Monday, July 10, 2017
Ive never seen Iron Maiden live, Until last night in Lincoln. Now Bruce Dickinson's screeching vocals are something you either appreciate or you dont and I do but I went in wondering if his vocal talent had diminished over the years. It hasnt. At 58 years old Dickinson can still holler with anybody on earth and win and his sprinting around the stage made me jealous with me recovering from a busted leg and all.
Iron Maiden rocks. Period. The guitar interaction alone is worth the price of admission and the drumming of Niko McBrain on the largest drum set Ive ever seen keeps it all going. But Dickinson's vocals, even with the crappiest sound mix ever in the Vault, were amazing. Relying heavily on the latest album Book of Souls, the classics were generally ignored. We did get Dickinson in a military uniform waving the Union Jack during The Trooper and we did get Fear of The Dark and Iron Maiden before the encore of The Number of the Beast with a crowd chanting 6 6 6 at the appropriate times. The Book of Souls Tour is short on classics, damn I wanted No Prayer For the Dying or Run To The Hills, but it was long on musicianship. Screw those keyboards and horns, this was pure British metal and it was jolly good.
Swedish weirdos Ghost opened the show with a 45 minute set of Iron Maiden inspired lyrics and surprisingly melodic metal. Fronted by a masked skeleton pope hatted "Pope Emeritus II" and driven by masked demons on guitars, a keyboardist you could barely hear and a hard working drummer banging his skins like a 19th century blacksmith, Ghost won over the crowd quickly with Square Hammer, a I hate to say it, catchy little tune that had my foot tapping. This continued virtually the entire set until a growling song put an end to it. I hate growling songs, they are so uhhhhh American. Stop growling. It sucks.
I once had a coworker who loved Ghost, saw them numerous times, paid for VIP tickets, showed me videos and pictures ad nauseum. I dismissed her as a 20 year old chick with bad taste. Uhh I was wrong.
Now about the crowd. Never have I been around a nicer group of white trash, and I include myself in that description. Maybe because we are all now old and lack the energy to be an asshole. Oh there were some stereotypes living up to the moment, like the guy who was manhandled by the cops when he started a fight on the floor or the couple wearing t shirts for some shit band called Cradle of Filth that proclaimed "Jesus is a Cunt" and "Fuck Off" but all in all it was decent crowd of 8,000 or so.
Hey go big or go home? Both bands went big. And loud. My ears are still ringing.