Thursday, February 21, 2008

Run To The Hills

At the risk of pigeon-holing myself as a closet metal nerd, I need to get this off my chest. I've been to a lot of concerts. A ton of concerts. So many concerts that when I turned 21 (many moons ago) I decided that I wasn't gonna go to concerts anymore. That didn't last long.

I still go to plenty of concerts. Especially now that I live in a place where every single band comes through. But the one concert I didn't go to, if I could go to one concert that happened in my lifetime? Iron Maiden - Powerslave tour - 1984-85.

If you've ever seen pictures from this concert, then you know that the stage setup was a spectacle of the Spinal Tap variety. You don't have to like heavy metal to appreciate monstrous stage setups with fog machines, flamethrowers, fireworks, and a huge animatronic Eddie.

That concert eluded me, and I'd been trying to go to an Iron Maiden concert ever since. I came close in 2003, but the realities of a tight work schedule nixed my drive down to Shoreline Amphitheater. It looked like a live Eddie sighting wasn't in the cards. Until this year.

Iron Maiden at the Forum in Inglewood. Perfect. The parking lot was like a scene from 1984: muscle cars and jean jackets. The Forum looked like 1984. When we walked in, I imagined Magic Johnson no-look-passing to Kareem for a Showtime slam dunk. Kobe Bryant would never play here. Jack Nicholson probably wouldn't be caught dead here now. The Forum stinks and after you get 10,000 Iron Maiden fans spilling beer everywhere, it's treacherous. No lights on the slippery soaked stairways tells the whole story.

So after the obligatory horrible opening band, Iron Maiden came on and played mostly songs from around 1984. Rocked the house. Everybody looked a little older, but after the 10 foot tall animatronic Eddie walked around the stage with a laser gun, nobody noticed anymore. And now I can cross "See Iron Maiden Live" off my to do list.