I started listening to Iron Maiden in 1989. I bought a tape or two, and would borrow others from my friend Bill. My big breaks came in October and December of that year. In October I broke my elbow and ended up getting some nice “get well gifts” including Live after Death from my parents and The Number of the Beast from – my grandparents.
Yes, for years my grandmother would talk about going into the record store, buying the tape, and being asked “This isn’t for you is it?”
The next break came at Christmas when I got a bunch more (maybe all of the remaining?) tapes.
I was hooked. I’d never been more hooked on a band. They not only had great studio albums, but the live albums I had (okay Maiden Japan was more of an EP) sounded so good. Listening to this band just weren’t going to be enough.
I needed to see them.
How does one do that when they’re 14 years old and there is no such thing as the Internet? I honestly don’t remember. I don’t remember how I found out that they were touring, probably from the “Concert Board” they used to have at Strawberries, or from a magazine. What I do remember is being with my brother in Orlando, Florida with a friend and his parents during Christmas Vacation. I remember calling home on a payphone to talk to my parents and hearing my dad got us 2 tickets.
I was always pretty lucky that my parents never minded the type of music I listened to. Surprisingly it didn’t turn me into a crazy person – as far as you know.
If you like this type of music – you really need to experience Iron Maiden live. It’s like no other concert I’ve ever been to.
And I know, to date I’ve seen them 8 times. This first one is a first in a long tradition of me and my brother Shaun seeing Iron Maiden live. Every show I’ve gone two – except one – Shaun has been with me. To celebrate Iron Maiden Week, I take a look back – at all 8 shows.
01. Iron Maiden w/ Anthrax
Worcester Centrum – January 23, 1991
This video is not from my first show. I couldn’t find anything from that show, but this is from the same tour, about a month earlier, so you get a basic idea. It’s funny that with all the live videos I’ve seen of them, and all elaborate stage shows, this first time seeing them they had a real basic stage set. But that’s okay it’s still Maiden and I am still seeing them live!
The opening band – and therefore the first live band I’ve ever seen – was Anthrax. I knew a handful of songs, but became hooked after that and have become a big fan ever since.
When Maiden came out – it was amazing because I knew all the words to all the songs – so it made it so much more fun that I could’ve hoped for.
And thanks to Mom and Dad for driving us.
02. Iron Maiden w/ Clutch
Boston Orpheum – July 18, 1999
Once again no video – but at least somebody was recording audio. Eight years have passed since that 1991 show. Bruce Dickinson left the band and had just recently returned, bringing former guitarist Adrian Smith with him. They had no album to promote, but they were promoting a pretty bad CD-Rom computer game (2 discs, the second one had a “greatest hits”). I couldn’t care less because MAIDEN WAS BACK!
I had no idea who Clutch was, and I still kind’ve don’t, but I know they’ve been around for a long time. The band sounded great, I had the best version of my favorite band back together! The biggest things I remember is that Adrian Smith actually wasn’t at the show (I believe there was a death in his family) AND the Orpheum was 900 degrees. It got to the point where my shirtless brother had to bail. I stayed until the end, I think I lost a pound or two.
It was worth it.
03. Iron Maiden w/ Queensryche and Halford
Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA – Aug 6, 2000
Again – no video from this show! But this video is from New York – the night before!
Finally Iron Maiden has a new record to promote and they went on tour with a nice big stage show! What I remember most is seeing old Rob Halford shamble out on stage and hit such an amazing high note! We’d see him with Judas Priest years later, but at this time he out on his own. Queensryche was the second act – and I am a pretty big fan of their and was excited to see them.
As great as they were – the show was all about Maiden. And as you can see in that video – the new stuff (now 15 years old) sounded great!
04. Iron Maiden w/ Dio and Motorhead
Worcester Centrum – Jul 21, 2003
Finally – this video is from THIS show. Might still be the greatest concert I’ve ever seen. Why? Is it because Motorhead are hard rock legends? Is it because the late great Ronnie James Dio sang his ass off? Is it because Maiden were there just to play all their greatest hits (and one new song)?
All of that was great – but no, the real reason is because we got to watch all of this from the fourth row center stage. A-ma-zing.
Also, this was the first Maiden show that Shaun and I didn’t go to alone. My cousin and his friend also came – and were equally amazing. The best.
05. Iron Maiden at Ozzfest
Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA, USA – Jul 15, 2005
This is the only footage I could find from THIS Ozzfest show. There’s plenty of other Maiden/Ozzfest footage that I don’t want to show because it shows how much of a garbage person Sharon Osbourne is. I don’t even want to go into it – look it up, it’s no hard to find.
Ozzfest was a bunch of young crappy metal bands that growl and his and scream and suck. Then there was Rob Zombie who was enjoyable. Sabbath ended the night, but we left during their show. I was there strictly for Maiden. There was a group of us and during most of the Maiden show the guy I sat next to, who I barely knew – was laughing and probably high and really really deserved my fist in his face – but it didn’t happen.
Maybe I was too loopy after getting hit in the head with a full bottle of water.
Yay Ozzfest and your crowd.
Maiden ruled that sub-par festival, no doubt.
06. Iron Maiden w/ Bullet For My Valentine
Agganis Arena, Boston, MA, USA – Oct 6, 2006
Cell phone video is starting to get a little better at this point. Videos of concerts you’ve gone to are easier to find. I had just moved back into the area after a brief stint in Florida (in between Maiden shows of course). Maiden had a new record out – and they played it.
The entire thing. From start to finish.
This may have been my least favorite Maiden show – now that being said it was still great. I didn’t know a lot of those new songs as well as I knew their classics, and they sang a handful of classics at the end.
And that opening act? Yeah I don’t know them either…Not the worst they’ve had though.
07. Iron Maiden w/ Lauren Harris
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA, USA – Jun 20, 2008
Oh look – is that HD video I see? Here we are. That one show. The one time in eight times that my brother couldn’t make it to Maiden show. Luckily my cousin was able to jump in at the last second. True story – my brother had a wedding to go to the next day so they either left the night of the concert or left really early that morning. When he got to the wedding – a guy at his table talked about seeing a great concert the night before.
That concert? Yup you guessed it.
Now this is probably the worst opening act of all of them. Not that Lauren Harris was terrible, but let’s be honest – when your dad is Steve Harris, bassist and founder of Iron Maiden, if he wants you opening for the band you’re going to do it no matter what. She sounded find, but I assume she just surrounded herself with some great hard rock musicians. But still I sat through her entire set (thank my friend Dave for that).
The video above showed a great stage-set, and it’s also a song I love. I love when they do it live because they take a bunch of fans out on stage to sing a certain part of it.
Good fun for the entire family.
08. Iron Maiden w/ Alice Cooper
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA, USA – Jun 26, 2012
Here it is – the last Iron Maiden show that I’ve seen. Alice Cooper opened up the show and sounded fantastic. He was a lot of fun, but the real magic hit when Bruce and the boys hit the state. My brother learned from his mistakes and was back, as was our friend Dave. Afraid of rain, we got tickets that were a little closer/under the roof. We sold our open air tix we had to my neighbor at the time (Dan you loved it right!?)
Of course it didn’t rain.
Unless you mean metal. It certainly rained metal. This was the most elaborate stage they had for sure, as you can see from that short video clip.
But that video and that clip doesn’t do Maiden real justice of their live experience. This one, from the same concert – does.
If you like MUSIC and you go see Iron Maiden – unless you really hate anything to do with rock (or good taste) – that you would leave with a greater appreciate if not leave a fan. Otherwise, I don’t want to be your friend.
Oh, and speaking of friends – Bill, the friend who let me borrow his Iron Maiden tapes back in 1989. Yeah, he was also at every single one (I believe) of these shows. We’ve never gone together, but almost every time we run into each other….
We’re both still Upping the Irons all these years later.
And now with a new album coming out tomorrow and a new tour next year – I look forward to updating this post with concert number nine.
Up the Irons!