Iron Maiden/Dream Theater

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Thursday, July 29, 2010

Iron Maiden recently completed the US run of their Final Frontier Tour and Chip Tamplin was present at the last stop. Check below for his photos and impressions from the show.

Dream Theater:

For most bands the first person to come to mind is the singer. The singer usually encompasses all that the band is. That’s not the case for Dream Theater. Normally one thinks of drummer Mike Portnoy who also moonlights as a gun-for-hire for bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and then there’s guitarist John Petrucci who is widely considered as one of the best guitarists around. With that being said, two people (usually) don’t make the band. Adding in singer James LaBrie, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess you get some of the most intricate and hard-hitting music around and the perfect openers for Iron Maidens Final Frontier Tour.

Dream Theater came out to much more applause and admiration than I was expecting for someone opening for Maiden (since the last time I saw Maiden the openers were booed heavily). Seven songs may seem like a small set for most openers, but with how long Dream Theaters songs were, it made for almost an hour-long set. In the middle they did a short medley of Maiden songs, fusing parts of “Where the Eagles Dare”, “Run to the Hills”, “The Trooper” and “The Prisoner”. After a few minutes of this singer James LeBrie told the crowd, “Well, I guess we should play some more of our own stuff, shouldn’t we?” During their set it started to rain pretty hard and with the wind even the patrons inside the pavilion were getting soaked. The fans on the lawn had it the worst, but made due by turning the hills of the lawn into make shift mud slides.

I was massively impressed by Dream Theater’s set and almost enjoyed them more than Maiden. Almost. One thing I wasn’t expecting was how much heavier Dream Theater sound live compared to on CD.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. As I Am
2. A Rite Of Passage
3. Home
4. Iron Maiden medley
-Where the Eagles Dare
-Run to the Hills,
-The Trooper
-The Prisoner
5. Constant Motion
6. Panic Attack
7. Pull Me Under

Iron Maiden:

I was so excited when I got confirmed to cover Iron Maidens final US date. While I’ve never been a die-hard fan of the band, I’d always considered myself a step above casual. I was even more excited for their set when I realized I was the only photographer who showed up.

From talking with a few of the people gripping with all their might to the railing, I found out that Iron Maiden had become another band starting in with Paperless Tickets, which I personally hate. The two times I’d seen AC/DC they’d used paperless ticketing and it was just an absolute mess. Tickets weren’t found; it took much longer to get people into the venue and was just not worth the abandonment of normal ticketing systems.

First, when they started letting people in, certain guards frisked people and others didn’t, which resulted in half the lines getting people in a good 20 seconds before everyone else, and chaos just broke out everywhere. A bunch of people operating the receipt-printing machines had absolutely no idea what they were doing, and the machines were malfunctioning which led to hardcore fans (who’d been there earlier than 11am) being screwed out of potentially being on the rail.

Ticketing fiascos aside, I was looking forward to what crazy eccentric set design they’d have since the one used during their Somewhere Back in Time tour was awesome. Behind the curtain I could see two lighthouses on either side of the stage as well as the normal wrap-around catwalk that charismatic singer Bruce Dickinson frequents.

Opening with “The Wicker Man”, all the boys in Maiden came trotting out to thunderous applause and cheering. Playing a two hour set seems crazy for a band that’s been around in some capacity for more than thirty years, but boy do they do it every night. Dickinson is constantly running from side to side, up stage and down stage and leaping off of risers and pumping the crowd up.

I was much more impressed with their set list and general performance on this tour compared to the Somewhere Back in Time tour of two years ago. Maiden puts on one hell of a show and tonight was no exception. What a perfect way to end the US tour.

Vocals: 10
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. The Wicker Man
2. Ghost Of The Navigator
3. Wrathchild
4. El Dorado
5. Dance Of Death
6. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
7. These Colours Don’t Run
8. Blood Brothers
9. Wildest Dreams
10. No More Lies
11. Brave New World
12. Fear Of The Dark
13. Iron Maiden

Encore:

14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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