work. I can’t remember what he was wearing, except that he had on a tan coat, and he was reading the paper. And, since I had already smelled two meat-odor emanators prior to him, I wondered if I attracted people who give off a meaty scent, or if someone invented a new perfume that smells like meat. Quasi-processed meat. The scent wasn’t quite Spam.

2. Tuesday, on the elevator up to my apartment: I looked to make sure the other passengers weren’t holding food. I couldn’t pinpoint who, specifically, was making my nostrils shudder, but the distinctive smell was in my elevator. I even smelled myself, to make sure it wasn’t me. Sometimes I smell like lemons, and sometimes I smell like basil, but even with (because of?) my skin oil, I do not smell like meat. Hmm, oil and basil and lemons. I wonder if people are blogging right now about how they stood near someone who smells like pesto.

3. Monday, in the pool: I couldn’t believe it when I climbed down the ladder into the water. I splashed water on my arms at the shallow end to get used to the temperature, and a woman who was sharing a lane with me came toward the wall from her last length and stood up beside me. She smelled like salami. Or a hot dog. From Nathan’s. It was so bizarre. I do understand that people sweat when they swim, and so I wondered if whatever she ate or drank for the past couple of days seeped through and clung to her skin. It was a strong scent, and I was surprised it overpowered the chlorine. I was so glad I couldn’t breathe like a fish.

The weather will get colder. People will add layers to their bodies and continue to pile themselves into the train. It will get more crowded, just because people are thicker. My nose often comes up to other people’s armpit level. Maybe the meat smell isn’t the worst of my worries. Maybe those people roast themselves, like on a spit in a rotisserie, or in a sauna, or on tanning beds, those being life-size George Foreman grills.

Well, maybe now it’s time to take a survey. What other smells will I encounter? (Goodness knows I’m not going to seek them out.) I’ve had enough of the meat smell. I just hope I get to run into someone who smells like a chocolate souffle. I’d even take Rice Krispie Treats. Or watermelon Bubbalicious.