Jealous of those who gets to see them this summer. I could have gone to England to see them, but due to both economic reasons and that I didn't want to travel alone I didn't.
If they ever come to Sweden again though... Not because I am crazy about Steve Harris, who isn't even my favourite member of Iron Maiden, but because I genuinely liked the band (especially the vocals) and their material.
I went to the gig in Uden (Netherlands) yesterday and had a blast!
When I arrived, I saw Michael Kenney outside. I had a little chat with him and asked if I could make a photo of him (and myself) and he was OK with that; a helpful local crew member took it. Will post it later.
Later I found out that the whole crew consisted of a small version of the Maiden crew. Weird to see these familiar faces, being busy with gear and preparations in such a small venue. I believe that even Nicko's drum tech was there. Usually you hardly see him, because (I think) the drums are set-up way earlier, before Maiden starts. Now I saw him in between bands.
The evening started with fast melodic guitar extravaganza. It also featured Harris guitar solos. Harris? Yes, Harris. The opening act was a band called The Raven Age. George Harris plays guitar in it. I liked the music quite a lot. Lots of fast guitar harmonies. Quite tight. The bass player and the drummer sounded very good too. The singer sang offkey more than a bit. Later I heard that he was sick and went straight to bed afterwards.
The band was received well, and I think that lots of people didn't even know that Arry's son played in it. After the gig, the rumour spread and after BL ended, some people went with him and the rest of the band on the photo, at the merch stand.
Then British Lion came on. Well, it was fan-tas-tic. They played all the songs from the album apart from the last one. Four new songs and two covers. I noticed that some of the new material featured more galloping bass. As with most music, also British Lion's came to "live". The band received tremendous response. In the audience, I noticed Italians, Germans, I saw a guy with a Swedish flag and also half a dozen of Polish dudes, with one driver who drove them from Poland and back on the same day!
If Steve behaves as just one of the band, then he still surely carries the music with his dynamic and precise bass work. To witness the man at work from so close is really great. He was so much into it. And he made lots of contact, looking the audience straight in the eyes.
The singer was very, very good live. Quite powerful! And there was a lot of contact with the audience, also by other band members. I stood 2nd row. Before me there was a woman with her 18-year old daughter. The mother had already met Steve in the eighties and hoped to score another photo or autograph after the show. I am not sure if they succeeded but both received a wristband from Mr. Steve Harris after the gig! After the last song had ended, Steve and other band members gave high fives to people at the front (I was one of them).
Funny moment during the gig: In between songs, Steve suddenly showed a sign saying Brazil - Holland: 0-1. Very cool! Both the score, and the fact that he did this. Then the band continued with Us Against the World, very fitting is you ask me.
After the gig I saw a large portion of the second half of the match. It was already 2-0 at that point. About 10 minutes before it ended I had to go to another match: Steve was coming into the venue to sign stuff and let people take photos with him. It was very crowded with lots of pushing, but Steve stayed til the end giving everybody what (s)he wanted. I was one of the lucky ones. I knew that in this chaos I didn't have time for a chat, and I didn't want to bother him with a question or two because IMO these were not very nice circumstances to do that (although I have to confess that I did see people who brought countless of items to sign, and one guy who talked for at least one and a half minute, but I thought that was an odd thing to do with a hundred still waiting). After he signed my British Lion booklet, I took a few photos (will post later) and said "Steve, it was a bloody great evening!" The photos are not good but who cares, it was a great moment for me. It was the first time I ever met someone (still) being in Iron Maiden.
After the gig, I also met Warhurst. I guess we're the only two (active) Dutch people out here, so it was nice to have a little chat.
Sounds like you had a great time, Foro! I'm glad for you. I know what you mean about the people taking up Steve's time. I remember when I met him, somebody gave him at least thirty photos to sign, absolutely ridiculous.
Yeah, I saw several people with backpacks full of stuff. Photos, tour books. And only Maiden. I thought it was more appropriate to let my British Lion booklet sign. It even felt difficult to wear a Maiden shirt, so in the end I decided not to do that. Bought a BL t-shirt before the gig started.
You are certainly not the first to get that impression of the vocals. A shame the album didn't have better production. (Though it somehow suits the material.) He is great live. Last year I heard someone say something like "Well, that's a first. The vocals actually sounded better than on the album" after the show. And I think that would be many peoples impression after seeing British Lion live.
Vocals were indeed great. As for the shirt, wearing a Maiden shirt to a British Lion show is not done. Not nice to the other bandmembers (though a crew member did wear his "Maiden Production" shirt). As for the "active" members from Holland. I think there is only one. I am just around every now and than. But it was nice meeting you and glad you got your photo with ... Forgot his name.
I'm just coming back from the British Lion gig in Paris, and experienced an even greater moment than in march 2013. The venue was quite good for that, because it only has one door. One couldn't miss Steve and the guys. I arrived at 1PM, and very quickly, Leslie, the guitar player, passed by : I asked him an autograph, had a picture taken, and began to chat with him, for something like 15 mn. I was with a guy from Luxemburg, and the other fans didn't seem interessed at all. He talked to us about Steve having moved his home studio in Portugal, where they rehearsed before the current tour and where they are going to record the next album ; he confirmed that there is definetely going to be a second album, when Maiden let Steve time off to do something else. As for Maiden, he told us they are going to write and record the new album from the end of summer on. "September I think" are his exact words.
Then, after the guitarist had gone, we spotted the drummer beside the tour bus, and I a chat with him : he was very nice.
In the next two hours, we had the other guitarist and the singer.
Steve arrived quite late, at 6PM, with his bodyguard. He made it clear he couldn't stop because he had to soundcheck, but he told us he would come "after". I wasn't sure about when, but it turned out to be after the balance and not after the gig. So, at 6:30, they put a barrier on the basement, gave us a few instructions, and here he was. Taking advantage of last year's experience, I let a few people go before me, so that I could witness the scene, not to many because I didn't want him to be bored when it's my turn.
He spotted my 'Steve Harris' shirt, very carefully signed a photo of him and I had a picture taken. I remained there for 10 minutes, before the whole basement got packed, and I had to clear the place for the other guys. As Foro, I noticed a few guys with tons of things to sign : shameless cunts !
The gig was absolutely great. The whole place was on fire, with fans screaming, singing along, jumping. The unreleased songs are really great, most of all Father Lucifer, the one you alluded to, Foro, I think. They sound so much heavier on stage than on record, and the drummer, who only recorded a few songs, is very good and has developped a fine chemistry with Harry.
We had two speeches from Taylor : one about what a great audience we where, and that last year's was their favorite gig in the whole tour (but I suppose he says the same thing everywhere ), and a second one (I liked it) about them meeting many of us during the day, and the fans being very respectfull and polite. This is certainly not the French most obvious quality, so everybody was delighted.
After sleeping a bit, I realize that my previous post was terribly self-centered. Foro, I'm really happy you've been able to see the man this year and that you appreciate so much the gig. This British Lion thing is turning into something really great for the fans. I don't know how many have been able to see him after a Maiden gig during this tour, but you get a real occasion here. This really throws new light on some of the discussions we previously had on this forum about Maiden being (or not) all about money. Apparently, music and getting in touch with the fans still matter for some of the guys.
And I forgot to say that the wholo 2013 was filmed, the Porto gig this year is goning to be filmed, and a DVD release is on its was (Leslie dixit). This is great, because the live performance really does justice to the songs (to the point where I couldn't listen to the record for two months after the 2013 gig).