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After a 7am call time and a quick 1.5 hour flight, we headed straight to the festival site, luggage in tow. It was a lot hotter than Melbourne. It's a funny thing with this Australian weather. It went from hot to freezing and back to hot. Amazing that I haven't gotten a cold by now.
Adelaide waited 26 years for the band to return and they were ready. By the time Maiden were about to hit the stage, there was a sea of faces going as far back as I could see. Kids were being pulled out of the front as the masses lunged forward. You gotta be in top form to brave the front of an Iron Maiden gig. It was the usual bodies flailing about, headbangers snapping back and forth in a blur and some of the same IMFC kids up front, in position as they had been at every Australia show so far. Talk about dedication! I think a little of Dickie has rubbed off on Bruce as he revved the audience up and told the kids in the back to "get their hands out of their pockets and scream" like Dick on Flight 666 with the "colonials"! They didn't need any coaxing to erupt. Another great show, great audience and I finally got to go to the soundboard to have a proper listen. At least for a few songs. I looked behind the soundboard to a sea cheering fans.
After the show, we jumped back into the cars and back to the hotel. A couple of us went to try and find this elusive club where the festival after party was but after walking around for an hour, we decided a piece of pizza was the way to go and off to bed for a semi-early night. We had a 10am wake up call for the airport where we would be off to Perth for the last of the Soundwave shows.
We arrived at the airport around 11:00am where John had been preparing all morning for a band and crew photo shoot in front of Ed Force One. Along the back fence fans gathered and cheered as our convoy arrived. How they got as far as the tarmac gate is beyond me but then again, by now, I shouldn't be surprised. After an hour or so on the tarmac doing photos, we finally boarded Ed Force One and were on our way to Perth for the final Australian show for this leg. It had been a great trip and I was a little saddened that my time in Australia was coming to an end. We arrived in Perth shortly after 1PM local time after a three hour flight.
With little time to spare we got to our hotel, threw our stuff in our rooms and a few of us met in the lobby for a trip to the naval base for a tour of a Nuclear submarine that Nicko had arranged through one of his mates, Commander Peter Foster (CSM). Nicko, Janick, Andy Mathews (IMTV Director), John McM, Peter, Jeff Daniels and myself jumped into waiting cars and off we were out to the base for our tour. After passing checkpoint, we ended up at the Sub. Wow, we were really going to get to go inside. We were led aboard Commander James Harrap's sub, the Waller which was named after Captain Hector Waller who heroically went down with his ship in the Battle of Sunda Strait at the beginning of March 1942. The sub was a lot more compact than I thought it would be. Our group literally had barely enough room to move around. I can't imagine being in there for months. It was a great experience. Once in a lifetime! We thanked Peter and Gareth Marjoram (LCDR) for taking the time to show us around. After we said our goodbyes, there was talk about going to Bon Scott's grave but it was getting dark and we were tired and hungry so we decided not to go but instead grab a quick pint and head back to the hotel for a quick drink and dinner. We ended up at Hog...for a good steak dinner.
The Perth crowd was well primed by the time we got there, Actually the last three crowds were amazing. Almost 200,000 Aussie Metal Maniacs turned out for the Soundwaves and our 2 shows combined -- some Metal scene down under!!.
Next stop, Korea!
The next morning we were off to Seoul, Korea. I didn't know what to expect but Korea was a lot different than I had imagined. It is a lot more modern than I had expected. It looked like what I pictured Tokyo would be like. It is a very modern city. The next day we went to some temples just across the street where people go and pray. The temples were painted with beautiful murals. We actually went into one but it felt a little awkward, like we were intruding so after a few minutes I left.
The next day was show day. This was Maiden's first time playing a show in Korea. They had originally planned to play there years ago but never got to until now. A lot of these kids have been waiting their whole lives to see them and you could definitely see this in their eyes. It was a very loud and extremely enthusiastic crowd. A lot of singing, screaming and breaking into Maiden chants. And this was before the band even came out on stage! It was almost like they were seeing a concert for the first time. Watching the crowds face and looking in their eyes, this was another one of those times it really dawned on me on what an incredible position I'm in. There were fans here that came all the way from France, Denmark and even the US (see below). I must say, this had to be one of the loudest crowds so far. They screamed from the very beginning to the very end and sang along to every song.
I really loved Korea and was a little sad to go. I never got a chance to see the temples outside the city but maybe that's a good thing. It will give me a reason to go go back and visit just a little longer. As sad as I was to leave, I was REALLY looking forward to Tokyo where I would finally be of average height!
Bonus shots... you know what to do...