Iron Maiden and Ghost at AT&T Center, San Antonio, June 24, 2017

This is the band that started it.  I’m sure I would have made it down the metal rabbit hole without them, but these guys are the band, more than any other, that made me into the rabid metal dork that I am today.

A friend that attended this show with me asked how many times had I seen Maiden live?  It turns out that this was show #10 that I’ve seen them.  You’d think by now that the experience would start to fade a bit.  Not a chance.  Every single time I’ve seen these guys, they deliver each and every time.  I can definitively say that even if you aren’t a fan of Maiden or of metal in general that you should see these guys do their thing in a live setting.  It’s a spectacle and well worth the price of admission.  Hell, just seeing a 58-year-old Bruce Dickinson running around and jumping like a 20-year-old for nearly two hours and still retaining the powerful air raid siren vocals is worth the price of admission.  Seriously, this group of 60 year olds make most of their younger peers look staid and tired by comparison.

The past couple of tours I’ve seen Maiden perform have been retrospective tours that have recreated classic stage shows of the past (Powerslave and Seventh Son) and have been more of a run down of classic songs from those respective time periods.  This is the first proper album tour I’ve seen in a few years.  It was cool to see them focus of The Book of Souls heavily since that was a pretty solid album and I haven’t seen any of those songs performed live.  The title cut and The Red and the Black were definite highlights of the new songs.  The Mayan themed stage set up and various Eddies popping up throughout the set were fun.  For the rest of the set, Maiden seemed to hit most of their classic albums.  Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, Wasted Years, The Trooper, Powerslave, and The Number of the Beast all made appearances.

Just a great night.  There’s no telling how much longer they are still going to be doing this live.  Steve Harris says he feels they still have at least one more album in them.  Drummer Nicko McBrain just turned 65 recently and has remarked that he doesn’t see himself being able to perform up to this level once he gets into his 70s.  The point being:  don’t miss them when you get a chance.  They are still producing at a high level, but the time is running short.

Also, mention must be made of opener, Ghost.  I’ve been a fan of these guys and their live show is always campy and fun.  However, a little bit of the shine has been taken off these guys with the firing of the original lineup of Nameless Ghouls by frontman Papa Emeritus/Tobias Forge.  Lawsuits being filed amongst band mates are never a good look and it is sad when the financial side of things can encroach on band chemistry.  I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed by the new lineup of Ghouls.  The past incarnation of the band held a very stoic stage presence that just seemed to lend to the overall nature of the band’s gimmick.  The new group of guys/girl were a little too bouncy and animated for my tastes.  I don’t know.  I’m probably being nitpicky.  The band still sounded good.  I’m sure the news of Papa’s behavior is probably coloring my view of the band at this point.

Sadly, I have no footage to share from this show.  Our seats were next to one of the aisles and my attempts to film just kept being interrupted by a steady stream of people heading to their seats or heading out to get refreshments.  I just gave up after a couple of attempts.

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