A Night with Iron Maiden
And now that the dust has settled -and I have recovered from both a cold and a series of exams- it is time to reflect upon the grand spectacle that has thus far been one of the best nights of my life. (No, we did not sleep together -Ed) It is not often one gets to simply knock a major item off their top bucket list; but recently I did just that. Dreams do come true, and your faithful Wookiee has seen Iron Maiden Live. Years in the making, this is the tale of the greatest of adventures.
My love of Iron Maiden started in my early years of high school when a friend lent me his Brave New World CD. I was instantly in love with such tracks as Wicker Man and Blood Brothers, and it did not take me long to start digging my way back -getting brushed up on many previous hits. As a kid in late 90’s/early 00’s South Africa I knew a big international band coming out was an extreme rarity. (It was always a fools hope. Thank the gods we’re fools. Ed)
Around 2005/2006 I had moved to Mumbai (Bombay), India, and was busy with my IT studies. There International acts toured quite frequently and tickets were usually cheap -leading me to become quite common at many live shows of various genres. (I know, I’m a terrible metalhead not being all elitist and stuff.) While I was there Maiden did come on tour, but only to Bangalore, which was too far for me to get to. Worst of all, a tour close to my Mumbai flat was planned right after I returned to SA. Luck and me have always had a turbulent relationship. (The bread knife knows. Ed)
Finally!!!! about this time last year the Book of Souls Tour was announced, I was fangirling like the best of them. (With those pigtails. Yes, you definitely ‘fangirl’. Ed) Granted much happened in the year since then, but always that moment on the horizon would be a beacon to keep me going.
Slowly but surely we moved closer and closer… until the hope on the future horizon became the reality that was about to happen. I remember driving out to the end of the runway to triumphantly watch Ed Force One coming in to land. I was absolutely giddy. Then a few days later the moment finally came (as did most of the audience i suspect).
The excitement was infectious!
It was a slightly chilly night -but not the coldest it had ever been- out at Carnival City. After a gluttonous takeaway burger feast, and an adventurous road-trip out into the arid wilderness of Brakpan, we arrived at Carnival City. There we stumbled aimlessly through a darkened car park -and in the wrong direction for 30 minutes, until we finally found a queue and a pack of Metalheads. ( Luckily it did phase us.) There we winded our way along a massive line to get in. (I was impressed to see that the long queue moved swiftly.)
Before long we saw the stadium filling up with thousands of drooling fans. We quickly added ourselves to the heaving conglomeration. While waiting for the concert to begin I wandered around finding all my various friend circles -all of whom were lost among the seething mass of humanity.
Excitement crept up as we worked through the opening acts, Jasper Dan and The Raven Age. Soon they were gone and the stage faded to black as the impressive lights dimmed… then! the opening rhythms began -in conjunction with some animations on the viewscreens. Soon a small spotlight lit up a portion of the stage illuminating the hooded figure that was Bruce Dickinson. And then it all began!
The show was a good mix of new songs from The Book of Souls, and timeless classics from the past 40 years of the bands run. Such classics as Number of the Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name, and Fear of the Dark were never going to be left out. As is the standard for any Maiden show, theatrics and stage presence were the name of the game. No amount of age will stop those guys from running and jumping all over the stage. Pyrotechnics, Puppeteering, and a mass variety of props sealed the deal.
Anyone who didn’t attend one of the shows truly missed out on something amazing. This was easily one of those nights that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Might have been ten years in the making, but it was no less sweet once it happened, and I have no regrets and many fond memories. Up the Irons !