Friday, February 27, 2009

Second Leg of Somewhere Back In Time Tour, Monterrey

Third time, I happened to see the Gods. They flew all the way from New Zealand to host their second leg of Somewhere Back In Time Tour. The venue was "Estadio Universitario", the University Stadium of UANL. I had never been to an open stadium concert and the feeling was out-of-the-world. After being frisked from top to down for guns, ganja and cameras we were allowed inside the stadium at 5.

When we entered the stadium, Lauren Harris, like always, was begging to see hands in the air and to her dismay except for those few in the front nobody ever gave a damn to her music. I think Bruce should seriously think of letting her board Ed Force One, next time. We made our way to the outermost, rather topmost place of the stadium. The scenery was great, Cerro de las Mitras on the right, Chipinque mountain range in the front and the proud Cerro de la Silla on the left. It appeared as though, the concert took place amidst these 3 mountains, had there been no stadium walls on the surroundings.

After Lauren Harris, American death metal band Morbid Angel played. They sounded noisy to me, for I didn't know a shit about the band, but they were successful in setting up an insanely hyperactive mosh pit containing all the scary looking stoned and drunk metal-heads. Then came the English death metal band, Carcass. I had listened to their album Swansong a couple of times, but for that I didn't know much about them too. They were a lot better than Morbid Angel and got a better crowd response and made the mosh pit more violent. They gained an impressive crowd response by few Spanish phrases...the frontman howled:
Me encantó Monterrey (I loved Monterrey)
Me encantó Mexico (I loved Mexico)
Muchas Gracias Cabrones (Thanks MoFos)

After them were a bunch of jokers who called themselves Atreyu. It was indeed funny to watch them perform, especially the front man. He attired himself with a brown tee, jeans and white sneakers and kept marching along the stage, which would have put the strictest soldier to a shame. He strode with impeccable uniformity in his steps from one end of the stage to another, did one of those Vishnuvardhan-esque gesture to crowd, turned around 180 degree and continued his stride to another end which ended with the same Vishnuvardhan-esque gesture. Had Bruce seen his stage presence, he would have cauterized the word "ATREYU" on that jokers bum with a cudgel and taught him how to behave on the stage.

I kept wondering if there were no decent heavy metal bands to open for an epitomist heavy metal band like Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden is not a death metal band and all it's openers except the prima donna, Lauren Harris, were death metal ones. Atreyu, I felt was the oddest one out; they're better off playing covers of Bon Jovi and not to open for Iron Maiden. I don't know who decided to have these bands open for Maiden, for they're altogether of a different league. Nevertheless after Atreyu walked out after being booed out by empty bottles and middle fingers, I was glad that all the crap was over and it was time for Maiden. It took exactly 40 minutes for priming the stage and testing the sound.

The stage went dark and a melo solo started...the crowd which was sombre till then magically came to life. It was a familiar solo, it was how most Maiden concerts started with...Doctor Doctor, one of their b-side tracks started hitting the airwaves. We knew it was coming.

The screens were turned on and Transylvania started with the video of Ed Force One in air, Bruce piloting, their arrival...immediately followed by the World War II clipping with Churchill's speech. The stage was still dark, the riffs of Aces High started and there was a sudden flash of fireworks and opulent lighting and Bruce was at his best in delivering the track to 40000 strong metal army.

The setlsit was as follows:

Doctor Doctor
Churchill's speech

Aces High
2 Minutes to Midnight
Children of the Damned
The Trooper
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Phantom of the Opera
Wasted Years
Fear of the Dark
Hallowed be thy Name
Run to the Hills
Iron Maiden

The Number of the Beast
The Evil that Men Do

During Iron Maiden track, a classical eddie from the backstage made it's appearance in the air and during The Evil that Men Do, a modern robotic eddie walked around the stage and as usual the guitarists played around Eddie. There were some brilliant pyrotechnics and stage settings, which lacked in first leg of their tour. The setlist was pretty similar to their 2008 tour, with a few additions and deletions. I would have loved to listen tracks like Flight of Icarus, Still Life, Running Free, Drifter, Murders in the Rue Morge or Prowler in place of Hallowed be thy Name, The Number of the Beast, Fear of the Dark, The Trooper, which I feel are too hackneyed for seeing them third time.

The hot chick close to me, overdosed with alcohol or something, she started puking the beer out of the stadium...probably that's the world record for someone puking off that height. She disturbed us for a while. The lady next to me, was the best in lot. For 6 long hours, she was the most immobile thingy in the whole concert...even the chairs vibrated at times, but not her. To her it probably seemed Obama talking about world matters and doomsday or something, she was abs-f*$kin-loutely emotionless and motionless. And there was this couple next to us, who made me realize the metal can turn people on; while the whole crowd was banging their heads, they were groping and fondling and kissing and were lost in their old mushy world...bloody misfits. What surprised me most was that people came with their families. I saw a cute 5 year old girl wearing a Maiden tee in the concert!!! And a certain guy had come with his wife, 2 kids a 6 year old and a 10 year old!!! I just hope those kids don't develop a liking to the sweet smell of marijuana which was omnipresent in the stadium.

Overall it was a mindblowing Maiden concert. Mind the phrase "Maiden concert", the others weren't that great.

Message to Atreyu: Stop that marching thingy on the stage for hell's sake, stop covering Bon Jovi (it's like trying to turn a castrate into a man) and watch concert videos of other bands to learn stage presence (they're available on for free).

Here you can read about 2008 tour: Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, 2008 and the 2007 Bangalore concert here: Iron Maiden in Bangalore.

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