Another ruined experience - August 14, Basle

MadMax

Invader
Maiden 2008 in Switzerland was practically a sequel to what happened in Dortmund in 2006. But let me take it from the start:

Decided not to go to Wacken since I wanted to see Maiden only. Booked two tickets for Basle instead and later on an easyJet flight from Berlin to Basle. Total amount: approx. 320 Euros, but what the hell, it's Maiden.
I had high hopes that Swiss Maiden fans wouldn't be as ruthless as the guys in Dortmund. In fact there was a mix of Swiss, German, French and Italian fans in front of the St. Jakobshalle in Basle, and they were all in a good mood, so I didn't really know what to expect. What I didn't expect was that they would keep us waiting for exactly two hours in front of the stage, before even Lauren Harris came on. Standing three hours without moving (entrance + inside) is not fun, and the doors could have been opened much later! I also didn't expect there not to be a warderobe, but indeed there was none. So my girllfriend and I go in there with two backbacks which we now had to keep between our feet. Because the standing was so hard and we were kind of afraid that the whole hall might start moving again when Maiden would come, we thought about sitting down on the left or right wall of seats which were freely available. But since we had made it to row 3, center stage, we kept standing.

Lauren Harris was nice. This time she did not convince me as much as in 2006, and she only played for 20 minutes which was a little short. But at least there was no second act before Maiden, which would have been tedious at least. And at 20:00 Maiden followed...

And what happened? I grabbed hold of my girl, saw Nicko's beautiful drumkit, but then it all broke loose again, just like back then. Whereas we could see plenty of the stage before the show, everyone and their aunt was now lifting their arms and jumping, blocking our sight. But much worse, they all came from behind and pushed us hard to the front, and we had to push back just to keep from falling. Side note: I'm not the biggest guy at 173 cm, and she is 164, and most metal fans seem to be built for it at 180 to 210. So there was practically no chance to see anything, not even STANDING still. We were pushed back and forth, from side to side, which would have been tolerable if they had not squeezed us in so much. You could barely breathe and the first two songs were like a battle hymn for us vs. the audience. So we agreed to get out of the pit and to the seats, but it was easier said than done... the whole freaking hall had been filled to the last spot, and people just kept coming at us. So it took us Bruce's full first speech to get out. After we had reached the seats, we were wet, exhausted and thirsty, and our formerly good positions were wasted. What a great start, and my enthusiasm was slowly cut off even though I had sworn myself to enjoy this concert no matter what.

So we sat down on the right side of the hall, quite a bit high, and we could look over the stage. "Look over" as in "over the right wall and barely catching a band member". The side walls completely blocked any chance of spotting the band, and anyone standing down in the pit on the sides (which were the ONLY pushing-safe spots) might have seen Bruce and maybe one of the others at a time. See, the stage looked fantastic, but why do Maiden keep building themselves in so much that sidestanders can't see a thing of the band? It really, really disappointed me a lot since now we were forced to climb even higher, to a point where I completely failed to "experience" this concert like a paying fan should. Now we were up there, looking over the walls at the guys moving about the stage, completely ignoring the sides (Bruce never even looked at the seats, only interacting with the pit). And yet again there was no sight of Nicko or even his kit; I could only see some moving crash cymbals which looked nice. Again, had he not been built into the walls, we might have seen a lot more of him. And f*ck it, I never come to a concert to see stage props, I want to see MAIDEN!

So we watched the concert sitting from over there. Going back down was not an option. Song after song was played, all classic, and all worth the time and money spent to come here. But I didn't feel the least bit excited anymore. It was like watching a show on TV; the band was too far away and too much at the sides to be in my focus. Cheering them on was pointless, they wouldn't have heard or seen anyway, and to be honest, I didn't feel very much like it. So I leaned back and watched the show unfold. Special effects looked great, but the backdrop was completely awkward from this angle and it didn't look like it should. I had a fun few minutes watching the sound engineer work his 64 track mixer, which I probably wouldn't have even seen had I been down there with the others. But it was madness, they stood back to back and people were pulled out by security guys at the front, probably one to two each song.

Is this REALLY what a Maiden concert is all about? Going there, spending time and money on even flying to a concert hall because Maiden don't come to you, just so you can dive into the masses, not catch a glimpse of the stage, be forced to fight for your spot at all times, and even enjoy the experience? You've got to be kidding me. And I wonder how the fans could have found it so thrilling, but they came out afterward with big smiles on their faces. So I suppose it's meant to be like this, regardless of the country or the hall's layout. And for this, I'm never going to pay any money again until I'm given a fair chance to actually see the band and enjoy the concert.

So PLEASE Maiden, come to Berlin or any northern part of Germany so I won't have to travel cross-country a third time just to get a f*cked-up concert! I want to see you guys, but I want to be a part of the experience, not just a degraded bystander looking at stage walls. And while you're at it, your live sound could use some work too. Both Dortmund and Basle didn't sound very good, there was bass everywhere, treble that ripped your ears apart if not properly protected, but no mid-tones. Bruce was hard to hear, his voice dropping in and out randomly, and guitar solos were practically mute. This happened on borth concerts, regardless of where I was. And that's pretty lame for such a detailed guitar-driven band.

I too heard from Bruce that a new album is due. I truly hope that I will get a fair chance just for this one concert, because a brand new Maiden album is the best reason in my eyes to go see them live. I don't want premium positions, but sitting at the rim is not it, and pushing around is worse.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
crybaby.gif
 

Peschane

Trooper
I was at the gig last night... :yey:

Just a fantastic show, with an incredible audience! :blink:

Probabbly the best live show i've ever seen in my life... :wub:

I'm not feeling like an old man (Im only 28 :innocent:), but if i can, i don't go to the pit area anymore. For sure, seats are not "real maiden fan attitude", but with seats, if you came early and take the good ones, you can appreciate the show without beeing pushed around or even injured :S

For the ones that were in the pit area the show also seems to be very good...

It's a choice, you can't have anything... What do you really want? The "real experience" or "DVD quality" view of the show? Maybe you want a private show just for you, and after the show, Lauren can also takes care of you... no? <_<

I'm sorry, but it's incredible... This show was fantastic, and in a 1 page long post, you don't speak a word about the live performance itself! You even don't realise what you have missed...
I'll give you an advice, if this gig was not good for you, don't spend your money anymore for a maiden gig, unless you decide to take seats places.
 

GuineaPig

Ancient Mariner
SinisterMinisterX said:

Very sensitive.  He has legitimate points and concerns.


Though, maybe you should've gone to the Assen show.  It would probably be closer to you, and though there are more bands, they also happen to be great ones (I would love to see Kamelot and Maiden play together). 

Sorry to hear you had a bad time, because it's a great show this tour.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
It's as simple as this: On any heavy metal concert there will be pushing, actually on any big concert with any kind of intense music and a standing audience. I haven't been to a Slayer show, but I guess that would be even more intense. If you don't want pushing and having to work hard to keep a good spot, get a seat. At Lerkendal I was pushed a lot from side to side, even though I was standing behind the second barrier, but I still enjoyed the show from end to end ...
 

SneakySneaky

Trooper
You have every right to be angry.  I know for sure that the Dortmund concert was indeed an awful experience (Maidenfreak and Perun will confirm this),  so I'm guessing you actually did have a hard time  :blush:.  I'm sorry to hear that,  but I think next time you should try getting seating tickets.  Sure it's not "true" enough,  but at least in 2006 I enjoyed the concert as much as I could, contrary to you and the guys.  :)
 

Invader

Ancient Mariner
Eddies Wingman said:
On any heavy metal concert there will be pushing, actually on any big concert with any kind of intense music and a standing audience. I haven't been to a Slayer show, but I guess that would be even more intense. If you don't want pushing and having to work hard to keep a good spot, get a seat. At Lerkendal I was pushed a lot from side to side, even though I was standing behind the second barrier, but I still enjoyed the show from end to end ...

Very true every word.  Have you ever even been to a metal concert (besides Maiden) before MadMax?  From my experience, pushing is unavoidable in most metal shows.  The heavier the music gets, the more intense it is in the field.  And EW assumes correctly about Slayer, the stuff that goes on at a Slayer concert makes Maiden audiences feel like a bunch of grannies.

everyone and their aunt was now lifting their arms and jumping

And this is a bad thing?  That's what you're *supposed* to do in a metal concert.  If the audience stands still and doesn't respond, it's a very boring gig.  I was personally disappointed in the small amount of jumping in the Tampere gig, even though I was right up front in the seventh row.  And for the record, I'm shorter than you, so I do know that it can be hard to see properly, but this can be fixed by going as up front as possible.  I was just behind on the second barrier during the Helsinki gig and there was some pretty intense pushing especially towards the end.  I lost my place and fell back from the barrier during the encore, so I missed
Hallowed Be Thy Name
visually.  However, I think the best approach is just not to think about it and try to live with the audience and not let it spoil your gig.  I enjoyed Maiden's gig immensely despite the pushing.  It's all about attitude. :)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Assen (that concert is today) is indeed closer to Berlin.

Well, what can I say. I have had such experiences as well. It's very bad especially when it comes unexpected.
Next time I advise you to stand much further from the stage. That can be a nice as well, and the sound can even be better.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
That's a good point, Forostar - you will of course not be able to look the band members right into their faces, but the sound is usually not ideal just in front of the stage. For optimal sound (especially for those who want to -ahum- record the sound) you need to be at some distance from the stage and usually not out towards the sides.

And it is quite obvious that if you don't want pushing and jumping, stand further from the stage. It's that simple.
 

Real World

Maindenfans.com Founder
I have a similar story from 99 in Paris when Bruce and Adrian returned. I got about 10 rows from the front and couldn't wait but as soon as Maiden came on I was pushed forward then pushed backward then pushed forward again as the crowd jostled with each other for position. At one point my feet left the ground and I was still being pushed forward and back and I couldn't get my feet down to do anything about it. Scray shit when you're 18 years old. When I finally hit the ground I spent the entirety of Aces High fighting against the tide to get to the side of the Arena where I watched from the top of the stairs. Not the same atmosphere at all but bearing in mind I was wearing the event shirt saying "I survived 9.9.99" I didn't want to die an ironic death.
I think maybe I'm getting too old for this :p
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Eddies Wingman said:
That's a good point, Forostar - you will of course not be able to look the band members right into their faces, but the sound is usually not ideal just in front of the stage. For optimal sound (especially for those who want to -ahum- record the sound) you need to be at some distance from the stage and usually not out towards the sides.

And it is quite obvious that if you don't want pushing and jumping, stand further from the stage. It's that simple.

What's also handy is to start from the back and slowly go forward, if you feel there's enough room. You can spot "gaps" in the audience if it's not too packed. Like this, you can make your "loneliness of the patient crowd-crawler"-route.

Most of the times the heaviest moving (audience-waves) are in the beginning, during the first 5 songs, later things should be calmer and then you could slowly move up.

In 2006 I started far away but ended up like 20th row (which is still damn close) to see the band members well.

This year at Wacken (70.000 metalheads!) was weird. I thought we were far enough but suddenly, before Revelations, there came a wave from the back, going forward and backwards again! We were pressed hard against eachother and were afraid to fall. Scary stuff.

In 2000 during Ghost of the Navigator I was at the front but I had to get out of there as hell if I wanted to enjoy the rest of the concert.

In 2003, we were like 4th row, some bitch beat my wife on the head but it was so packed that there was not much to do about it. So MadMax, alas. It can't be always cool, I know what it means.

Hope it will be better next time!
 
Sorry if I don't comment on the OG poster's opinion, but if this is the "official Basel show thread", I'd like to post my little review:

Wow, where do I start ...

What an amazing show that was! I was very impressed!
Having been an Iron Maiden fan for about 20 years, I finally got to see them live for the very first time.
Yeah, I would have definitely liked to see them before, maybe during the golden years or so. But it seems like I haven't missed much. These guys haven't slowed down one bit! UP THE IRONS!

I had been wandering around the city of Basel all day long. Weather was nice and I kept passing people wearing Iron Maiden shirts (just like myself). Meeting these people was actually kinda cool. Sometimes you'd only nod your head in acknowledgment or blink with your eye, but quite a few times, conversations started naturally. It was really nice to see how being fan of the same band created some kind of bond between complete strangers.

I arrived at the venue at around 7 o'clock and saw all these Iron Maiden heads wearing Maiden shirts everywhere. At that very moment, I really did feel like Somewhere back in Time! "Hello, 1985", I said to myself and felt like a teenage metal kid again.

I immediately headed to the merch stand and got myself two shirts (despite the heftiy price tag).
After a while, my buddies arrived and we entered the venue on the left side of the stage. We found a neat place at a rail where we had some space and had quite a nice view at the stage, even from this side perspective.

And then ... it started!
Boy, what a flash! These guys came out on fire! They spread so much energy on stage while playing so tight, it was simply amazing. The crowd didn't disappoint either ... I'd never seen so many people (everyone?) singing along and of course, neither could we hold back!

They played classic after classic. All killer, no filler. The entire show was just one firework of Iron Maiden's best songs and a celebration of their history.

I can't even name one favourite moment, it was all just one big blast.
Thanx, Iron Maiden, for this great, great experience!

I snapped some pix with my mobile phone. Here's some of the better ones:
Getting hyped and ready
DSC01985.jpg


Aces High
DSC01988.jpg


DSC01991.jpg


The Trooper
DSC01994.jpg


ROTAM
DSC02002.jpg


DSC02004.jpg


DSC02007.jpg


DSC02009.jpg


Heaven can wait
DSC02010.jpg


Eddie
DSC02024.jpg


Show's over
DSC02030.jpg

Edit by Shadow: as the tour isn't over yet, song names and pictures have been put within spoiler tags.
 

MadMax

Invader
Thanks guys for the replies. Just a word to reason why I wrote this "review": I'm not looking for consolation or anyone telling me, "yeah, it must have been bad, I'm gonna call Maiden to play a private gig for you" - I'm definitely not someone to whine around like that, but I am greatly disappointed that the second Maiden concert was just as bad FOR ME as the first (the concert itself - especially the performance of the guys - was of course world class, but what can you make of it if you're bumped around like this?)

So I see that some of you experienced similar things, and I also see that some of you enjoyed it nonetheless. Well really, if I go to a concert, I do it because of the music and the band itself, I want to see them perform, so yes, a Maiden concert might not be for me if it always goes like this. But I'm probably going to take your advice on either getting a seat or starting behind the "boiling point" of the pit.
Someone asked me if I had been to other heavy rock or metal concerts. I agree it might not be everyone's taste, but Nickelback in Berlin 2003 was indeed a very hard rocking show. They had pyros on stage, played all the grungy hard stuff from earlier times, it was incredibly loud and banging. And yes, people moved around, but there was always room to escape to, and it was not the same pushing and pulling "waves" like with Maiden. And I agree that jumping and cheering is the best way to get involved in a concert, so don't think that I wouldn't do that just because I said that I was overburdened with the Maiden crowd. But as I said... it was just too much to handle, and it greatly changes my view of metal fans in a way - seems like everyone's coming there just to party and run around instead of watching and listening to the band they came to see. And I simply cannot understand that...

The photos Maiden Killer posted there look similar to what I saw when I was sitting later on, but on the other side.
 

Cosmiceddie

Back From The Edge
Well, to me, this was the worst Maiden show I have attended thus far. Why? Above all I was very disappointed in the bad sound quality there. The rhythm guitars were too indistinctly, the guitar solos (Dave Murray) partly heavily distorted and either Bruce's voice or his microphone sucked now and then. Sometimes, it was too loud and then again too low, I don't know what the problem was, yet I suppose it wasn't Bruce's best night (probably because it was almost the last gig of the tour). At least he sang dreadfully in 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'.

As for the stage set, it looked good, although the light show seemed a bit poor compared to the last tour.

Highlight was , of course, the appearance of the mummy, which looked amazing.

Best songs were 'Moonchild', 'Wasted Years', 'Powerslave' and 'Aces High'. Boring parts were 'Can I Play With Madness', 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', 'Run To The Hills', 'The Number Of The Beast', 'Heaven Can Wait'.

Nevertheless the crowd was great and really into it.

As a result, I don't think that this show was worth the sharp ticket price at all.

I didn't use any spoiler since there's only one show left (Russia) . So by now anybody should be aware of the setlist, shouldn't they?
 

Invader

Ancient Mariner
Ah, you never know.  There might be a Russian lurking about somewhere with no idea of the setlist and now you've spoilt it all. :p  I'm using spoilers until then, though, if only for common courtesy.

I also thought the songs you mentioned were a bit dull, and since it was my first Maiden gig, I expected more from such crowd favourites.  The pyros were great on The
Number of the Beast
, but otherwise, it was a quite boring.  I'd have thought the crowd knew the intro better too. 
Rime
, however, was for me the best part of both the gigs I went to, and Bruce got his scream better than I expected.  I listened to the studio version of it for the first time in ages, and I didn't even know the original scream was so high.  He does it much lower on Live After Death, and I think he actually outdid that performance at my gig.
 

Real World

Maindenfans.com Founder
Forostar said:
What's also handy is to start from the back and slowly go forward, if you feel there's enough room. You can spot "gaps" in the audience if it's not too packed. Like this, you can make your "loneliness of the patient crowd-crawler"-route.

I agree with this. I've done this at a few gigs since and OK you don't get to the front but you get close to it and you get the atmosphere.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
Invader said:
I listened to the studio version of it for the first time in ages, and I didn't even know the original scream was so high.  He does it much lower on Live After Death, and I think he actually outdid that performance at my gig.

In my opinion,
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
has never sounded better than on this tour. I've seen videos (including LAD) of the song from the earlier tours where it was played, and I really think this one is the best. Not only does Bruce sound better now than in many shows from 1985 and later in the 80s, but H has refined his solo with some new elements that in my opinion sound better than earlier live versions.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Eddies Wingman said:
Bruce sounds better now than in many shows from 1985 and later in the 80s...

That has got to be one of my favorite things... top three in fact of the new albums (BNW, DOD, AMOLAD), Bruces singing IS much better IMO.
 

Anomica

Trooper
About sound quality and that stuff: At Ullevi (Gothenburg) I chose to stand close to the sound tech's booth and I must say that the sound was spectacular! I could hear all three guitars and some details from the riffs and such. Bruce's voice was better than on the last two Gothenburg gigs and generally the show was brilliant. Of course, standing by the sound booth mean you have to stand far from the stage, but at least they have large monitors on the sides where you can see.
In 2005 I was in the seated section and the sound was crap, probably because the sound echoed/bounced around the arena from side to side so this time I decided to stand in the center. I didn't want to go too far to the front, though, as I really don't feel like pushing and shoving that much.

All in all, this was the best show I've ever seen with Maiden (1984, 1985, 2005, 2006 (7?), 2008) soundwise, when it comes to setlist, stage show, general experience.
 
I've gotta say I do have some sympathy and indeed empathy (see my Twickenham review) as I fell foul to the madness that is up close and personal Maiden. Hell I loved it and hated it all at the same time. Being crushed, pushed, pulled, shoved and roughed up is a painful yet exhilirating experience. I fell over at one point and if not for the quick responses of those around me to help me up I might have been stomped on until I died from it!!! I was concentarting so much on not falling, on protecting myself from shoves and pushes and from doing a fair bit of my own shoving, that parts ofthe show passed me by. I can't remember certain parts of the gig and can only hope a DVD hits the shops some time soon. However I have still got to say what a fucking amazing fantastic experience that I will always cherish.

I've seen Maiden several times and the experience was up there with Download (Monsters of Rock) in 2003. I saw them on the AMOLAD tour and that one felt a little flat as the songs were all new and the punters didnt seem as in to the gig for some reason. I would like to watch Maiden from a seat at some point so i can take everything in, the pyros, Eddie, Bruce up the platforms, Jan and 'Arry tear arsing around like headless chickens, Adrian and Dave making it all look effortless, Nicko bashing the skins (sounds a bit rude that!!) but I bet 20 minutes in I would be wishing I had bought a standing ticket so I could be in the middle of the mob getting my head kicked in!!!

I can recommend Beautiful South, Michael Jackson and Will Young as suitable gigs where the chance of death by moshers is relatively low!!
 
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