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SAN ANTONIO 2 -- May 21 -- FIRST SHOW
At last after a couple of months -- its showday!! Excited. Up and about early, catch up with email, pop out for some poached eggs, sshhhh, shower and shave and down early to the show.
If memory serves me right we first played in San Antonio in 1981 supporting Judas Priest on our first US Tour, part of the Killers World Tour, with Humble Pie opening. We came back a year later as special guests to The Scorpions, I think, on the Beast on the Road World Tour, then headlined, and I think sold out, the major arena there in 83 on our World Piece Tour, supported by Saxon and Fastway, though we called the package the British Metal Onslaught. And it was!! Texas was a great place for us in those days with huge business and sold out arenas. It was also fantastic to visit the Alamo on that first trip, I was always a fan of the old John Wayne movie and the recent one is not a patch on the original. But still an inspiring story. Many of you will have seen the 'Ello Texas bonus piece on Live after Death shot outside the Alamo in 83 on our first headline US tour. We returned to San Antonio pretty well every tour except recently -- last time was in 2001 or 2 I believe at the Sunken Gardens. (Haven't got my full files on the road with me so cant check all this but we will soon hopefully have ALL historical dates on the web) We had an audience of about 6000. So it's fantastic today to be returning to an audience of about 13,000.
Met up with Jeff and Jason on some security issues then watched the Champions League Final at 1.45 Texas time. Most of crew gathered in the canteen to watch too, and also there was Harry. I guess it will be a while before the Hammers make it! I thought Chelsea deserved to win and what a proverbial slip up by John Terry. But though I don't watch that much football if I do I like it to be Man U as they do play a fast attractive attacking game.
Shit that was close!
Would you believe Harry watching Man U and Chelsea?!
Then went with John Mc, Dave and Johnny be to have a look round. Dave roped me into an interview for IMTV. I asked what was the point as it wouldn't get shown on the site til Xmas 2011 with the entire backlog they have. And they thought l was joking!!. To be fair the guys have been very busy and are trying to catch up (with Japan Feb 16!!!) but I do kick them on regularly. They just want to make it so bloody perfect like real TV, with lots of edits, whereas I think they should shoot and post. Let Admin know what you all think. When it goes up it does look good I think and the content is appropriate. They promise to catch up on first leg very very soon and they had better or we will get Eddie to do it. Once that's done it will start on this USA tour, weekly I do hope. Guys, sorry about this and if you see this dynamic duo at the shows you attend help me out and give them a bit of lip....or a well aimed kick!! Perfectionists indeed!!
Got by IMTV
So after being interviewed by Dave I went off to check the merch stands to make sure it was all there and well displayed which it of course was. We do carry a lot of items and the merch co would rather carry less but we think our fans like the choice. There are a couple of cool event shirts as in the pic here. The Texas one is a copy of the original one from about 85 with Eddie lunching on the armadillo, with Texas map and dates on the back, and the other is the Eddie Rider for the whole of the US tour. We enjoy doing these event shirts (as we call them i.e. Ts for a specific city or country) and we do quite a few again now. The designs often sell out quickly and are apparently wanted by fans who weren't at the show so to satisfy this we are starting to make them available in Eddie's Megastore , but without the dates to distinguish it from the shirts bought by fans who were actually at the show. I think that makes sense all round. I am writing this in LA after the Houston show and both there and in San Antonio we broke the merch records. Merch has always been hugely important to us as you all know. We do try to come up with the best concepts and designs and quality for you guys and certainly the extra income on the tours has helped since the very beginning to enable us to afford to take our extravagant shows on the road.
Check out cool event shirts!
The venue, what we refer to as a shed, is a custom built outdoor arena with a certain proportion of the space seated and behind those seats are lawns. In this case about 7500 seated. Some are quite corporatised which we hate, for example here right behind the sound desk was a large flat area with tables and chairs in small areas sectioned off. These were about half full during the show mainly with older people lounging in the chairs drinking beer with a "go on then, impress me" sort of attitude.. Not all of them but enough to piss me off and want to go over and tell them to eff off. These areas are not on sale to the general public so are usually sparsely populated as not a lot of the corporate types wish to be at our shows thankfully. There is quite a lot of corporatisation in the sheds and it varies in scale and manner one to the other. We don't like it but in many other ways these are great summer venues to play with great atmospheres and crowds. If you sell plenty of the tickets -- which fortunately we do -- it becomes much less noticeable but remains the proverbial bee in my bonnet!! But fans certainly seem to enjoy the facilities of these sheds and I have to say to sightlines for the audience are terrific as the venue widens out from the stage so everyone has a direct line to the drum kit in the centre of the stage and do don't miss a thing. Whereas in arenas of course a large part of the audience on the sides or on the floor in front of the PA never get to see Nicko. Of course though that can be a blessing!
To the show. I wont spoil it by saying too much but Big Eddie is spectacular and the whole staging looks sheer class and the pyros really do highlight the dramatic parts. But then I would think that wouldn't I? When you go along, see for yourself. The audience was terrific, loud and incredibly active and enthusiastic, but of course there is a huge Latin influence here and we all know that Latin plus Maiden equals mayhem!! For a first show all went pretty well. A few things need to be cued more precisely and we made some adjustments but probably less so than I would have expected on the first night of a show as complex as this.
Sparklers go wild
As there were so may people there we did a runner to avoid the traffic and got back to the hotel quickly. It was very hot on stage so the band were suffering a bit from the heat ( and the first night of full on action) but some managed to drag themselves over the bridge over the canal from our hotel and to the Irish Pub. It was strangely quiet.......the crew weren't there.......and nor was Nicko!!!
The Irish bar is over there