Iron Maiden/Ghost-June 16th 2017/St Paul Mn.

 

So my Brother Todd back in January of this year received an email saying that Iron Maiden  would be playing the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St Paul Minnesota on June 16th.

Todd was working up in the area of Hudson’s Bay(Manitoba) back in January when the pre sale happened so with crappy WiFi where he was working he drove 60 miles to get a decent signal and viola grabbed us two tickets which was good as all 15,000 tickets sold out in less than a few hours!

Todd was pumped that not only Maiden was showing up but they were bringing Ghost as an opener. Todd vouched for them but I was on the fence with Ghost as I tried watching some of their live stuff on YouTube but for some reason I could not grasp the concept of the whole Ghost shtick! Would they convert me?

Keep Reading…

So the day of the show we took off bright n early and headed to St Paul Minnesota which is right next door to Minneapolis Minnesota(Twin Cities the locals call it) and Todd was on the ball and got us a hotel within a 10 minute walk to the Xcel Center.

So about 3 hours before show time we headed towards the Xcel Center (where there was a bunch of Maiden fanatics hanging out by the doors a good 3 hours before door’s would open. We realised later why as the floor was general admission)which has a bunch of Burger N Booze establishments so we picked one and had a few beers and you knew Maiden was in town as there were a ton of Maiden shirts everywhere. Let me clarify that. A ton of dudes wearing Maiden T’s with a handful of woman wearing some as well…Kinda like being at a Rush show!

It was funny as once as we headed back to the Xcel Center on  the entrance side of the building that  we were going to enter into I  counted 7 poh poh cars and one K-9 Unit sitting right beside the Arena. Ha! Guess they were calling in extra’s for the Maiden show thinking there was going to be trouble! Strong Arm Of The Law!

Once inside and tickets scanned it was off for me to the Merchandise tables and there must have been about 12-14 different Maiden T’s (One T was an Xcel exclusive in which we snagged a few of those stat) There was another table set up that was selling a bunch of silk screen covers of albums. All the bases were covered! Todd was talking to a guy who drove in from Des Moines Iowa for the show and he bought a couple of these Maiden only Minneapolis T’s and told Todd that he puts a couple up on eBay and gets about $150 U.S per shirt as Maiden fanatics will pay for rare shirts!

At 730 pm sharp Ghost hit the stage opening with Square Hammer and I was hooked! What a great opening song and let’s for a second talk about these guys.

Ghost consists of 6 members with the  Lead Singer going by the name of Papa Emeritus while the 5 other fella’s names or well they call em Nameless Ghouls. Papa looks like during the first three numbers an anti Pope. Seriously but I will say he has a wickedly good voice that with an excellent band of musicians around him whoever the Ghouls in real life are. Opening number Square Hammer is a great track but it was the tune Absolution  that made me really take notice. This tune blends heavy and melodic rock with a smattering of Alice Cooper vocally mashed with the Keys of Deep Purple. The two Ghouls on guitars are a show upon themselves getting the crowd into it with their demonic like silver masks. Papa after awhile ditches the Anti Pope deal and goes for Think Andrew Loyd Weber with a mix of  Phantom Of The Opera. He even has quite a bit of humour at times between songs when addressing the crowd. Good to see these guys don’t take themselves that seriously except when it comes to the music its taken very seriously! I posted a clip of Ghost from St Paul playing the track Cirice. You can see how they have that edge throughout but can snap into a real melodic bit and snap right out of it. Great stuff.

I don’t think I have ever seen an opening act get this much stage space and a real good use of lights(purple and green dominated the set ) from a headliner. Than again it’s Maiden!

The crowd was stoked as this was Maidens first appearance in the St Paul/Minneapolis area in 17 years!

At 8:55 pm the opening keys of  UFO’s Doctor Doctor filled the arena and you knew once this song was over it was time for Maiden.

I have to say the whole Mayan like themed stage is very slick-looking and as it filled with smoke out appears Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson perched  above Drummer Nicko McBrain’s Drums and does his Capella opening to the first song of the night If Eternity Should Fail for a few minutes than   the rest of the Maidens hit the stage amidst a blast of pyro it is definitely show time.

It’s official I lose my shit!

Speed Of Light is up second and everyone is at the front of the  stage with Bruce handling his mic stand like a Fencer swinging his sword. Guitarist Janick Gers is a show upon himself.  Doing a bunch  of wind mill’s on his guitar like Townsend. The dude is a throwback to the late 70’s early 80s look complete with the bullet belt around his waist. Flinging his guitar around his neck/back,legs stretched out over the PA and at times tossing in a solo for good measure. Must mention I dig Bruce’s stage attire for this show. Cargo pants/Hoodie and Boots. The dude is hanging with Mayan’s!

Great to hear Nicko and Bassist Steve Harris lock in at the start of  Wrathchild.  Bruce lets off his patent Air Raid Siren scream and wow man the guy is so good! Childern of The Damned is played this night and right before Children, Bruce addressed the crowd and asked how many people at the show where born after 1982.  (The year COTD was released) The response was pretty loud as this is what Maiden wants to hear. Kids getting into Maiden from their parents and plus it keeps Maiden themselves from becoming a straight nostalgia act! Case in point there was Dad sitting beside me with his two young teenage son’s.

Death or Glory and The Red And Black from the current album Book of Souls are front and centre and Death And Glory is a great track with Bruce “Climbing Like A Monkey” as he gets the crowd into it(watch the video below) and Adrian Smith plays some real slick slide guitar during the solo. The Red And The Black is epic and clocks in at over 10 minutes with spectacular lights and a boatload of guitar solo’s!

1983’s classic The Trooper complete with Bruce in a red war jacket jostling a Union Jack Flag cranked up the crowds even more as this is one of those tracks that you will always be played. My brother who plays guitar says that Dave Murray is one of the smoothest Soloists out there as you don’t hear his picking and he flawlessly goes up and down the fret board during his solo’s. Todd also mentioned on the drive home between Ghost and Maiden we heard probably over 60 guitar solo’s between the act’s. An exhibition in axemanship I would say!

Powerslave encompasses everything I love about Maiden. Ripping verse’s huge chorus/total chill out in the  midsection of the tune and the solos of Smith/Murray bring the song back up and Nicko does those crazy rolls right before the song goes back into its final verse! Told Todd that this track takes me right back to when I first bought Powerslave the day upon its release back in 1984! Must mention as well the huge wall of fire upon Bruce’s entrance…Impact!

The Great Unknown with its melodic opening and  ramps up and ends with an extended melodic jam with all three guitarists getting there shot at playing some bluesy like riffs while Bruce works the crowd( all night Bruce was pointing to the front/back/upper deck’s all sections were acknowledged throughout the show)

Bruce soars vocally on the track Book of Souls and   basically is  a 13 minute Maiden Metal Masterpiece especially when  Nicko lifts the tune off into a crazy tempo during the solo and  here comes at least a 12 foot Eddie swinging at Janick before Bruce takes Eddie’s heart out and chucks it into the crowd! Steve Harris has written many classic tracks but this tune is one my fav’s. Like Powerlsave (song) it encompasses everything I love about Maiden!

Fear of The Dark has Bruce running back and forth behind Nicko on  and not missing a line  vocally. Endurance the man has! Janick throws down a great solo on FOTD. Love the last verse as the band just rip it up and just like that it’s time for …

Iron Maiden! The classic tune from the self titled 1980 release is performed and there’s Eddie behind Nicko rising up and Bam out comes the fire/pyro off of Ed’s noggin and just like that …the show is over!

Kinda….Encore please…

The stage goes red and The Number of The Beast is dialled up and you want a ton of fire set off look no further than this track complete with another round of Bruce’s Air Raid Siren wail at the start of the track. Love Smith/Murray’s solo’s and Harris when he razzle dazzles with that bass riffing after the guitar solo’s…

Blood Brothers is next and I’m going to post the video and Bruce actually thanks Dekes and Todd for showing up(kinda thanks us..check it out it’s at the beginning of the song about the minute and half mark)

Wasted Years closes the show and it’s a great Adrian Smith track complete with A Plus solo. Maiden end things on a high!

First of thanks to Todd for making this trip happen! Maiden is still the best live act around and considering Nicko just turned 65 it’s crazy that these guys are still playing at this level! The solo’s/vocal’s it’s like its 1985 again! No dip in anything folks!

Bruce mentioned that there putting this show to bed at the end of July and they will go away for a bit but will be back. So it’s not quite the end yet.

Umm… yeah when they come back…..Myself and Todd will be there again!

Long Live Maiden!

 

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41 thoughts on “Iron Maiden/Ghost-June 16th 2017/St Paul Mn.”

  1. Awesome. I am taking my bro to see his favourite band, Scorps in September.
    This sounds great. I’m glad you had a great time.
    The entire night sounds awesome. I’m not.a big fan of scalpers whether ticket or t shirt but oh well.
    Also, all I can think of with general admission is that The Who concert in Cinncinati. Glad it all worked out.
    As for the cops, I wonder if it was also due to Manchester bombing.
    The cops and general public have an unfounded fear of metalheads. Usually the nicest people ever. I have never seen a fight or incident at metal show.
    As opposed to pop and dance music shows that young bucks fight at all the time.
    It sounded great. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually Bop the T shirt is official merchandise. The dude buys a few sells them on eBay and the trip is paid for. There was a guy outside after the show selling them but we just kept trucking as I dropped $150 U.S on 3 T’s!
      We found out later the huge police presence was due to the fact that a cop down there got off with a no guilty verdict after he shot someone 7 times. The highway by our hotel was closed due to protesters getting on and sitting on the highway. They were worried about riots etc but I don’t think anything to drastic happened….
      But there was a ton of police presence everywhere….
      I’m sure your bro will love Ze Scorps!

      Like

  2. The setlists are a bit different (as one would hope/expect). The encores are the same (and fucking amazing). In your set you got Wrathchild and The Great Unknown, whereas we got Tears Of A Clown and Hallowed Be Thy Name (which I think is the one in the lawsuit right now so they can’t play it right now? Is that right?).

    Minneapolis 2017-06-16

    Doctor Doctor (UFO song)
    If Eternity Should Fail
    Speed of Light
    Wrathchild
    Children of the Damned
    Death or Glory
    The Red and the Black
    The Trooper
    Powerslave
    The Great Unknown
    The Book of Souls
    Fear of the Dark
    Iron Maiden

    Encore:
    The Number of the Beast
    Blood Brothers
    Wasted Years

    ***

    Toronto 2016-04-17

    Doctor Doctor (UFO song)

    If Eternity Should Fail 

    Speed of Light 

    Children of the Damned 

    Tears of a Clown 

    The Red and the Black 

    The Trooper
    
Powerslave 

    Death or Glory 

    The Book of Souls 

    Hallowed Be Thy Name
    Fear of the Dark 

    Iron Maiden

    Encore:
    The Number of the Beast
    
Blood Brothers 

    Wasted Years 



    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’m really glad they kept Powerslave but when it comes these guys they could swap out any track and I would be fine with it. I can only see Hallowed being dropped so it’s not a discussion piece wherever they go. But Smallwood I’m sure said drop it for now. Than again they didn’t play it 5 years ago when my bro and I caught em in Wisconsin…

      Like

    2. That’s bullshit about the Hallowed By Thy Name being dropped.
      Why did it take this has been 35 years to complain about no credits on a song?
      Musicians sample songs all the time.
      A settlement was already made.
      Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought any band can play any song live without permission or royalty.
      This should be no exception.
      The only ones that lose out are the fans.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce mentioned it twice …Once talking in between songs and the second time during Number Of The Beast when he sang the line “I’m coming back…We Will F’in Return” so you will see them again John..
      No worries Bruce told me and well 14,999 others as well! haha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’ve been watching the set lists as they went along so I knew what was coming. Funny enough the fellow beside us said ‘I can’t believe there only playing 15 songs!” I told him well two of those songs will take up a good 25 minutes(Book of Souls and Red And Black)
      The drive from Tbay to StPaul is 6 hours each way!
      No biggie but it was a quick trip ..we left Tbay Friday at 730am and were home by 1 pm on Saturday!
      Me and the bro don’t mess around! Quick trip!
      So worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha…thats funny. I guess 6 hours is ok as before going to Winnipeg which is west of here it’s a 9 hour drive each way. Me and Tbone did a lot of driving out west back in the day for the bands that wouldn’t come here….they were worth it though except for Poison! haha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh man, I LOVE the UK sense of distance. Hm, we’re in Glasgow, and we wanna go through to Edinburgh… that’s, like, an hour away. We’d better make a day of it! 🙂 I loooove it. My lovely wife drives that twice a day, to and from work…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I once drove straight through to Florida. 2200kms. 24 hour drive. Lots of coffee and then slept for another day straight.
        Never again.

        I’m with Deke though. 6 hours. For Maiden. I’m in. That’s just a short road trip and their is a pot of gold at the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Except I’m not slack jawed and packing heat.
        (Did I just type that or was I just thinking it?)

        The first year I took my family, the week we were leaving Florida passed a law that made it legal to shoot someone on the road if you feel threatened.
        We almost didn’t go.

        Like

      5. Haha no you totally typed that for all the internet to see. Awesome.

        I read a news site that uses tags like Scary, News Flash, Dumbass, Obvious, etc to collate their article links. Florida has it’s own tag, because the news from there is so batshit crazy, none of their other tags would cover it. So they just say FLORIDA and that explains all.

        Like

      6. I always scold my wife if she honks at someone or flips them the bird. You never know what kind of road rage psycho is out there. In Florida I don’t even look at other drivers. Just mind my own business and live to see another day.

        I’ve heard it on a number of radio stations. They call it “The Florida Files.”
        There is also stuff on the internet about Weird Florida News.
        True stories that seem so abnormal, and they happen there every day.

        Like

      7. I usually give drivers a thumbs-up when they do something dumbass around me. It confuses them, because there isn’t time for the sarcasm to sink in.

        I think maybe there’s a university thesis paper in the correlation between the increasing insanity in Florida and the constant influx of retired Québécois.

        Like

    2. I thought of this Joe…In a musical terms how far to Minneapolis is…
      When we left Thunder Bay these were the following albums we lsitened too..
      Iron Maiden/Book of Souls
      Iron Maiden/En Vivo
      Iron Maiden/Live After Death..

      Basically 3 double albums ..front to back by the time we hit Minnie we were just getting into Phantom Of The Opera …
      6 hours of Maiden and our destination was reached

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sounds like a great gig, Deke – well worth the trek then! Glad you enjoyed Ghost, too… although you’re there for Maiden, it’s always a bonus if the support is good.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It does. I was talking with a friend at work today about that. I haven’t often seen a support act that I’ve been mad about over the years.

        The conversation cropped up because we were discussing the new Queens of the Stone Age track, upcoming album and tour. He liked Royal Blood and they’re opening for them in some North American dates… we agreed that we’re unlikely to get a decent band here.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m enjoying these videos. I hope Maiden do another live album. I think they will. Sounds like this show had many highlights! New stuff sounds great!

    And yeah Nicko is 65…hard to believe when you hear him drum like that! Rock and roll adrenaline…

    I’m glad you liked Ghost! I just ordered the Japanese version of their first album!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here Comes The Sun. Cool version.

      With Ghost it seems to really take on a dark side. Like a vampire having to hide in his coffin because ‘here comes the sun.’

      They need to do some other late 60’s remakes. Maybe Beach Boys, Doors, Cream. Fleetwood Mac. Floyd.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Cool I’m glad u watched the vids. Wild hearing the end of If Eternity…. with Bruce’s voice piped over the speaker ‘Good Day my name is Narcopolis…..hahahaha….
      Ghost was great…just a great evening of Hard Rock!

      Like

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