7/15/2010 - Blossom Music Center

My daughter and I had a fun.
We arrived well before the show started, though a little later than I had hoped.
Ran into a lot of road construction on the way, so traffic was something of a nightmare.
Started off with LAWN tickets. I haven't had much cash so I had to settle for some cheap tickets I scored on ebay. We upgraded them at the show, but all they had left was SEC 38.
So, we were all the way in the back left corner, about half-way down the last row.
Not the best seats we have ever had, but it was still a great experience.

The weather was pretty good. A bit on the warm and sticky side, but not too bad.
Not as bad as I had feared from the weather forecasts.
We sat on the lawn while waiting for Dream Theater to start. There was a nice breeze out there.
Didn't know much about them. Only thing I had really heard was an official bootleg of them performing Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast.
They seemed ok, though not quite my type of stuff.
The music was good, but not knowing any of the lyrics kept me from really getting into it.
At least to me, most of the songs seemed to be much like all the other songs. So after a while it got boring. Especially since everyone stood up as soon as they came out. So just standing there in the heat was a little draining.
We did get some entertainment from the teens in the row in front of us. They kept doing goofy stuff and head-banging here and there.
But, about 3/4 of the way through the set, we decided to go sit on the lawn and listen to the rest of the show in relative comfort.

After DT's set, we made our way across to the other side to hit the drinking fountains and stretch our legs a bit. Then back to our spot on the lawn to kick back and relax until Maiden came out.

When Doctor, Doctor kicked in we made our way to our seats (about 40 feet away).
Then the intro started, the background of the stage lit up (looked like an outer space type thing), and the screens came alive!
It felt really epic and a great build-up for the boys to come out and take the stage.

Then they hit the stage running with Wicker Man.
Not really my favorite track from that album but I can see why they opened with it.
High energy with an easy chorus.
Was much happier with the next song, Ghost of the Navigator. Good atmospheric tune to get you in the mood for a Maiden show. And seemed to be received well by the audience.
Which BTW, was huge!
The seats were filled, the lawn was packed. Bruce said there were over 10,000 in attendance. I think that number was a little low.
Wrathchild and El Dorado seemed to loose the crowd a bit. Not much audience participation for either one. And since El Dorado was new, seemed like not many knew it.
It does sound much better live, than the single they released online.
But Dance of Death fixed that. Crowd loved it, and I was happy we got it.
Maiden has been rotating DOD and Paschendale in their setlist. I like both, but think DOD is a much better song for the show. It just has more energy and the fans get into it more. There was tons of clapping along during the slower/quieter parts.
Breeg was another song that didn't get a lot of reaction.
But These Colors really got people's attention.
Which built even more when Blood Brothers followed it. The crowd loved it. Clapping and singing along.
Wildest Dreams seemed to dip a little only to come back stronger with No More Lies!
Brave New World kept the energy going, and when they followed with Fear of the Dark, the place almost exploded.
Then, when Eddie came out during Iron Maiden, the place went crazy.

The place seemed to lose some of it's energy after the encore break though.
666 kicked it of all right, but during Hallowed I saw most just standing there, and a lot were eve sitting. Not sure if they were just out of steam by that point, or not familiar with the song.
Running Free seemed to bring things back up though. Lots of sing along in that one, and the crowd did not disappoint.


And a great night.

A few overall observations.
I'm really glad they stuck to mostly newer songs. Don't get to hear them done live much, and it was very refreshing.
The stage show, as usual was excellent. Cool backdrops, great lighting. Walking Eddie, and the guys seemed to be on fire. Feeding off the crowd.
No giant Eddie behind the stage this tour though, and I don't remember any pyro at all.
There was some fog, but I don't think there was any fire, fireworks, or flashpots.
Didn't really take away from the show, just something I realized after the fact.
There were a few times that Bruce's singing kind of bothered me. Not sure if his mic was cutting out on him, or if he was skipping words here and there. And early in the set, it seemed like he wasn't holding the notes as long as he used to. Though by the end of the night, he seemed to be on top of his game.
It was also nice to hear quite a few parts with backing vocals from the rest of the band.
It's not something Maiden does a lot of, so, it was nice to hear it.

I was kind of worried about our seat location.
I've been spoiled lately, but either being in the PIT, or on a general admission floor for most of the shows I attend. Being in seats, and so far back and to the side, was quite the change.
I was worried I would spend most of my time watching the screens instead of the stage.
Thankfully, that didn't happen. I only glanced at the screens occasionally, usually to see some of Bruce's facial expressions, or other odd things.
This way, I got to enjoy the full stage show, and light show. Even that far back, I could still see what was going on, pretty good. And most of the time, the screens weren't showing what I was watching.

The main drawback to our locations was some of the people around us.
Just seemed to be taking me out of the show as I kept getting interupted by their actions.
The kids in front of me were kind of annoying at times. But hey! At least they were into it, and rocked-out most of the night. So, that was a cool kind of distraction.
I felt bad for the lady next to me, because she kept getting frustrated with not being able to see around the tall teen in front of her.
Then there were the 2 guys in front of us. Who spent most of the night trying to carry on a loud conversation with no regard for the fact that there was a concert going on. And that everyone else wanted to see, and hear, that concert.

In the end though, who cares. IT WAS MAIDEN!



UFO Tape of Doctor Doctor
Wicker Man
Ghost Of The Navigator
El Dorado
Dance Of Death
The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don't Run
Blood Brothers
Wildest Dreams
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden
Encore Break
The Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Running Free