Thursday, August 7, 2003 @ 3:18 PM
Iron Maiden, Dio and Motorhead
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REVIEW BY: Stormin
Motorhead came on at 7pm in all their glory with the legendary Lemmy (at 58 years young), Phil on guitar (been with the band for 19 years now) and
Mickey Dee on Drums. They opened with "We are Motorhead.” They played for a ½ hour -- "Damage Case,” "Overkill,” "Iron Fist,” "Ace of Spades” and a couple of others. I was disappointed that no songs from their latest CD Hammered were played since I've been listening to that one non-stop. It looks like Lemmy just plays his bass through a couple of Marshall stacks like it was a guitar. Guess that's where he gets his cool sound. At the end of the set he said, "I know you're here for Maiden, but remember us," like they were some new up and coming band -- cool.
At 8pm sharp, out comes the legendary Ronnie James Dio. What a singer. I can't say enough about how great he still is. He's turning 61 this year and from hearing him or seeing him you would never guess. They opened up with "Killing the Dragon" off of the year-old CD of the same name and then kicked into "The Last in Line.” For any of the classic songs Dio, would usually cut out the 2nd verse so as to fit more songs into the set. The 3rd song was the biggest surprise of the night -- "Rainbow Rising" from the Rainbow album of the same name. This one was in its entirety and was unbelievable if you're a Dio fan from way back. Other songs played were "Stand up and Shout,” "Rainbow in the Dark,” "Rock n roll" (another killer song off of the new CD that the crowd really got into). 2 more surprises for me were "I Speed at Night" and "Dream Evil.” Of course he also threw in "Holy Diver" and "Heaven and Hell.” Even during guitar leads the guy would still be singing a melody with it. He's a non-stop powerhouse! The amphitheater holds about 10,000 and was completely packed by the time Dio was ½ way through his set. You could tell that he was really enjoying the response he was getting from the crowd. He walked out onto the bass bins (not an easy feat for even a young guy) a couple of times and the crowd ran up to him and he shook their hands. Jimmy Bain, his bass player that has been with him on and off since the Rainbow days of the ‘70s, was also smiling and having a good time. My only criticism is guitarist Craig Goldy. The guy just looks miserable out there. No pizzazz or flash. His guitar cut out for about 5 seconds at the end of “Heaven and Hell” and he was just bitchin’ and moaning under his breath for a minute or so (like a little baby). To me, that's someone who's not too professional. Complain afterwards -- there's nothing you can do while your onstage -- don't bring me down. I saw Dio last year with Doug Aldridge and he did a much more enthusiastic job. The keyboard player seemed like another guy who hated his job but that's another story. After a 50-minute set and a long ovation, the legend was gone.
Next up, Iron Maiden, ‘nuff said. Great stage setup, great lights, great sound. Dickinson belts the songs out like it's his last night on earth and he runs around like it's outta style -- his nickname should be “Spaz.” The first songs were "Number of the Beast,” "The Trooper,” "Die With Your Boots On" and "Revelations," so what’s not to like. Other songs played were “Wicker Man" off of the last CD and "The Clansmen,” "Fear of the Dark,” "Hallowed be thy name,” "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Iron Maiden.” They also played a new song off of the new CD that's coming out in September. Bruce joked that you should watch out for Nicko cause he may drive over you (the drummer was arrested for hitting a security guy with his car a few days earlier). Nicko acted like he was being handcuffed and laughed it off, so I guess he wasn't too upset over what may come of it all. Bruce also told the crowd to download their music and file share as much as they want; they aren't worried about CD sales slagging from it. The encore was "2 Minutes to Midnight" and "Run to the Hills.”
This is the last time that Maiden is doing a tour like this (playing town after town after town), they'll just be doing festival type stuff so go check ‘em out. Well worth the money to see 3 legendary metal bands. By age alone, most won't be around much longer.