Your First Maiden Gig

Black Bart

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.
Especially, if they were bleeding. :D
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
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After failed to see them in '90, '92 and '93 my first Maiden gig was Madrid '95 attending The X Factor Tour with Blaze Bayley on vocals. The ticket was general admission. I arrived to the Pavilion and I had to wait on the long cue to enter. I remember talk with people who see them before including the last time with Bruce in a small venue just for One thousand of people. All we're waiting to see them with the new vocalist. The only way to know how he sing, the stage production, Eddie…whatever related was the HM magazines and The X factor was not too much covered at the time. There was no Internet then, no youtube. It was very rare to see a HM band in the tv news or playing in a musical tv program, although the new album was very recent and it was the first time that Maiden release an album in cassette and CD no vinyl. (and many artists) so the way to enjoy the album it wasn't like before in vinyl.
Anyway, when I was in. I went to the pit , There was a lot of people and I achieve to stay there in the middle of the pit. The people at the gigs then were packed very tight, no space to move, lot of people smoking… My Dying Bride was the supporting band. Not bad, I remember before the gig was started they play random music like Purple, Rush and finally UFO's Doctor Doctor, at the end the lights were out and the gig started. No introduction, just the first chords of Man on the Edge. Then the people were crazy jumping like crazy including me LOL. And I noticed the stage was really bad. It was like 2 panels at each side of the drums like some bands like Anthrax or Megadeth use in Festivals or open doors gigs to quit them immediately once the band finish their set.

I really enjoyed with the music, the band including Blaze ( I knew that I was going to see him not Bruce), the loud sound (it was amazing like the music resonated in my body), the lights…poor light set but efficiently.
I was disappointed with the stage set and the walking Eddie and the big one (not so big this time).

I don't remember well if I bought the merchandise before or after the gig to be honest but I bought the 'chicken Eddie' of the album cover poster in a very nice kind of matte paper and the really well designed tour program with nice paper and different format.

I left with a great smile in my face. To see them at my first time at 20 it was a great experience that I will never forget.
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
First Maiden show was Roskilde Festival, Denmark 2000. Kinda similar story to @MindRuler - my father drove me to the festival (my first festival at that point too) which took about 3-4 hours where I was to meet-up with my friends. Maiden played on the same day I arrived , the first official opening day of the festival.

I remember being very excited for the show..first time seeing Maiden (had been a young fan since mid 90s at that point) with Bruce and Adrian back....

From the show I remember the band playing really well and Bruce being in a very electrifying mood!



:)
 
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The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
First Maiden show was Roskilde Festival, Denmark 2000. Kinda similar story to @MindRuler - my father drove me to the festival (my first festival at that point too) which took about 3-4 hours where I was to meet-up with my friends. Maiden played on the same day I arrived , the first official opening day of the festival. I remember that my father somehow managed to walk into the actual festival grounds without paying making sure that I found my friends a the camp site and then he walked out again :D

I remember being very excited for the show..first time seeing Maiden (had been a young fan since mid 90s at that point) with Bruce and Adrian back....

From the show I remember the band playing really well and Bruce being in a very electrifying mood! It was only much later on videos that I saw that Bruce actually climbed the Orange Stage set during one of the songs, and basically sang from the rafters but I didn't notice that at all being there live.

On a down note this was also the festival where several people lost their lives during Pearl Jam's set a few days later.

Some videos from Maiden's set and there's a full soundboard on YouTube worth digging into as well.



:)
Is that gig where Janick fell from the stage and injured his head ?
 

Aggelos

Educated Fool
yeah they cancelled the greek date at rockwave festival. dream theater played a bigger set, including a cover of trooper, but of course i was extremely disappointed.
 

Edington

Last Son of The Miracle
Nine years ago today - Edington sees Iron Maiden live in concert for the first time. His life is never the same again.

Well, not really, but as days of my life go it was one of the better ones. :edmetal:

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With hindsight, Maiden England's setlist wasn't the best, having quite a bit of overlap with their previous "greatest hits" tour (Somewhere Back in Time, of course) and missing out a few obvious choices for deep cuts like Stranger in a Strange Land or Infinite Dreams. But, for a first concert and for me personally it was pretty excellent. They played over half of one of my favourite Maiden albums, a couple of pretty solid deep cuts and all the fan-favourites that bring the house down - bar Hallowed, sadly. It would take me another five years to witness that one.

A few highlights of Bruce's stage banter included him calling out a writer for the New Musical Express who claimed Bruce had recently flown a replica Spitfire over Download ("What a fucking dickhead!") and announcing that the legend that was Sir Bruce Forsyth had been in attendance the night before ("It's nice to see you, to see you..." "NICE!").

Fantastic evening. The image of Maiden exploding onto the stage as they kicked off Moonchild will be burned into my memory forever.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
With hindsight, Maiden England's setlist wasn't the best, having quite a bit of overlap with their previous "greatest hits" tour (Somewhere Back in Time, of course) and missing out a few obvious choices for deep cuts like Stranger in a Strange Land or Infinite Dreams. But, for a first concert and for me personally it was pretty excellent. They played over half of one of my favourite Maiden albums, a couple of pretty solid deep cuts and all the fan-favourites that bring the house down - bar Hallowed, sadly. It would take me another five years to witness that one.

Yep, Maiden England set sure wasn't structurally quite as exciting and inspired as the previous history tour(s), 2010 leg of TFF tour or the next tour(s) that gave a welcome shake to Maiden setlist traditions (especially TBOS set!), but the SBIT comparisons you often see make the 2012-13 set look a lot worse than it actually is.

My first Maiden gig was in 2011, so I never got to see Somewhere Back in Time show; in that regard, Aces High was a nice "catch" in 2013. The omission of the mentioned deep cuts/era-centerpieces (especially Infinite Dreams) was obviously sad, but as you mentioned, they played over a half of Seventh Son - probably my very favourite Iron Maiden album - how amazing is that?! Moonchild, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and The Clairvoyant were all simply stunning performances and even often bashed Can I Play With Madness was a brilliant live track. It worked very well right after the sinister Moonchild. And right after that, The Prisoner! Wow.

Among the most obvious classics and those Seventh Son songs and The Prisoner that were very much strictly tied to the Maiden England theme, one got to hear probably the best-ever rendition of Afraid to Shoot Strangers (!!!) a very solid performance of Phantom of the Opera and Wasted Years, which I absolutely loved. I mean, if you get Moonchild, Can I Play With Madness and The Prisoner and later on Wasted Years, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and The Clairovyant played in a row, that's one hell of a set!

So all things considered, while I agree with most of the "too much SBIT repetition" criticism around this particular tour, I think it receives a lot of undeserved... well not hate, but you know.

I loved the 2011 gig as well, but aside from the (then) new tracks and surprisingly effective The Wicker Man, none of the performances were particularly memorable. 2013 show, however, was from another world, both in terms of band performance and the set itself.

I keep repeating this in... well, pretty much every discussion here that has to do with Maiden gigs from the past 10 years or so and the setlists, but I say it again: even with all the general setlist complaints that I do address every now and then, I never believed that I'll get to hear so many of my biggest favourite tracks being played live. I got into Maiden around 2007, kind of missed the tour boat of 2008 and I kind of assumed that I probably won't get to hear songs like Moonchild, not to even mention Seventh Son itself, played live... :) And even after 2013, a thought about witnessing Sign of the Cross live (four times now!!) felt quite impossible.

Well, here we are!
 

mepatrik1

Trooper
It's a long story.
Everything started around the end of 2012, I was 12 years old at the time. I read an article about Maiden, it was Steve who said that he thinks they only have 5-6 years left in them. And this interview inspired me to check out Maiden more. Before that I only knew 2 songs. Fear of the Dark and Can I Play with Madness.

First I remember listening to The Wicker Man, and I loved it instantly. (Interestingly enough, it's one of my least favorites now, but it's probably due to the fact that it was my alarm for years.) Then I checked out the Flight 666 documentary and the live DVD too. The songs, the stage set, the album covers... everything made such a huge impact on me, that I became obsessed with Maiden. All my days consisted of listening to Maiden, reading about Maiden and watching Maiden live videos. During that time they used a different tour announcement method. It was not like all dates are out for Europe and that's it, instead they were announcing a few shows every week or something. I checked the website multiple times everyday to see if they announced a show in my country, Hungary, but they didn't. They basically played in almost all of our neighbouring countries, Romania, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia that year. I remember seeing the announcement of the Romanian show, seeing the city name starting with Bu... and for a split second I thought it's Budapest and I got really excited.

Anthrax was their support band during this tour, and funnily enough, Anthrax announced they are coming to Budapest with Iron Maiden. I couldn't believe... but after a few minutes they posted an apology on their page. They mixed up Bucharest and Budapest. :facepalm: Anthrax were indeed coming to Budapest, but without Maiden.

So all these things really made me desperately wanting to see them, Steve's interview already indicated that time is running out.
But then my mother saw me how excited I am about this band, and I told her everything, and she offered that she would take me to a nearby concert. I couldn't believe, I have never considered this option, because it's a lot of money and we were not in the best financial situation, and she doesn't likes metal at all. But it happened. We chosed Zagreb, Croatia, because that was the only arena gig out of the nearby shows, the others were festivals. And it was pure luck but Croatia just got part of the European Union a few months before the concert, so it was easier to travel there. We bought tickets just one month before the concert, and I couldn't belive that it's going to actually happen.

On to the actual concert now:
We were a little bit late, and Anthrax already started playing when we entered (but it was just the first 2 minutes). I remember seeing the stage for the first time, Anthrax were playing Caught in a Mosh, and the crowd was screaming the lyrics so loud. It's a very special moment to me, I still remember entering the arena the first time, and feeling like "I'm at home". I only knew a few Anthrax songs during that time, but I loved them, their energy was insane.

Then half an hour waiting, and Doctor Doctor started... the arena exploded. Everybody knew what's coming after that song. It's another very special moment I will never ever forget. And when Moonchild finally started I couldn't believe I'm there and seeing these living legends. The concert itself met all my expectations, my jaw literally dropped every song. Afraid to Shoot Strangers sounded so much better live. My favorite moments were probably the aformentioned ATSS, Seventh Son, and of course as a first timer the overplayed classics: Trooper, FOTD, 2MTM and TETMD. I don't understand how but my mom slept through half of the set (we had seating), but I had one of the best times of my life for sure.

After the concert my excitement and obsession just grew even more, my days were full of watching videos from the Croatian gig. I'm not joking if I say it was a life changing experience. It made me realize that concerts are the best thing ever on this planet, and my enthusiams for music and shows just continues to grow even today, 9 years later. Only seen Maiden 8 times yet, I really hope I can catch them next year too, as a student I still have to limit myself what concerts I'm attending, and it's not easy. Seen 531 gigs since my Croatian Maiden experience.

And of course a huge thanks for my mom, without her it would have been impossible, she is the best. :)
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Although I had been a fan of the band since 1991, I had to wait until 11th August 1996 to see the band live (I did not have the means to go and see them in 1992 and 1993 as I was still under 18 and with the band playing more than 100 miles from where I was living it was impossible for me attend the shows).

I was not too impressed with The X Factor and did not consider going to any of the 1995 shows, but Maiden were playing some C markets during the summer of 1996 and a guy (who later ended up playing bass in a band I did sing for!) decided to organise a coach trip to the show at Miajadas (Spain), a place with less than 10000 inhabitants. It was an excellent opportunity, so I decided to go with my better half. Maiden were playing a "football stadium", which in essence was a field with goals and a limited number of seats outside the village and were supported by a local band (Superstición), Dirty Deeds, and Helloween. Here is a picture of how the football stadium looks like from the road...

Miajadas.jpg

On our way to MIajadas, the coach driver feel asleep at the wheel (literally) and we had an accident. We were helped by the lovely people of Valdemorales, the village where we nearly met death on the road, and had to wait for another coach to take us to Miajadas. In the meantime, the police came, breathalysed the driver, and found that he was over the legal limit! After a long wait, a replacement coach arrives and we tell the police that we are not travelling unless the new driver is breathalysed. Guess what? The new chap was also over the limit!! They had to call another driver who had the day off and came by car so he could then take us to Miajadas with the replacement coach.

I have fond memories of the show (after all it was my first time seeing the band and Blaze did a good job for the most part, although I think he butchered some classics). Nevertheless, as you can imagine, Maiden were not the ones who made the day one to remember!

Edit: I have found a low quality bootleg of the gig!

 

PieceofMind89

Educated Fool
My first Maiden show was in June, 3 2017 in Bristow, Virginia. Great setlist, I enjoyed the six songs from The Book of Souls plus the classics Children of the Damned, Wrathchild, Powerslave and Wasted Years which was a great way to close the show.
 
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