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Usual - laptop hot most of day til met up with Douglas from EMI in the hotel bar. Douglas is the new worldwide head of new technology etc for EMI and was previously at Google. We are working on ways to improve how we function and communicate in these areas, particularly if there are ways to enhance our site and related functions. We are just throwing ideas around at present but hopefully will come up with some progressive ideas for the future. We are always looking at ways to do this.
We then went to the show with the tres amigos. Around 11,000 tonight, good for a Monday night and again a great crowd, singing along to everything. In the past we have been a bit critical of the “enthusiasm rating” of audiences in some parts of the USA (eg NJ in March) but we can certainly have no complaints about the passion of our audiences here so far. Great reactions which really do act as a catalyst for the band to really cook. Bruce had some onstage sound problems but l couldn’t detect it from his performance. The out front sound here was particularly good on the desk, loud, defined and solid, and also the side screens were huge and great quality which has to be good for the kids at the back.
After the show we went to the airport to fly back to LA. Sushi, mexican food, beer and wine was readily available and taken with great fervour. Back in hotel watched a bit of TV news – sad world we live in in many aspects – and crashed.
I am writing this Wednesday prior to flying up to and then back from Concord for the show here in Northern California. Yesterday was a quiet day and had a couple of trips to the Kings Head, first for lunch between work, and in the early evening to meet up with some of our label team – our product manager Emily, PR Todd, and radio Elliott. Mainly going through this weekend’s big LA shows at Irvine. Who they had coming, making sure key media was fully covered (well, if you are hot you have to flaunt it!!!), who was likely to be visiting my room for a beer before the show etc etc. Anyway time for a shower and get ready to leave for the airport.
Didn’t get any new pics as I was busy running around on stuff but here is a KNAC review of the show in Phoenix...
Somewhere Back in Phoenix
By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 @ 10:09 PM
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender!
And with that infamous war cry once again bellowing out from the mighty PA at the Cricket Pavilion, Iron Maiden is bringing us back to 1985. Somewhere Back in Time is the tour that is the blue print for how the band rolls. Aces High is coming off the stage at full throttle, much like it was back in Long Beach when the historic Live After Death was recorded during the World Slavery tour. This time it appears more ferocious. As the band continued on with 2 Minutes to Midnight, the entire crowd was singing along with every word, something that consistently lasted throughout the whole night. Every song. Every word.
Not only musically, but the boys are in fine shape physically -- constantly running from side to side and jumping over the monitors on the stage. The intensity coming out of the guys was definitely a result of feeding off the energy of the crowd. It was like watching the Live After Death DVD all over again, this time with Janick Gers thrown in to the mix.
The precision riffs and solos were flawlessly traded back and forth between Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers. The triple axe symphony was a treat all in itself. At one moment during the show, even above the PA, I could actually hear Steve Harris' fingers nailing each bass string. Nicko -- hidden well behind his mountain of drums -- was keeping things moving at a hectic pace. It's amazing to watch the fills he plays when he's up on the big screen. One of the greatest moments that showcased the band as a tight unit was Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the epic tale of the albatross.
An integral component to the band's power and longevity is easily attributed to Bruce Dickinson's massive vocal strength. Being barely three feet away from me at times, it was utterly amazing to feel how powerful his vocals are and how easily he harnesses it. One of those truly amazing singers who make everything seem like second nature. Ripping his way through The Trooper, Wasted Years, Can I Play with Madness?, Heaven Can Wait and Iron Maiden shows off the talent very well.
By the time the band finishes, you have been completely transformed back in time, just as the tour promised.
Opening support was none other than Steve's daughter, Lauren Harris. Hitting the stage with a blistering cover of UFO's Natural Thing seemed like an odd choice, and the expression on the crowd's faces showed this isn't what they were expecting. The track appears as a bonus track on the European release of her new disc Calm Before the Storm, but it just seemed out of place to open with. But as she belted out her own tunes the crowd slowly warmed up to her and the unfamiliar material. By the end of her set, the crowd was cheering and throwing horns in approval. She definitely has the energy of her dad and the pipes like Uncle Bruce (weellll, almost). The band sounded as if they have been playing together forever, and all seemed thoroughly thankful to be supporting such legends as Maiden.
This weekend the band is hitting the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine CA on the 30th and 31st. I caught Maiden here a few times back in the late 80s/early 90s (when it was called Irvine Meadows) and to catch the current tour there would be well worth your time, it's easily going to be one of the best of 2008 . Don't miss it.