Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 11:42 PM
Iron Maiden, Dio and Motorhead
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REVIEW BY: Robert Nagel
First of all, let me get two complaints out of the way; neither has to do with any of the bands on the bill. Both have to do with the Tweeter Center and the village of Tinley Park, Illinois.
Thanks to the early noise curfew this suburb of Chicago has, Motorhead was on and off stage by the time anyone got through the gates, and Dio was on and playing by 7:15pm. We arrived right at 7pm and since we did not hear any music we were happy cause we thought Motörhead was still to come, then while waiting in line at the gate, the music started thundering. Our first thought was it was Motörhead getting a 7:15pm start time. After about 3 seconds we realized it wasn't Motörhead hitting the stage, it was Dio starting already. We were pissed!!! Second complaint… $7.25 for a beer!!! Enough said!
We missed Dio's opener, "Killing the Dragon," as we were still in line at the gate. We made it to our seats just as they started tearing through "The Last In Line." Dio was great -- the energy through the arena was the best I’ve seen at a Dio show since the ‘Sacred Heart’ tour back in '86. If anyone out there is wondering if the ageing grandmaster of metal still has it after all these years, Chicago would answer you right now with a huge “HELL YES!!!”
Ronnie’s voice was just as powerful as it was the first time I saw him on the ‘Last In Line’ tour in '84/'85. This was my 9th Dio show over the years, and he has not lost it at all. The only negative comment I have for this set is... Isn’t there anyone that could play guitar on this tour besides Craig Goldy? (Or however you spell it?! I can spell his name about as well as he comes across on stage.) It was as if he did not want to be there at all. Granted, I am by no means a musician, and I give kudos to anyone who has the talent to be up there, but show some damn emotion while your in front of 10,000 - 15,000 people. I saw Craig on the ‘Dream Evil’ and ‘Magica’ tours, both were much better efforts than what he offered Chicago tonight. Simon sounded great on the drums and offered up a pretty good solo, And Jimmy Bain was smiling nonstop, and perfect on the bass as usual. The crowd was let down yet again by the noise curfew… After a spectacular 6 - 8 minutes of "Heaven and Hell" that had the entire crowd livid and thirsting for more, the house lights abruptly cut off the Dio chants begging for an encore. Not one encore!!!
As many times as I have seen Dio over the years, even at a bowling alley in Medina, Minnesota for the ‘Angry Machines’ tour, this is the first I have ever seen the crowd left without any encores from Ronnie and friends. A bowling alley can have encores but not a packed outdoor arena with thousands in attendance??? I was not the only one thrown back by this, many around me looked stunned when the house lights came on right away. Overall, Dio still kicks major ass!!!
The set list included (not in any order) "Killing The Dragon,” "The Last In Line,” "Stargazer" From Rainbows: Rising, "Stand Up And Shout,” "Holy Diver,” "Rainbow In The Dark,” "Dream Evil,” "Rock And Roll,” and Black Sabbaths "The Mob Rules" and "Heaven and Hell" with guitar and drum solos thrown in through out the set. If I have forgotten any, please throw in your feedback.
On to Iron Maiden!!!
Maiden took over the stage right at about 9:00pm and pounded us with a musical assault that was relentless. From the time the lights went down and the darkness led into "The Number of the Beast,” until the very last notes of "Run to the Hills" 90 minutes later, Iron Maiden kicked Chicago’s ass all over the place. They took us musically from one end of Maiden’s career to the other. This is my 4th time seeing Maiden since '86, and this was by far the best set. The packed arena was treated to a Maiden show like no other. High energy, perfect sound and volume and a spectacular light show. The raw energy of the crowd just added to it all.
"Fear of the Dark," "Two Minutes to Midnight,” "Iron Maiden,” "Run to the Hills,” "The Trooper,” and "Hallowed be thy Name" seemed to be crowd faves for singing along. Every single song was received with huge responses from the fans in Chicago. "The Clansman," based on the true story of William Wallace (“Braveheart”) was very impressive live -- Bruce told the short story before the song to set it up it and it was played perfectly. "Wicker Man" from Brave New World sounded fantastic. "The Clairvoyant" from the Seventh album was a great treat, also. And the unreleased song from their upcoming disc, Dance of Death, earned a HUGE pop from the crowd. There was not one let down to this entire set from Maiden tonight. Except for the fact that it was all over with by 10:30pm.
Bruce Dickinson has to be one of the coolest people on this planet!!! He trashed America’s music television. He trashed what seems to be most American radio station markets, which is very true for us here in Chicago – we have the absolute worst stations on the planet here if your a rock/metal fan -- and he trashed "Budweiser" and other sponsors that try to put their name all over tours and turn them into "Tommy Hilfiger commercials," as Bruce put it. Sorry if I misspelled the name of that clothing line, never worn 'em, never will!!!
He also took some time to totally bash the hell out of the major record labels, and TOLD the fans that Maiden WANTS you to download and share Maiden’s music on the Internet. He talked about how some "pussies" want to cry about file sharing and are afraid of it hurting album sales (wonders who these pussies are... I think we all know who). Bruce then summed it up by saying, "You wouldn’t have to worry about lagging album sales if these shit bands you sign nowadays could write more than 1 or 2 good songs per album.” He had the crowd in a frenzy at that point in time.
Set list ( in no order), 2 encores included: Number Of The Beast... The Trooper... Revelations... Hallowed Be Thy Name... Wicker Man... The Clansman... 2 Minutes To Midnight... New Song (Can't remember title)... Iron Maiden... Run To The Hills... The Clairvoyant... Die With Your Boots On... Fear Of The Dark. Sorry if I have forgotten any, it is 6:30am and I am still awake since getting home from the show. This was one of the best overall metal shows I have seen in years, still pissed we missed Motorhead, but hopefully they will come back to Chicago soon.