As my buddy Rob and I were leaving a post workout meal at The Habit two weeks ago, we decided to do a quick Trader Joe’s run before they closed. He asked me if I was going to see America at the Canyon Club on July 1st, and while I LOVE America, I told him I HAD to go see Iron Maiden that night, but as of yet, I had no tickets.
I got in my car for the two-minute drive to Trader Joe’s, and as the radio came on, I kid you not, the DJ on KLOS was literally announcing free Maiden tickets for the 10th caller.
Dial, busy, hang up. Again. Dial, busy, hang up. Again… Ring, ring, ring…
“Hi, Marc. You just won a pair of tickets to see Iron Maiden.”
“Ummm. Wow! Okay… I have to tell you this story…”
And so I regaled her with what had just happened… and yes she loved it!
Talk about putting something into the universe…WOW!!!
July 1st – Glen Helen Pavillion – San Bernardino, CA… CONCERT DAY!
The build up was a bit crazy… My first buddy bailed. Then my cousin bailed. But that gave me the chance to offer the ticket to my friends Michelle and Casey (He had NEVER seen them either!) Casey’s son Christian (21) also joined us… and yes, unlike his Dad and me, he had seen them about 9 years ago.
The drive out there SUCKED. And because of Waze re-routing my friends, I wound up doing the whole drive solo… and it was a CRAWL… THE. WHOLE. WAY. OUT!
Who the HELL is going to San Bernardino for the 4th weekend???!!!
I pulled into the very first and “UNMARKED” lot, and was told by a kid working it:
a) I was in Lot 6
b) It was a short walk to the venue. Ha!
It took me about 15 minutes before I could even see the venue… And yes, I got horribly lost at the end of the night and might not have found my car if it had not been for my good, visual memory)… BUT… This lot offered a very easy out! I think I was at least 30-45 minutes into my drive home, when my friends called to tell me they were STILL stuck in the lot! So much for the $20 “VIP” lot.
Thanks to KLOS for the tickets and a pre-show BBQ, which kept me fed and hydrated and had me winning a Judas Priest CD (Ironic) and a Cheap Trick download of what I thought was the great new album, We’re All Alright!, but was only three songs… Strange!
After that it was back to the grassy parking lot, where we found some shade and drank some beers in the parking lot… Another irony since the venue information says no tailgating, but EVERYONE was doing it. Yes, I am a rule follower… Ha! Thanks to Michelle for bringing a nice selection of booze and making everyone sandwiches! Mahalo!
And what is with you Millennials??? You claim to be so high and mighty on the environment, and then leave ALL your trash on the ground, when a trash can is five feet away. Lazy, entitled you know whats! Another Wow right there!
We missed Exodus, because we thought they were on second. Bummer… though apparently they had some sound issues. We walked in when Kamelot was playing and they were not bad… but not quite my thing.
This was most definitely not my usual concert crowd, and I think many folks thought I was a NARC. Literally! I was NOT wearing black, nor an Iron Maiden shirt… I had no tattoos, and probably looked a bit… well… conservative in my grey and black camo shorts, my Under Armor shirt, my black Nike Big Ten baseball cap and my Ray Bans.
One guy selling bootlegged t-shirts LITERALLY stopped hawking them when he saw me walking towards him, and immediately shoved them under his own shirt and walked quickly away. Doh!
So back to the shirts for a second… I know, I know… I seem obsessed… but there is a method to my MADNESS!
This is an actual picture of Jason’s “A” Maiden Shirt. Look at the care he takes! That is a perfect Gap fold right there, folks! Did you use a board, Jason???
Now I want this one, too… and the Best Of The Beast shirt. Hint, hint… Bday in August… Wink, wink, nudge, nudge… What? Maiden shirts are HIP! But here is my bigger point on all the Maiden shirts.
I was always led to believe that unless it was a really unique shirt, and there were some of those, too… that it was UNCOOL to wear a band’s shirt to see THAT band. Clearly that is NOT the case for a Maiden show!
ALMOST EVERYONE had a Maiden shirt on, which is a HUGE TESTAMENT to their marketing prowess and skill at selling EVERYTHING MAIDEN. There were multiple times when we stopped and told people what a cool shirt they had on. So there you go!
Maiden is one of the few bands that continues to sell out shows around the world… and may also move the most Merch of any band! And believe me…the lines at the Merch tables were deep and wide. Should have snapped a photo of that… and of the selection of probably at least 12 different shirts.
And then there was this…
Genius. Expensive genius!
My buddy Jason did not think I would like Ghost, as they all wear masks, which can be a bit creepy… but they were great musicians and this Swedish Metal band really played to the crowd. Again, the Lucifer references made this nice Jewish boy a bit uncomfortable, but today was about the head banging.
And being with family and friends, of course. I don’t know who these people are, and what you can’t see is that the kid’s jacket also had an Elmo patch on it! And yes, he was wearing ear plugs.
Long live Rock N’ Roll! And yes, I am flashing the Metal Horns!
Come back Friday for the final Part 3, and the actual review of my first Maiden show!!!