Iron Maiden, Dio & Motorhead

By Eddy Metal

I drove four hours to see this show and almost died trying to drive back, but it was worth it. I had always wanted to see Iron Maiden live, having been a fan since I was probably fourteen, so I decided to make the trip to Columbus Ohio on August 9 to see the legendary metal band which might not be touring too much longer.

The venue was the Germain Amphitheater, a replica of Deer Creek in Indianapolis, only a bit smaller. Motorhead kicked off the show with no-frills rock and roll: no seven-string guitars, no flames shooting out of the drums, no huge TV screens. It was just good ol' Lemmy pounding out riffs on his old Rickenbacker.

The band sounded great, but Lemmy's voice always has been a bit too harsh for my tastes; now the dawg sounds like a 60-year-old with emphysema who smokes three packs a day, trying to sing. (Oops, I guess 57 years old is close enough. Don't know about the emphysema.) Their highlight of the night was "Ace Of Spades."

Next came the diminutive demon vocalist himself, Ronnie James Dio. To be honest I thought Dio was going to be kinda cheesy, but he was in fine form this evening, much better than the other two times I saw him. He opened with "Last In Line" and the crowd of roughly twenty thousand metalheads went nuts. He then broke out two tunes from his stint with Black Sabbath, "Mob Rules" and "Heaven and Hell," which were definitely appreciated by the fans. Dio played classics such as "Rainbow In The Dark," "Dream Evil" and "Holy Diver." Even though the guitar solo in "Holy Diver" wasn't right on, it still rocked and Ronnie had the crowd Right where he wanted them, in his palm.

Then it was time for England's Iron Maiden. With all the original (in my eyes) members back together, it promised to be a killer show. Vocal master Bruce Dickinson, longtime guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and stand-in filler guitarist Janick Gers along with drummer extraordinaire Nicko McBrain were the true nucleus of the British metal invasion.

I was surprised at how many Maiden fans came crawling out of the woodwork; it was metal-o rama! Iron Maiden T-shirts were being sold by the thousands. The line was twenty-five feet by twenty-five feet.

The first song was "The Number Of The Beast," then "The Trooper," "Die With Your Boots On," "Revelations," (a song in which Nicko messed the timing up a little bit), and "Hallowed Be Thy Name." They then played some newer material that I wasn't into as much, probably because they were Iron Maiden's early replacement singer Blaze Bayley's songs, whose vocals I did not like at all at the time.

After the newer stuff, they played "Iron Maiden" the song and left the stage, saying goodnight. The crowd roared until they came back to do two classics, "2 Minutes To Midnight" and "Run To The Hills," after which the house lights came on to let everyone know it was over. The venue had a curfew of 10:15, which was ridiculously early.

I was devastated. They didn't even play "Flight Of Icarus" or "Powerslave," which is like Billy Ray Cyrus not playing " Achy Breaky Heart"!

The band sounded great, but the always-impressive Iron Maiden theatrics were miniscule compared to the days of old. But they did have Edward The Great, a 15-foot-tall mummy/demon dressed in regal attire (actually a guy on huge stilts in an equally huge costume). One thing was clear: Iron Maiden loves and appreciates their fans, so much in fact that Bruce verbally assaulted a security guard at the venue who was bullying the fans around, shining a flashlight in the fans' faces. The fans got a kick out of hearing Bruce go off on the guy in front of everyone.

I'm sorry to report that I was unable to get "live" pictures and an interview with Bruce Dickinson as I intended, because of some less than courteous people at the venue.

Overall this was an excellent concert if somewhat short and the music could have been a bit louder, but seriously, shows like this make me think to myself ....why in the world don't we have shows like this in Louisville? Iron Maiden, Dio and Motorhead at the Waterfront. Imagine that.

The radio stations in Columbus were playing Maiden all day, pushing the show bigtime. I couldn't believe it: Iron Maiden on the radio. The radio station was rewarded by thousands of cheering metal fans. Look what we metalheads in Louisville get: Lincoln Biscuit Disturbed-type music ALL the time.

Life isn't fair....grumble, grumble, grumble.