Review Of Iron Maiden at Jiffy Lube Live in 2012

Iron Maiden is one of the world’s most famous metal bands and it’s always a big deal when they come to town. They played at Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion) on Saturday June 30th as the DC area stop on the Maiden England Tour and of course I was there. It was a scorching hot day and it stayed hot even after dark. There was a massive storm that swept through the night before and many people still didn’t have power so this show was a bit of an escape for people who were getting cabin fever. Iron Maiden draws a bunch of metal heads from across the genre lines and this show was no different. Since they’re one of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands they’re old school enough that parents bring their kids and everyone enjoys the show. There was also a big draw from places like Richmond and Virginia Beach since the tour wasn’t stopping anywhere closer to those areas.

The parking lot opened at 4pm and the gates at 6pm but opening act Alice Cooper didn’t start til almost 7:30pm. In other words, there was plenty of time to grill and drink a few before in the hot sun before the show. I saw Alice Cooper in 2010 opening for Rob Zombie at Merriweather Post Pavilion and I was really blown away by his live show then (check out my review of that show here). However this performance wasn’t even close to as good as that one. They didn’t have nearly as elaborate of a stage set up and other than Alice’s trademark decapitation by guillotine they didn’t really do any of the entertaining stunts on stage. This left a heavy focus on the music which, let’s be honest here, is a bit dated. I liked his 2010 show so much that I had high hopes for this one but it was a total let down. At least he played Feed My Frankenstein, the song everyone knows of his after being in the movie Wayne’s World, which always gets me to chuckle a little.

OK so surely Iron Maiden wouldn’t disappoint right? Long time readers of the site will remember my review of their last concert in the area (read it here) back in July of 2010 wasn’t exactly glowing. Back then the set list wasn’t great and the weather was awful on top of it all. This year’s tour is a sort of throwback theme to the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son era of the band and the set list was probably the best thing about this show. They played five songs off of Seventh Son, including the title track which they hadn’t played in over 20 years before this tour. They also played a ton of crowd pleasing classic tracks like The Trooper, Run To The Hills and Number Of The Beast. They also played some more obscure songs for the old school fans such as The Prisoner and Afraid To Shoot Strangers. There were a couple hits I’d have liked to have heard that weren’t played, Hallowed Be Thy Name is a personal favorite of mine they chose not to perform, however they did play a 14 song set with a three song encore and really nothing they played wasn’t worth including in the set. You can check out the set list for yourself below, keep in mind the covers and Churchill thing were recordings.

Iron Maiden Setlist Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA, USA, Maiden England - North American Tour 2012

So aside from the set list, the show itself was fun as hell. There were lots of back drops and Bruce Dickinson costume changes (I always jokingly hope he’ll come out in a gold plated diaper just once for the lulz!). Of course there were strategic pyrotechnics and a few Eddie appearances as well. Basically it was the action packed show you’d expect from Iron Maiden. Bruce Dickinson was running around the stage, well, mostly on the big raised up stuff on stage. My only problem with his performance was his voice seemed a bit off in a few places. He seemed very conscious of this though and while his voice kept up on most of those classic chorus lines it was on some of the verses that his voice seemed to waver a bit. Still, he handled it like a pro and kept his best moments for when everyone was really paying attention to his lines the most. Maiden’s triple guitarist shred fest was in full effect as well, switching seamlessly between leads and solos, even when they shifted to different band members. Aside from some of the nuances of the set list, there wasn’t much at this show you wouldn’t expect to see if you’ve seen Iron Maiden a few times before, but that isn’t a bad thing with a band that is known for consistently having great performances. For newer fans this was a great show to catch for a first Iron Maiden concert. Sorry I don’t have any photos, the band wouldn’t give me a photo pass because they have some policy about not giving them to online only publications. That kind of sucks doubly because I haven’t seen a live review of this show with photos from any of the local newspapers either, so I guess everyone loses on quality photos at this concert. Before the show I ran into one of the DC Brau guys, a local brewery in Washington DC, and it’s great to know some of them are metal heads. This also might explain why some of their beers have metal names like On The Wings Of Armageddon and Burial At Sea. I ran in to a lot of friends at the show and it’s always nice to see so many of the area’s metal heads all out like this. After the concert I drunkenly handed out a bunch of stickers to people stuck in traffic in the parking lot. In all, it was a hell of a lot of fun and totally worth the hang over the next day. If you’ve got some cool pics or videos feel free to post links to them in the comments below, or even if you’ve got a fun story about your experience there. Sorry it took so long to get up but my internet still hasn’t been restored since the storm which makes running a website kind of hard to do. Until next time, keep it metal everyone and support the scene you’re a part of!

Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and Rammstein ticket give aways

Well here’s something great for you readers of, I’ve made an agreement with Live Nation to give away pairs of tickets to two of the biggest concerts coming to the area! Rammstein is playing the 1st Mariner Arena (formerly Baltimore Arena) in Baltimore on Wednesday 25 April 2012 and Iron Maiden with Alice Cooper on Saturday 30 June 2012 at Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion). One thing I hate about going to big concerts is sitting in the way back squinting to see exactly what the hell is going on so I’m not giving away nose bleed or lawn tickets but for both shows I’m giving away great seats! Rammstein will be premium floor seats and Iron Maiden will be in the 100 section. And of course for each show the tickets will be next to each other. All you have to do to enter this awesome contest is post a comment below telling me which of these two concerts you’d like to see the most. Unlike my past concerts, you CAN win tickets to both concerts so enter for both if you’d like! Be sure to use a valid email address that you check regularly when you enter so I can email you when you win. Don’t worry, I won’t put you on any email lists or sell your info, I hate spam just as much as you do. I’ll pick the lucky winner(s) at random (using from all valid entries at 5pm EST on Friday 9 March 2012. Now read on below for more info about each of these concerts.

Rammstein at 1st Mariner Arena
Rammstein is from Berlin, Germany and are the biggest band from the Neue Deutsche Härte scene there, a style of music that blends hard rock, industrial and metal. In December of 2011 they put out a compilation album that is a retrospective of the band’s entire history, aptly titled Made In Germany 1995-2011. This tour is to support that release and you can bet they’ll be playing a lot of material from their entire back catalog. On thing Rammstein is famous for is their theatrical live shows which use a ridiculous amount of pyrotechnics. And I’m not talking about a few fireworks here, they do things like walk around with 20 foot flames flying out of their costumes! Even if you don’t win the tickets from me you’ll want to be up close to really feel the heat coming from the stage, this isn’t your average performance. If you don’t want to wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, you can get tickets to this concert right now here for $47 – $90. This show is on Wednesday 25 April 2012 and starts at 8pm.

Iron Maiden at Jiffy Lube Live
Iron Maiden is the biggest of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) bands from the 80s. Lots of those bands have broken up or faded from the spotlight but not Iron Maiden. Their last concert in the area, in 2010 to support their latest album, The Final Frontier, was a rainy day and featured mostly newer material by the band. However this time they’ll be playing a more “best hits” oriented set list so expect to hear classics like Run To The Hills and The Trooper this time around. The opening act is Alice Cooper, the original shock rocker. You probably know him for 80s classics like School’s Out and No More Mr. Nice Guy but his newer material has been much darker. You know he’ll bring an entertaining show with him featuring various magic tricks including his trademark, decapitating himself via guillotine! Another great show you don’t want to be in the back for, so be sure to get seated tickets even if you don’t win them here. If you don’t risk losing out on good seats by waiting for this contest to end, you can get tickets now here from $40 – $109.25. This concert is on Saturday 30 June 2012 and starts at 7:30pm (and remember, Jiffy Lube Live has gotten rid of its no tailgating rule).

Well, those are your two choices. Check out these classic videos by these three classic bands:

Review of Alice Cooper gig at Merriweather Post Pavilion

So Sunday the 17th of October 2010 I drove up to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland for the Halloween Hootenanny concert. I had won a pair of lawn tickets from MPP’s Twitter account a couple weeks before otherwise I probably wouldn’t have paid to go. There were a lot of bands playing that day, 2Cents, the Murderdolls, Children Of Bodom, Clutch, Alice Cooper, Black Label Society and Rob Zombie. This was because there were two tours that combined for this final show of the season at Merriweather. Since the set times weren’t revealed I got there too late to see a few and honestly I really just wanted to see Alice Cooper the most. They also had midget wrestling going on at some point, but again I was too late for that. I’d have liked to have seen Children Of Bodom again but since they played so damn early I missed them. I did catch a bit of Clutch and Zakk Wylde with BLS, but I didn’t stick around for Rob Zombie’s show as I’ve seen it a few times and really, I’m not that into techno. Those bands I’ve all seen before anyways, so it wasn’t a big deal, but I hadn’t seen Alice Cooper before and of course I’d heard a lot about his live show. I guess my point is, he’s one of those guys I wanted to see live at least once, though after that show I’d probably go see him again and pay for better seats too. Still, I can’t complain with free tickets.

I got there early enough to get a decent spot in the center of the lawn about as close as I could get without being too underneath the large monitor above. It’s been a few years since I’ve headed up to Merriweather and I’d never seen a second stage set up there. It was sort of awkwardly placed on the lawn on the side of the main entrance to the venue. Not the end of the world, but the farther back you were the more downhill you’d be. It was nice being able to hear Clutch play from my spot on the lawn while I was waiting for Alice Cooper to hit the stage. It was dark by the time he did start playing which really helped the setting. Right away he went into School’s Out followed by No More Mr Nice Guy, which sort of seemed odd since I kind of assumed he’d close with one of them. I think maybe he knew he had to play them and just wanted to get them out of the way. He then went into I’m Eighteen, which is one of the songs I had hoped he’d play. It was his first hit and really the song that got him noticed and it was nice to see he still played it. The set was a decent retrospective of his career. He played old classics like Billion Dollar Babies and Poison, and also had a few newer songs in the mix like Vengeance Is Mine and Dirty Diamonds. I didn’t recognize some of that newer material, and some of the songs they played I hadn’t heard since I was a kid. So that was kind of cool, he didn’t play Hey Stoopid or Bed Of Nails, which I guess I wanted to see since I at least remembered those songs. However, he did play the song Feed My Frankenstein, which of course was made famous by that scene in Wayne’s World. It’s a pretty damn goofy song, full of even more overt horror metaphor as sexual innuendo than your typical Cooper song, but it was damn entertaining. Hell, the giant cyclops monster thing that came out on stage to fight him during that song was pretty cool too. And that’s the thing about this show, when Alice Cooper is on the stage he’s always entertaining. He’s constantly doing SOMETHING! Maybe just walking around flipping his cane around like a baton or getting the audience to join in on some of the chorus lines. And then there’s the props. He did the classic guillotine decapitation, which is something I had always heard about but never seen, so that was awesome to see. He also had some thing where he was put into a box and had swords run through him. He did a song sitting in a chair in a straight jacket as well as having other characters come out in costumes to interact with him on stage for various songs. In one case he had Nurse Rozetta come out and inject him with some neon green fluid in a giant syringe (it sort of reminded me of Re-animator). However, he did not do the famous gallows noose hanging, which I was hoping he’d do (he refused to do it for several years after an accident happened performing the stunt once). One cool thing was he sort of had storylines going from song to song, for instance in one he’d commit a murder, then in the next song he’d be executed for it, then in the next he’d be waking up in hell. As I said before, the entire time he was on stage was pretty damn entertaining, whether I knew the songs or not. But that’s the one problem with the show, he wasn’t always on the stage, most notably during a long instrumental segment that involved a drum solo and several guitar solos. This went on for entirely too long! Now I was kind of expecting Alice to come back on stage with some crazy costume or something that obviously required several minutes to put together, but he didn’t really have anything that crazy on when he came back for Vengeance Is Mine (I have video of it below). I know he’s not the youngest performer around, so maybe he just needed a break but damn that jam session went on forever and was certainly the low point of the show for me. Not that the guys in the band weren’t talented musicians, but it just seemed to go on and on and on to the point that we were making jokes about them being a hippie jam band. Regardless, the show was certainly worth seeing and I’m glad I got to see Alice Cooper at least once, though I could have done with a few less crotch shots on the jumbo trons.

Aside from all the bands performing, the Halloween Hootenanny had some other things too, midget wrestling (which I missed) as well as at least one ride that I went on and a haunted house as well. I went to the show kind of expecting all that to cost money, but was surprised to find they were all free. I went on that spinning ride that makes ya stick to the walls and then rotates up into the air. It was ok I guess, the view of the bathrooms was exquisite from the the top. The haunted house was much more fun though. They made you wear these 3D glasses and had painted things so they’d glow in a black light. Spinning rooms, the ground painted to look like steps that weren’t there, and people jumping out that really did blend in perfectly with the backgrounds when you had the glasses on, and other illusions were all part of it. There was a confusing part with checkered sheets you sort of had to fumble your way through. That was more confusing than scary. Overall it was pretty entertaining and was certainly worth the wait in line. After that I caught a bit of Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and then we decided to head out early to beat traffic. In all it was a great concert experience, especially since we got tickets, posters, buttons and rides all for free! I really wouldn’t mind seeing Alice Cooper again, though hopefully next time he’ll get to play a longer set and it’ll be a bit closer to home for me. Now below you’ll find the videos I shot there. Keep in mind I was on the lawn so they are by no means the best videos I’ve ever posted.