Concert Review: IRON MAIDEN - Live in Houston, Texas, August 18, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 @ 6:51 AM
Final Night Of The Band's North American Maiden England Tour
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In my 30+ years of concert attending experience I have never had the opportunity to attend a major band's tour on their last night. I was finally able to add that experience to my list as British legends IRON MAIDEN put the wraps on the North American leg of their Maiden England tour with a show in The Woodlands, Texas on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Thee band was out on tour with a virtual recreation of their Seventh son of a Seventh Son tour from 1988, the basis for the band's Maiden England concert video. I love what MAIDEN has done with their tours over the past few years, touring with new material, then doing a retro tour, new material, then a retro tour. It was just barely a year ago that Houston was the second stop on the band's Final Frontier tour and now the band was finishing up yet another tour. No slowing down for these guys! This also marked the first time that my concert cohort Stephen and I had each taken our sons to the same show, letting them experience for the first time a real rock show! When he and I first met at a WASP show in 1999, his son wasn't even born yet and my son was 10, so it was certainly a memorable night. I was declined a photo pass for this show for some unknown reason (hey guys, it was the last show, approve everyone! lol), but it hardly mattered as my camera isn't considered 'professional' and thus, I was able to bring it in to the show with me regardless. As long as I was within about 40 feet of the stage I was going to be able to get good shots, and that problem was solved by way of our 8th row center tickets we obtained about 4 hours prior to showtime.
First up for the evening was New York's own COHEED AND CAMBRIA, who had gotten the nod for the second half of this tour, replacing the first half opener ALICE COOPER. Truth be told, I would have preferred to see COOPER, but COHEED AND CAMBRIA certainly did not disappoint! Though my knowledge of this band was limited, my son had heard a lot of the material and was pumed when he found out they were on the tour. He even gave me the heads up about lead vocalist Claudio Sanchez's hair. If Bob Marley and Rosanne Rosannadanna's hair had sex, the result would be this guy's mop. He was Cousin It with a guitar! The band played a very spirited set that certainly got the crowd pumped up for MAIDEN, especially with their cover of BLACK SABBATH'S Heaven And Hell.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA Setlist:
"No World for Tomorrow"
"Gravemakers and Gunslingers"
"Here We Are Juggernaut"
"The Running Free"
"Heaven and Hell" (Black Sabbath cover)
"In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3"
Then it was time for the mighty IRON MAIDEN! At approximately 9 p.m., the sounds of UFO's Doctor, Doctor filled the air, and anyone who's seen MAIDEN play knows that this song is the last one played before they take the stage, and the packed house crowd was in a frenzy! The song finished and the band launched into their nearly 2 hour set with "Moonchild", from the aformentioned Seventh Son album, then not letting up. One might expect that, being the last night of the tour, the band would just mail this one in, anxious to get on the plane back to England, but such was not the case tonight. The band never seems to just go through the motions and on this night they displayed all the fire and energy of a band just beginning a tour, not ending one! With the setlist comprising roughly 75% of the original 1988 tour's songs, the show was sure to be enjoyed by all. They even brought out a few tunes that hadn't been played in a while, like "The Prisoner" and "Phantom of the Opera". Of course, set staples "Run to the Hills", "The Trooper", "Fear of the Dark" and "Iron Maiden" were also included and the stage production was fantastic! Several times during the course of the show, vocalist Bruce Dickinson gave a shout out to the tireless road crew, making note of the fact he believed that they were certainly "underpaid, but my manager probably disagrees". If you missed this tour, then you missed one of the best MAIDEN shows in recent memory! The only thing I didn't see but expected, was some sort of end-of-tour shenanigans between the openers and the headliners, but maybe MAIDEN was too classy for that sort of tomfoolery. An awesome show nonetheless!