Your First Maiden Gig

MindRuler

Found in a lost world
It would be nice to read all your stories about your first Maiden gig: When, where, with whom, how it was,...

I still remember my first time going to an Iron Maiden gig vividly. It wasn´t only my first Maiden show but also my first concert ever! Months before the gig I got my ticket (in Belgian Francs...that would be 18,60 Euro! Hard to imagine that cheap price now!) at Fnac in Antwerp. I still keep the ticket in the jewel case of the album.

November 13th 1995
The day of the concert was a monday and I studied Arts in Brussels. It was my first year and to get to the gig on time, I had to skip the final lesson: Economics. Nevermind ´cos the teacher was very boring, I wouldn´t miss much so I took the train and bus back home.
Because I didn´t drive a car yet(I never got my driver´s license but that's a whole other story) my parents drove me all the way to Deinze, a pretty long ride. They dropped me off at the Brielpoort and went for dinner at the local Chinese. I was excited when I entered the venue and it was great to see all the other Maiden fans in their Eddie shirts. I went straight to the bar for a cold beer and then it was time for My Dying Bride. I didn´t like them and to this day I still don´t. Not my cup of doom I´m afraid. Their set last too long to my ears and I was relieved when the last song was announced. And then it was almost time... I felt the excitement running through my veins and finally the moment was there! My heroes on stage! The X Factor was the first "new" Maiden album for me so it was great to hear these songs in a live set. Really great performance from all the boys and especially Blaze was in good shape!
When the lights were turned on again and Monty Python´s famous song was played through the PA system, I still was abit overwhelmed. At the merchandising I bought a longsleeve with Eddie on the Electric chair (mom hated it) and the tourbook. I had ringing noise in my ears but I was satisfied. What a gig! What a night!
What a band! :wub:
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Dick Brucinson

Smithdrian A
my 1st Maiden gig was on December 8 1990, so it was No Prayer For The Dying. in Hannover, Germany.
I remember me and my buddy we were waiting all afternoon outside the venue cause we wanted to be in the front row, and our plan worked out well. Maiden were supported by Anthrax (which was cool). but I remember the Maiden show felt like a huge compromise to me anyway. I intented to go and see Maiden earlier - in summer 1988 in Bochum, headlining Monsters Of Rock, but my parents didn't wanna let me go then - well, I was only 13 years old in 1988. so what I mean when speaking about that compromise: sure thing - it was Iron Maiden anyway, but the massive stage era was just over at that point, and also there was no Adrian. for me, having grown up with Maiden since being a 10 year old kid, this felt like a dramatic loss to me in a way. I pretty much knew before what to expect from the NPFTD-tour, based on MTV reports and Kerrang and Metal Hammer publications, but anyway, being a kid back these days with having the massive blast of Life After Death/World Slavery Tour in mind, this could only become a disappointment in different ways. many years later I really started appreciating the memory back to my first Maiden gig, and in retrospective I must admit that the No Prayer For The Dying album has become one of my favourite Maiden albums. the tour had a very, very interesting setist. "The Assassin", "Tailgunner", "Public Enema #1", "No Prayer For The Dying" (!!!), "Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter", "Hooks In You"... all great. "Holy Smoke" should have been swapped with Run Silent Run Deep though imho. amyway,

all in all it was raw, and a VERY dark and VERY aggressive thing, which I really love to think back of.

(btw: 7 songs out of 10 from their album part of the setlist is something to really dream of these days...)
 
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el diablo

Educated Fool
I've only seen the band once, 1987 Somewhere in Time tour in New Jersey. The link to the set list is in my signature. There was some misbehavior which the news called a 'riot' https://www.nj.com/bergen/2017/03/a...he_meadowlands_remembered_30_years_later.html but was really just a bunch of vandalism. I'm going to see them for the 2nd time in Newark, NJ in October 2022.

We were once discussing this concert on a hockey message board I frequented and I wrote up my recollections, here is what I wrote at the time:

I was 2 months shy of my 16th birthday and although 1987 was the year I started going to a lot of concerts, this one in March was only my third concert ever (the prior ones being Van Halen 5150 and Moody Blues/Fixx, both also at Byrne).

We went up early with a convoy of about 4 cars to tailgate. The first and most remarkable thing you noticed was that it was nothing but teenagers as far as you could see. It was like every high school in NJ sent all of its burnouts one big field trip without any adult supervision.

Lots of people passing around joints so I had one of my earliest pot experiences, I couldn't really keep up with conversations so I spent most of the pregame festivities sitting of the hood of someone's car just zoning out. At some point someone gave me a beer but I forgot I had it until about an hour later when the beer supply was running low, someone asked me for a sip and I split it with him but it was warm by then. Don't know why that particular detail sticks in my head but it does.

Also remember going to take a leak, there must have been crowds at the port o pots because everyone was just lining up along this chain link fence that divided that parking lot sections. A bunch of people were cheering off to one side so I looked over, one guy had a girl kneeling on the other side of the fence giving him a bj. To this day I wonder how that kid talked that girl into blowing him through a chain link fence in a crowded parking lot.

At some point people starting tossing empty bottles that were crashing around so we jumped back in the cars, some people smoked more and we just listened to tunes to prep for the show.

Inside was a zoo. Again, nothing but amped up teenagers in a sea of flannel and leather. I had Somewhere in Time and Powerslave on record/cassette so I knew all those songs, but some of the older ones were new to me. They put on an absolutely incredible, high energy concert. The crowd was loud and insane. People in the upper deck starting throwing stuff down on the floor seats, including firecrackers and a few bigger fireworks that were so loud they could be heard over the music. Even the guys in the band noticed them.

I'm pretty sure Run to the Hills was one of the encores. We had left our seats and were wandering around other sections by then. It was a wild crowd.

After the show the "Riot" wasn't really any such thing. Although it certainly was chaotic, I saw no fights or physical violence. Lots of car damage though. It was practically raining glass bottles by then so that was kind of dangerous. Lots of people were gathering anything that could burn and starting huge bonfires, and I saw one car getting flipped over. I didn't see any of the cars that got burned.

I got home that night exhausted and kind of nauseous so I was hoping I could slip in unnoticed, but my parents had heard about the "riot" and were understandably freaked. And that was about it.

In the end, there was no riot. But it was wild an fun for a teenager, and the concert itself was absolutely amazing. One of the best metal bands ever at the height of their power.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Somewhere on Tour, February 6, 1987. Remember when Steve's favorite P-bass was blue with a mirrored "sparkle" pickguard? (Same bass that today is white with a West Ham shield.) Every time I looked at Steve, that pickguard tried to blind me.

Count me in the club of "first saw Maiden so long ago, the venue is no longer standing".
 

____no5

Free Man
Somewhere on Tour, February 6, 1987. Remember when Steve's favorite P-bass was blue with a mirrored "sparkle" pickguard? (Same bass that today is white with a West Ham shield.) Every time I looked at Steve, that pickguard tried to blind me.

I didn't know this is the same bass! I like much better the white version.
 

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
First show was in a club called The Mirage in early '96. Met the band earlier in the day at a signing they did at Sam Goody at the Mall of America. Big turnout for that, and big turnout for the show. The club was packed, pretty sure they ended up turning people away. Fear Factory opened, played a tight set. Maiden came on, blew the doors off the place with "Man on the Edge." Place went nuts and didn't let up throughout the show (apart from slower bits like "Fortunes of War"). Though there was plenty of overhead space, the stage itself was fairly small. No electric chair Eddie--not even the walk-on Eddie.

All in all, a great first show. From what I could tell, Blaze sounded great, but I was fairly busy dodging crowdsurfers and trying to hold onto my spot.
 

AncientMariner_Essex

Educated Fool
My first Maiden gig was the Brixton academy in London, Friday the 10th of November 1995. I was 18 years old.

Been a fan of the band at that time since late 1991 so around 4 years. I’d known about the band since the 80’s as they were a big band in the U.K. and a lot of their singles were top 10 hits but it wasn’t until I started to get into rock music in the early 90’s that I started to take more notice of Maiden. At first they seemed too heavy to me but a mate lent me his copy of Seventh son and from that moment I was totally hooked. Funny to think of Maiden as being too heavy as I spent the rest of the 1990’s getting into much heavier music.

By the time my first gig came around I had purchased all the albums (on cassette) and they were my firm favourite band. Was gutted that Bruce wasn’t there and at that time I had no idea he would be coming back so I thought I’d totally lost my chance to hear him sing with Maiden.

I did and still do really like Blazes voice and really enjoyed the X-Factor album so was still massively looking forward to seeing the band. My dying bride were one of my favourite bands at the time too and was majorly excited to see them too. They had just released their ‘The Angel and the Dark River’ album where the vocalist Aaron completely dropped the death metal vocals. They were a good companion to Maiden as there brand of doom/death metal fit with the gloomy sound and feel of the X-Factor.

Loved the gig, both bands were superb. I loved Blaze singing the Bruce stuff as they picked songs that fit his vocal range well I thought. My only criticism of Blaze was his stage presence. He just stood rooted in the same spot for most of the gig singing and fist pumping lol. No issues with his voice however.

After that I’ve been lucky enough to See Maiden at least once on every tour since including a few special shows like the Clive burr charity gig and the fan club gig at the Shepherd’s Bush empire. Plus twice in Paris and once in Rotterdam.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
A Real Live Tour 1993. No real major interesting stories, a standard sort of a gig, Maiden were good, listening to bootlegs later from that gig and others on the tour, it was one of the better Bruce performances on the tour. The band were all brought out a pint of guinness during the encore, which I think has happened at most if not all gigs in Dublin, certainly I definitely remember it at this gig and in 2003.
 

Aggelos

Educated Fool
Tuesday September 13th 1988 at the Seventh tour of a seventh tour gig in Athens. Was doing my mandatory army service at the time and had to go AWOL for a night to go to the gig. The night of the gig we had night training so we all had to be in. Fuck that! Still have the ticket somewhere in Athens. 2 different halfs of course stiched together.
 

____no5

Free Man
Tuesday September 13th 1988 at the Seventh tour of a seventh tour gig in Athens. Was doing my mandatory army service at the time and had to go AWOL for a night to go to the gig. The night of the gig we had night training so we all had to be in. Fuck that! Still have the ticket somewhere in Athens. 2 different halfs of course stiched together.

So you went or not finally?
 

____no5

Free Man
13 January 1996.
Background: Previous day was sold out, so they added a last minute extra day.

The venue was ~5000 people capacity but that time we were only ~300 (three hundred) in the audience!
Lots of space, as you can imagine, you would almost touch them, without being squeezed -at all!
Maiden were very professional though they played full set and they played well; the sound was terrific, Blaze was great, everything perfect.

I always felt very proud of them and very lucky that I had the chance to live such a unique experience for my first Maiden concert ever!

Reference post here.
 

Ascendingthethrone

Ancient Mariner
My first gig was Reading Festival in 2005. I wanted to see them at Earls Court on 2003 but missed out.

It was a great show and I was 3 rows from the front. I still maintain that the Early Days tour was one of their strongest set lists ever.

It was a great summer to follow the band. I watched the Rock AM Ring show feed earlier in the summer and managed to download some videos from the Ullevi gig. This got me pumped up for the Reading show.
 

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
My first Maiden gig was the Brixton academy in London, Friday the 10th of November 1995. I was 18 years old.

Been a fan of the band at that time since late 1991 so around 4 years. I’d known about the band since the 80’s as they were a big band in the U.K. and a lot of their singles were top 10 hits but it wasn’t until I started to get into rock music in the early 90’s that I started to take more notice of Maiden. At first they seemed too heavy to me but a mate lent me his copy of Seventh son and from that moment I was totally hooked. Funny to think of Maiden as being too heavy as I spent the rest of the 1990’s getting into much heavier music.

By the time my first gig came around I had purchased all the albums (on cassette) and they were my firm favourite band. Was gutted that Bruce wasn’t there and at that time I had no idea he would be coming back so I thought I’d totally lost my chance to hear him sing with Maiden.

I did and still do really like Blazes voice and really enjoyed the X-Factor album so was still massively looking forward to seeing the band. My dying bride were one of my favourite bands at the time too and was majorly excited to see them too. They had just released their ‘The Angel and the Dark River’ album where the vocalist Aaron completely dropped the death metal vocals. They were a good companion to Maiden as there brand of doom/death metal fit with the gloomy sound and feel of the X-Factor.

Loved the gig, both bands were superb. I loved Blaze singing the Bruce stuff as they picked songs that fit his vocal range well I thought. My only criticism of Blaze was his stage presence. He just stood rooted in the same spot for most of the gig singing and fist pumping lol. No issues with his voice however.

After that I’ve been lucky enough to See Maiden at least once on every tour since including a few special shows like the Clive burr charity gig and the fan club gig at the Shepherd’s Bush empire. Plus twice in Paris and once in Rotterdam.
I interviewed Andrew (Craighairn?...it's been a while) during press for 34.788%...Complete, and asked him about the Maiden tour. He said it was the best opening spot they'd done to that point, despite the sometimes unfriendly Maiden crowd in how they are with opening acts. Apparently, when the violin came out, that turned the crowd around, or at least got them intrigued enough to listen.

As for Blaze being rooted in one spot, that's true. According to his then-drummer's At the End of the Day book, he ended up in a tour-long fight with the monitor guy in the crew. The crew guy set it up how he wanted it set up, and the only spot onstage where Blaze could hear what was coming out of the monitors was dead center, right in front of Nicko...which is where you'll see him in most of the bootleg videos out there. He got in-ear monitors for the Virtual XI tour, and he moved around a TON more on that tour.
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, 26 july, 2008:
Maiden at their peak of popularity in Sweden. They sold a combined 85 000 tickets to the Stockholm Stadium and Ullevi that year.

Ullevi Stadium is definitely not the best stadium soundwise for live concerts, as usually you get a lot of echo inside it, but I remember things sounding pretty good that night. And Bruce sang really well. The band seemed happy playing the biggest stadium in Sweden, for the second time.

Many in the audience had propably not listened to anything besides The Number of the Beast and compilations like Best of the Beast and Edward the Great though. As an example people didn't seem to be into some of the "deeper cuts" that night, like Powerslave and Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Lots of people went buying beer during Can I Play With Madness too. But otherwise, it was a great concert.

Avenged Sevenfold opened up the gig and even played the intro to "Flash of the Blade", a track they recorded for Metal Hammer's tribute CD to Maiden released that year:
 
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DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
My first gig was their Sunday headlining spot at Download 2016 during the Book Of Souls tour. I usually avoid festivals like the plague but the lineup that day was so strong - Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Disturbed, Halestorm, Amon Amarth amongst others - that I relented and bought a day ticket.

Fantastic gig. I arrived early and ended up right at the front (which was a little scary during The Trooper as everyone tried to surge forward). Phenomenal setlist; they never should have dropped TOAC for TGU during the second leg.

Standout memory? Accidentally punching someone in the face during The Number Of The Beast and then singing Blood Brothers arm in arm with them minutes later.
 
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