Though Live After Death (The World Slavery Tour) remains the strongest documentation of Iron Maiden on stage, A Real Live One isn't a bad listen at all. Maiden was a band that always believed in giving its audience a monster of a show, and on the whole, the CD (recorded everywhere from France and Italy to Denmark and Finland) does a good job capturing the type of excitement these imaginative gothic headbangers generated on stage. The idea behind the album is to pick up where Live After Death left off and emphasize material recorded after 1985, and the Brits do exactly that with inspired versions of such favorites as "From Here to Eternity," "The Evil That Men Do," "Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter" and "The Clairvoyant." One could nitpick about various omissions, but the bottom line is that A Real Live One isn't an album Maiden devotees will want to pass up. ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
When the time came to conclude the Bruce Dickinson era with their second official live album, heavy metal legend Iron Maiden was faced with the common dilemma of how to adequately balance both old and new material into one package. So instead of releasing a continuous double-disc set combining the two, the band chose the novel approach of issuing two separate albums: A Real Live One, containing songs released after 1985's milestone Live After Death set; and A Real Dead One, containing updated versions of their early classics. Unfortunately, the latter's almost complete lack of surprises makes for a pretty lackluster experience, especially since the band's live performances add little to the original studio versions. Still, the resurrection of a few more obscure offerings from their early days like "Prowler," "Transylvania," and "Where Eagles Dare" will certainly satisfy fanatics. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide
Rock in Rio is an amazing concert DVD, one of the best I've ever seen.
I never did wrap up that Iron Maiden concert, as I promised. So here's a quick summary:
They were playing four nights: Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. I got tickets well ahead of time for Monday and Tuesday. Originally jenniever and petemagyar were going to join me on Monday, and I got an extra ticket for Tuesday in case I found the woman of my dreams by then. jenniever and I weren't dating at that point, or even considering it. At all. She was just a student employee, it wasn't even on our minds. Along the way we started dating, so it was cool that we had agreed to see my favorite band together months before we became a couple. Her class schedule changed, so she was going to join me Tuesday instead of Monday. petemagyar grabbed a co-worker to join us for Monday, some IT metalhead who talked shop with me the whole way back to Hoboken. The two of them were late for the concert, missing the opening band.
I was nervous about jenniever going on Tuesday, as I heard rumors that that show was being cancelled. Steve Harris was supposed to be on Eddie Trunk Saturday night, but he ended up not showing. I kept on reading rumors online, they kept on being denied by the venue.
Showed up Monday after work, to stand in the impossibly long line for the show. While waiting there, Monkey Boy from karaoke in Rockaway ran into me, but ran off to business. What a small fucking world.
The opening band was Arch Enemy, this awesome death metal band with an incredibly hot little blond lead singer with an impressive set of pipes. I bet you started reading that line and thought I'd say something else. You fucking pervert. Snootch! They were treated like shit. Fans chanted for Maiden, fans yelled bu-urns, it was disgraceful. The band kept on praising Maiden at every break, going on how much of an honor it was to open for the gods of metal Iron Maiden. The only way the band could have shown more love for Maiden was for the guitarists and drummers to fluff Maiden while they took turns with the lead singer on stage, yet still they were attacked. It's not easy to be the opening act, but I didn't see that kind of shit for Dio or Motorhead. Bullshit. Anyway, they were better than I expected. Not normally my type of music, but some decent guitar work and impressive little tracks. They did Rise Above, their signature song, and it was amazing watching the lead singer go from little girl to screaming demon. The only vocalist I've seen come close live is Burton Bell of Fear Factory.
Maiden themselves was awesome. I was two to six people away from the band at different points, as I got jostled about and tossed by the mosh pits. Most of the concert I was less than five feet away from Bruce Dickinson, my favorite musician. I was in fucking heaven. I could reach out and drink his sweat, I was so close to the front and center of the stage. The crowd was hardcore. Standing room only, packed into the old ballroom. Most of Maiden's set I wasn't even standing on the floor. My feet were standing on other people or my body was lifted up, resting on someone else. It was a tightly packed sweaty sea of arms and legs, metalheads thrashing and squirming. It was great seeing so many young and old people there. Some guy from Brazil next to me, a guy from Poland behind me, a guy with his son from Pennsylvania next to him, young and old in the pit together. Maiden did a good set, though many complained that it was mostly things off the most recent album. Well, what the fuck, it was a tour for Dance of Death. The last tour was just a tour, this one was promoting an album. god_dot_com forbid they play shit off the album they're fucking selling! The stage was well set up, a huge castle with drawbridge and all. A pair of giant death statues with sickles sat in windows, with fog and light pouring in from behind them. Quite an amazing setup.
Wildest Dream is probably my least favorite song off the new album. Still fun, but not one I'm writing home about. We got to hear it at the shows this past summer, it's fun, but not ranking high for me. Wrathchild was a great classic to hear, dating back from the dawn of the band. Not a beautiful or complicated or mindblowing song, but a great chunk of their roots to throw out at us. Can I Play With Madness was fucking incredible. One of my favorite songs from that era, and such a catchy fucking tune. The Trooper is always one of their best songs live. Best. Evar. The Steve Harris gallop, the Bruce screams, the flag waving rousing fucking show. If I could show one Maiden song live to the masses of the world, it would be The Trooper. Dance of Death was wonderful, a nice Maiden epic. Bruce did a whole little stage show, with a cape and mask sitting in a chair. He spun about the stage, dancing like a madman. Awesome. Rainmaker's one of my favorite songs off the album, and was even better live than studio. Like The Barry Williams show, I didn't see how it could be better live, but it was. It comes together amazingly live. Started off with a rain intro. Everyone should see the video to that song. Brave New World was another nice slow epic, like Dance of Death. Melodic, moody, masterful. Let the fucking savage go, you fucking futuristic whackjobs! Pashendale was an instant classic. Another of my favorites off the album, it started just like One, with sounds of war. They had barbed wire wooden fences set up, bodies draped over them, and Bruce dressed as a soldier. The intensity of the other war song, The Trooper, but with the melodic beauty of one of their other hits. Lord of the Flies was crap. Better than when Blaze ever sang it, but still a steaming load of shit in the middle of an enjoyable night. No More Lies was so-so for me on the album, but sounded great live. The crowd was really into it, screaming out the chorus. Hallowed be they Name was, as always, amazing. Someone cries from their cell, ``God be with you!'' - if there is a god, why does he let me die? Fear of the Dark's intro, as always, makes my hair stand on end. It's up there with seeing Creeping Death live. The crowd moaning like a massive spontaneous orgasm rippled through the crowd, Bruce slowly starting things off, and the band just exploding... reaching a peak... and creating a powerful beautiful finale. Iron Maiden capped off the set, with a giant Eddie as usual. Great times.
At this point, on Saturday, a drunk spilled a beer from the mezzanine onto the soundboard causing the encore to be cancelled. Bruce made a few jokes about that and their Lawrence of Arabia set up, as they had a tent over the sound board that night. So that night they were able to do the encore. At this point, however, I wanted to explore the ballroom. jenniever and I were attending the following night, and I wanted to make sure we had a good place to stand. I didn't want her to have to ride the mosh pit, even old man kingfox was feeling the pain from it. So I pushed my way around the place, trying to determine which spot would be best for us. Finally I stood on the steps leading up back behind the sound board. The sound board is below your field of vision, and from her height you could make out the entire stage, I only missed the top little bit standing behind her. Perfect. I also bought a shirt while the encore played. I only really focused during the first song, Journeyman, as the rest I had heard before. Journeyman was entertaining, a nice little accoustic song. After that they did the classics Number of the Beast and Run to the Hills, which were fucking mindblowingly amazing as always. Eddie chasing them about, and I didn't focus too much on them during that show. Hell, I focused more on trying to survive and stand near them then the music at times, as I knew I would be back the next night. Or so I thought. However, at one point during the evening, Bruce mentioned that Xerox had booked the venue for later in the week. They were supposedly currently fighting in the court to get the venue, and that they would notify people on the website.The next morning I woke up, and saw the horrible news on their website. Sweet mother of fuck. The show was cancelled, the show we had been planning to go to for ages, before we started dating. Damn. I called jenniever, depressed as hell that our plans had been cancelled. The first time I was going to be seeing them with a female, this special night I had planned for so long, cancelled. Fuck. I joined the dozens of rants and tirades on their website, the chorus of angry voices. I felt bad for the fans who had gotten plane tickets and hotel rooms from such far distances as Florida or Texas. Sigh. Chatting with jenniever, we decided to have our own Maiden concert. We watched Rock in Rio on my Xbox in her room wearing Iron Maiden shirts, and she charged me a fortune for a beer. It was a lovely sweet romantic substitute. Awwww.
I also never did wrap up my birthday party. Here's the wrap up, as no one cares by this point. People came. We had a great time. haasthecynic gave me a nice fat check for a bed. runstaverun and kikibird gave me a dresser. jenniever gave me shelves. People brought even more liquor. An amazing time was had by all, except towelboy, who kept on desiring people with boyfriends or husbands. hiphopatcong had the greatest gifts with his caption binder for petemagyar and a Gwar DVD for me. So we had CDs that runstaverun playing while Gwar was looping on our TV. Tons of people came, tons of people who said they would show didn't, just like the last party. jenniever gave me a cake, something I hadn't had for a birthday since... hmmm... high school or so. People sang, runstaverun angered me with taking an L off, and people feasted on sushi and middle eastern food. We ended up with an even more extensive collection of excellent liquor. xypher, windexcowboy, Holcomb, and the Garron crew came. Even Zasnick and friends made it. Good times.
You know what, I quit.