Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 10:28 PM
Iron Maiden, Dio and Motorhead
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REVIEW BY: RM High
Iron Maiden was killer last night (Denver 8/20/03). Had a great time. As expected they did not disappoint. We had 11th row seats, dead center. We were at eye level with the band(s). Assorted killer microbrews, KGB, and a massive grilled chicken burrito started things off righteously for my buddy and I before the show. With a full stomach and a killer buzz, we entered the venue...
Motorhead kicked things off well with Lemmy belting out several kick ass rockers. The dude is classic. I enjoyed his distorted chord style of bass playing. Very unique. Almost like a rhythm guitar and bass wrapped in one. There was a whole lotta sound coming from that 3-piece band, I'll tell ya. The drummer - Mikkey D - was pretty good as well. The only thing I didn't like was they sort of groveled and egged the audience for more and louder cheers, which they got. I've always disliked it when bands do that. You shouldn't have to ask for applause, the music should speak for itself! Nevertheless, they played a solid set and the crowd appreciated it.
Next was Dio, and they were awesome! They kicked the crowd's enthusiasm up a notch further. No, alot further. The set was as good as it gets for Ronnie James Dio. They did a fucking stunning rendition of Rainbow's “Stargazer,” which is a huge personal favorite of mine from the Rising album. They also did some classic Sabbath gems from his tenure including “Heaven and Hell” and “The Mob Rules,” both of which totally rocked. The crowd was way into it. The set also included the standard tunes from Holy Diver (“Stand Up and Shout!!!”) and the “Last in Line,” which also sounded great. Of course my attention was on Simon Wright for much of the set. He bashed the hell out of those skins and did a great drum solo. Much as I have missed him out of UFO, the dude seems really at home with Dio. He quit AC/DC to join Dio, which says a lot about their friendship. Gotta love Simon. Great set. I tried to imagine how Dio would've been with Doug Aldrich on guitar like the last tour. That would've really iced the cake....
Now, before Maiden came on, there was a cool UFO moment! Just before they took the stage the lights dimmed down and they cranked “Doctor Doctor” from Strangers on the PA! What was really cool about it was HUNDREDS of people obviously recognized the song as fists went up in the air, heads banged and many folks sang along. God that felt good. The crowd dug it. In an obvious sign of respect, Maiden did not start the show until the song was completely over (they were on stage with guitars in hand, ready to go as the song carried on). I figured that was a nod from Steve Harris.
Iron Maiden was unbelievable. They only did two new songs – “The Wicker Man” from Brave New World, and a new one from their next album. Both songs were great, but the classics were what blew everyone away. They dug deep in the treasure trove and played an amazing set. “Number of the Beast,” “Hallowed Be thy Name” (two fists way up), “Run to the Hills,” “The Trooper” (!!!), “Revelations,” “Die With Your Boots On” (Steve Harris' fingers were flying on that bass of his), “Two Minutes to Midnight,” “The Clansman,” “The Clairvoyant,” etc. etc. Wow. One killer song after another. The three guitarists plus Harris were unbelievably tight and didn't play over each other. Great rock ‘ roll show, although the $70 ticket price, $35 T-shirts, and $7 beers (rape!!!) hurt my wallet.
All you readers out there on the west coast should get your tickets for this one, it was four hours of quality rock n roll. All of the bands delivered big time...