Iron Maiden & Dream Theater @ The San Manuel Amphitheater, Devore CA 06/19/10
You can’t have a Judas Priest review without an Iron Maiden review. They’re the flagship groups of the new wave of British heavy metal. And Secondly (and more importantly), this concert was the last Dream Theater performance I attended that included founding drummer Mike Portnoy. This is important because while U2 inspired me to become a musician, it was Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater that made me pick up the phone and order my first drum kit. After hearing the first track off their Awake CD (after the first 60 seconds really), I literally grabbed a mail order catalog (I think it was ‘Drums in the Wind’), got on the phone, placed the order, and subsequently spent the entire summer paying it off. That drummer and that band completely changed the way I thought about drumming and music in general. Anyways, fast forward to this show which was a dream bill: the immortal Iron Maiden and progressive metal gods Dream Theater.
While Maiden put on an impressive show, it left me disappointed because their set drew heavily on post 2000 material. If you love the old stuff, this was not the show to attend. The crowd was still rabid and very responsive, it’s Iron Maiden after all. The band was incredibly tight as could be expected. Nicko McBrain on drums was a total powerhouse, pulling off fast patterns with his hands, feet, and keeping the band going like an unstoppable locomotive. Nicko’s time keeping is phenomenal, and his stamina left me feeling dizzy…and he made it all look easy! It was also incredibly cool to see thee Bruce Dickinson in person. His vocals were great, the showmanship and drive were top notch as well. He’s one heck of a front man, unfortunately James of Dream Theater can’t even compare. Dream Theater’s opening set was impeccable as always. They were greeted with a spirited response and played a set more tailored for the Maiden fans. The songs were some of their most popular tracks for sure, however I wouldn’t call them their best tracks. It was an appropriate set for a first timers – heavy, lengthy songs with break-neck musicianship. I think Panic Attack and Pull Me Under were the most familiar songs to the audience. Those tracks received the most spirited applause. This was my first Maiden show and 13th occasion seeing Dream Theater. I’ve been going to DT concerts since I was a high schooler, even seeing them 4 times during their 2004 tour alone. Total die hard.
This San Manual Amphitheater show was an experience for sure. 22,000 fans in attendance. I’ve also read that there were 30,000 fans in attendance. No matter the figures, it was still an endless sea of rabid metal-heads. I was overwhelmed. I was scared lol.
coolest moment: Bruce Dickinson dedicated a rousing version of Blood Brothers to Ronnie James Dio, the voice of metal (Rainbow/Black Sabbath), who passed away from stomach cancer a month before.
worst moment: the absence of classic material…and spending more than an hour getting out of the parking lot.
As I Am
A Rite of Passage
Pull Me Under
The Wicker Man
Ghost of the Navigator
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don’t Run
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name