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Back to back shows in NJ and NY with all the guest list mayhem that comes with it. Everyone on band and crew seems to suddenly have about 20 news friends and various lost family members. Are we mad? I have said before that London, LA and NY are a right pain from this standpoint -- its where the "music biz" largely resides so every assistant of some guy at a label with whom you had a ten minute meeting with in 1922 is a long lost friend and ally who thinks they can ask for a free ticket -- and even crazier they think I may give them one instead of it going to the fans. Madness, but believe me it happens all the time. More time is spent by our team on guest lists and allocations in the week before than anything else, trying to work it out best for everyone and trying not to be (too) rude to some of the chancers out there!!! Family, real friends, people who have helped us over the years and those we deal with now are always of course welcome and taken care of but even on that basis it tends to be a lot in these cities.
That aside its always fantastic going to NY (we stay in Manhatten and travel in to the show in NJ) -- obviously we know it well having been there so often and have our favourite bars, pubs and restaurants to go to. Saw the World Cup Final in an English Pub -- couldn't believe how brutal the game was, I thought it was great. Steve thought it was an awful game of football but said he "fully understood why I thought it was an enjoyable game"!! Anyway it gives a whole new meaning to Dutch clogs!
PNC is in New Jersey and at least this time our driver managed to find it ok -- last time they got lost on the way! We have played here a few times -- last time 2008 to about 12000 of you -- so I won't go into much detail, but this time it was sold out at 16,000. Of course being NJ the crowd is always tend to be good there . cracking show, get ready for the biggie!! Thanks everyone there.
And so to a Monday night in NYC and the legendary Garden, or Madison Square Garden to use its full name, the home of so very many great concert and sporting occasions and as much a part of NYC as the Empire State Building. Always a riot of an audience, and also a very knowledgeable audience usually and this was no exception with almost everyone I could see mouthing the words of every song. Sold out weeks ago the place was buzzing as it has been on each of the six big headline shows we have done there dating back to 1983 and the World Piece Tour when we were supported by Saxon and Fastway. And every one has been a total advance sell out -- but you just don't play the Garden unless you are confident you will sell it out. It's too prestigious (and too expensive!) to mess around with empty seats there!!
Bruce has been asking most nights how many people were seeing the band for the first time and we have been astonished by the number of hands up -- even after he asks for the second time, " No, really, HONESTLY , how many??" Now this I can understand in a lot of the Amphitheaters such as Toronto or PNC (or later Detroit and Chicago) where we have been playing to some 4000 or so more fans than last time, that is a lot of extra people to put their hands up. But in an arena like MSG there were about 14,000 there sold out this time and 14,000 sold out last time, there aren't any added seats since o8. Interesting. I have my own theories , what do you think??
As always the band are on fire here. I don't know what it is but MSG brings everything out of the band -- as the Village Voice duly noted in its review "IRON MAIDEN MURDER MADISON SQUARE GARDENS". Can't get much clearer than that can you. Of course the fans always drive the band on and they were terrific and definitely looked on average quite a bit younger than last time on SBIT - which may be part of the answer to the question above. Maybe the SBIT tour brought more older fans out to hear the older "classics", which is all some (thankfully by no means all) wish to hear. More Run To The Hills, more Trooper, etc. Well thats fair enough but not ALL the time. We don't want the band getting bored playing the same stuff all the time -- it just wouldn't be Maiden anymore. So maybe some of these guys have stayed away and been replaced by the young fans who are growing up on the 2000s albums. Who knows, but as long as everyone has a great time (but dont bitch too much about not hearing Run To The Hills for the 99th time) its all fine by me.........