Seeing Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden live in concert!
Iron Maiden, with very special guest Alice Cooper, last night at the Prudential Center in Newark. There are no words to describe the awesomeness of this (let me try):
Totally. Freaking. Insanely. Utterly. Brilliantly. Stupendously. Crazy. Awesomely. Awesome.
That’s maybe 10% there.
I’m a little deafer than I was before – perfect. I’m a little blinder than I was before – just how it should be. I’m not drunk, which is not quite how it should be, but at $9 a bottle it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t mosh, which really is the thing I’m most disappointed in myself for, but I’m feeling a little too old for that.
Alice Cooper was incredible. The guy is sixty-four years old, and he commanded that stage like he was twenty. Every song – all the classics – were perfect, and despite the venue’s lousy acoustics, they sounded great. His lead guitarist was a girl, which was great to see, and his antics were fun – though a little on the tame side, perhaps. They did decapitate him at one point, but I was disappointed that there were no great spouts of blood. Perhaps it’s more realistic that way. His costume changes were great – I don’t know how he went through so many so fast, but from his black leather riding gear to a mad scientist to crazy Nazi guy, he was a veritable chameleon. His legendary charisma really shone through, despite little interaction with the crowd; he whipped their photographer with his riding crop, and when that didn’t work, ran him through with a pirate sword. Lots of fun.
Forty minutes to set up for Iron Maiden. What a wait. I think they might have had some technical problems, because the P.A. started playing UFO at one point, which really wasn’t the right thing to do. When they did blast on though…yes! Yes! Yes!
Our seats were near the front and very high up, so sadly our visibility was not the best. Poor Nicko McBrain, he was so hidden behind stage props that the most I could see was the occasional crash of his cymbals! Steve Harris, pummeling away on his bass – now that was a real pleasure. He looked so damn chuffed, like it was their first gig, and their thousandth. He’s proud of his band, you can tell. Janick, Dave and Adrian were at their finest, and I’ve not seen a band so in tune with each other in a long time. And Bruce…Bruce Dickinson was a madman, racing from one end of the stage to the other, screaming at the top of his rather powerful lungs, and inciting the moshing crowd to sing for him (which must have saved on his throat). It’s a shame he cut his hair short, but he is an airline pilot, and I must say I’ve never seen a metalhead airline pilot (there must be one somewhere).
Having said all of that…not all was perfect. Iron Maiden suffered from some pretty bad mixing, and it was difficult to make out what Bruce was singing. The guitars had some very bad distortion (not the good kind) in the high end, and once again were difficult to make out. Iron Maiden are a melodic band, and the melodies just weren’t making themselves heard. I could tell they were playing perfectly, but the sound just simply wasn’t good.
Other things – the gay couple next to us were exceptionally polite, but the bunch of nutters beside them were a pain; they were constantly shoving past us to relieve themselves of the copious amounts of beer they were consuming, and more than once crushed our toes. Some shithead also decided it would be completely appropriate to start smoking, which is not only rude but also illegal. Luckily, security sorted his ass out.
So what do I think? I feel let down by the sound, which isn’t the band’s fault. I feel incredibly satisfied that I saw them, though; I can safely go to my grave now, able to say:
I saw Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper live, and I can safely go to my grave now!