Last night I had the honor of attending my very first heavy metal concert at Sarnia’s Bayfest music festival. The moment my friend Richard Moule told me about the lineup to last night’s show, Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper, I wanted in. I mean, I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan since my friend Don introduced me to them back in University, and my admiration for them has only grown over the years.
And, finally after months of waiting, the day finally arrived, and we drove down to Sarnia to see them.
The lines were long and the sun was bright. I was surprise how many young people were turning out to see such older bands.
Apparently this year it’s “Rogers Bayfest”. This was the “Unlicensed VIP” area in front of the stage. Which meant being close up, but no drinking.
This is Orianthi Panagaris, Alice Cooper’s lead guitarist, and quite a musician.
Alice Cooper’s show wasn’t as packed as Iron Maiden’s would be later.
Both Cooper and Iron Maiden had these giant puppet/stilt walker dolls wandering around. Maiden’s was a giant zombie General Custer to go along with Run to the Hills, but thanks to the lights I couldn’t get a good picture of it.
I wonder how many people are in that thing? It’s huge!
Alice Cooper himself was in fine form, especially when you consider he’s 64 years old! He can still rock a stage, though. Even the young audience was getting into his performance.
I couldn’t go without buying a concert T-Shirt, could I?
Me and my buddy Richard. I went with him, his wife and their son Kai. In addition to being one of my fellow professors, Richard is a music journalist of the highest order, and has been doing it for around 30 years. He’s actually interviewed Iron Maiden before. Lucky b*stard!
Giant prop of Eddie (Iron Maiden’s Mascot) for the show. Almost every song had different props/backgrounds/costume shifts. I was really amazing, and we had a great spot to see it all.
Because of local noise ordinance laws, they had to shut down around 11 and could really only do one major encore. Aces High started off the encore with a bang!
Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden’s lead singer, and an astounding performer. He really brought the energy out of the crowd.
Overall, I’d have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Alice Cooper’s show was good (although I imagine he can do better when he’s not just the opening act), but seeing Iron Maiden in concert was an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
It took a bit, but the energy that was going through that crowd last night was amazing, and it was hard not to get swept up in the show. My voice this morning in hoarse from singing along, and why not? I knew most of the songs they were singing off by heart, as did most of the audience, and that really made the whole show both personal and a real communal experience. They even turned the audience into a giant instrument at points, which during the song Fear of the Dark is something that has to be experienced to be understood, although I think this video can give you the idea-
Hear that chorus? That’s the audience, not the singers. So intense!
Would I see them again?
In a heartbeat! truly amazing show.
It’s just too bad they didn’t play my favorite song- Die With Your Boots On