Iron Maiden in San Antonio and Houston

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 @ 10:10 AM

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Reviewed by "metal_wizzard"

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost maybe. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender." Winston Churchill

With those immortal words, the Iron Maiden Somewhere back in Time 2008 Tour was in full force. I was fortunate enough to see both Texas shows (San Antonio and Houston). San Antonio has always been a great heavy metal town. Every time I go there I am reminded of Joe Anthony and 99.55 KISS FM, back in the day they were the best, bar none. The newer station KZEP is no slouch either (Hey T-Bone).

Before the show started, I saw Rod Smallwood (Maiden's manager) in the crowd. I went over to him and got his autograph. We chatted for a few minutes. The official Maiden photographer was right there and he snapped a quick photo of us. What a cool moment. Thanks Rod.

As you all know, a Maiden show starts with the lights dimming to UFO's tune "Doctor, Doctor". When the UFO song was done, what song came on but a taped version of IRON MAIDEN'S-"TRANSYLVANIA" while a video was played showing highlights from the first leg of the tour.

The San Antonio show was unbelievable. The people of San Antonio are very passionate about their heavy metal. and tonight was no exception. It was really like going "somewhere back in time". For a moment, it felt like 1984-85 with the complete "World Slavery tour" stage set. The band seemed genuinely "pumped up" to be back in Texas. The San Antonio crowd (estimated at 13,000) was absolutely wild with a metallic Maiden frenzy. I would expect nothing else from San Antonio. This town is METAL MAD.

The Houston crowd was just as wild and raucous as San Antonio, maybe even a little more, if that's possible. The looks on Bruce Dickinson's and Steve Harris's face was utter disbelief as the chants of "MAIDEN, MAIDEN" came roaring from the Houston crowd. One funny moment in Houston was when a Maideniac threw a cowboy hat on stage and Bruce put it on his head and after a few moments threw it back in the crowd. He told the owner to sell it on ebay, ha ha.

On to the rest of the show, Maiden played all of the "so called" hits like "The Trooper", "Wasted Years", "Run to the Hills", and of course "The Number of the Beast", complete with flames of fire that almost reached the lighting rig. As the fire came up, Bruce belted out "and I'll make you burn", literally classic stuff. No pun intended but the band was on fire. As I previously stated, it WAS like going somewhere back in time. I must confess, if this is possible, Iron Maiden sound better today than they have in a long long time. Keep it up guys, you sound great.

Some of my favorites of the shows was hearing the song "Powerslave". This song probably has not been played since 1984-1985. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" sounded so awesome and was great to hear after all of these years. Iron Maiden have not played this song since the 1987 Somewhere in Time Tour, again just classic stuff. Two more of my favorites were "Heaven Can Wait" complete with the Steve Harris group sing along, WOOO WOOOAHOOO WOOO. Everybody sounded great on that one. Another one of my favorites is "Fear of the Dark". This is always a great crowd sing along and in San Antonio and Houston this was no exception.

Of course to close the show was the immortal "IRON MAIDEN" complete with the HUGE mummified EDDIE from the "World Slavery Tour" as the backdrop. You do know that IRON MAIDENS GONNA GET YA, NO MATTER HOW FAR. The first encore was "Moonchild". Hearing this song brought back so many memories of seeing Maiden back in the day. Next up was "The Clairvoyant" from of course "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". This saw the return of the "Somewhere in Time" Cyborg EDDIE and seeing him again was awesome. Last but certainly not least was of course, "HALLOWED BE THY NAME, with Bruce belting out out YEAH EAW YEAH HALLOWED BE THY NAME. This is one of Maidens best songs.When it was all over, Bruce thanked Texas for the great shows and said "we will definitely be back". A fitting end to two great nights of METAL MAYHEM. Maiden Texas, awesome totally awesome.

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