Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Iron Maiden / Ghost at PNC Music Pavilion - 6/9/2017

Iron Maiden
With Ghost
PNC Music Pavilion
6/9/2017

As you could easily guess from my show history, I don't go in for these types of huge concerts at arenas or amphitheaters or in this case, pavilions.  Sometimes though, you just decide you've never seen Iron Maiden and they aren't getting any younger, so why the hell not? 

The opener was Ghost from Sweden.  The singer dresses like a demented pope and the rest of the band is wearing masks.  I know this more from seeing photos of the band than what I saw on the stage, because we were so damn far away...you could kinda make out the pope hat at best.  They sounded pretty good - much more melodic than I was expecting based on their look (you always expect a demented pope to shade more to the black metal descriptor, right?).  There were a lot of Ghost shirts in the crowd, so clearly this was a pretty popular opener - I give them the thumbs up as well.  Still, it's weird watching a metal band when it's still daylight outside.  Pretty sure they played the Lincoln Theatre not too long ago, I'd be down to see them again in that more intimate setting. 

While there was no shortage of the expected white trash and rednecks at the show, the percentage was much lower than expected.  And speaking of percentages, I figured the crowd would be at least 70% male, but in reality I'd put that number closer to 80-85%.  It was a real schlong city.  The guy behind us spent a long time giving dating tips to a seven year old, threatening to beat someone's ass over the phone, and referring to someone as "a sack of chicken wings sewn into human form."  The guy that was briefly in front of us took his shirt off, threw it into the crowd, and then walked away never to be seen again.  I would bet at least 50% of the crowd was wearing Maiden shirts - I gotta think that band makes more off of merch than they do music and concerts combined. 

Speaking of Maiden, eventually they took the stage just as it was getting dark.  It was everything I hoped it would be - huge "Indiana Jones" set, flash pots going off left and right, crazy lights and smoke, different Eddie banners for every song, and most importantly, the band sounded great.  Probably the most impressive part was how active and agile the band was, especially singer Bruce Dickinson - pacing the stage, jumping off of monitors, up and down from the multiple tiers of set - I bet he covered five miles easy, not bad for a man nearly sixty years old!  Long story short on the set, the highlights were "The Trooper" and "Number of the Beast," but they didn't play "Run to the Hills" much to my chagrin - something I would have known if I had looked at their set lists before the show, as they've been playing the same set for this entire tour.  The lack of that song was my only complaint from an otherwise stellar show.  Next time I'm splurging for better seats though. 

Oh, and then as we left, I saw more people so drunk they were walking leaned back at a 45 degree angle than I've ever seen in my entire life.  Which was especially impressive because all the beer was shit and it cost twelve bucks a can.  Some of those folks must have spent their whole paycheck to get to that state, that's dedication. 

(Photo found online, as far as I know Miley Cyrus was not at this concert.)

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