ROD'S DIARY -- GOTHENBURG 2
As I wandered around the city centre one last time just before going to the show and feeling the general anticipation of the fans I was wondering and hoping we would live up to the great expectation. I should not have worried, it would be a truly incredible show, one of our best ever and I don't say that lightly.
After a quick beer amidst our fans I headed to Ullevi to meet up with firstly John McMurtrie who we brought over specially to capture the event for posterity. We went through the shots we were looking for (some of which are included here but there will be more live stuff as usual in the photo section on this site). We then headed into a rapidly filling stadium -- of course the front 100 rows of standing were in place almost immediately with fans having queued for hours to run down to the front -- and climbed up the back terraces opposite the stage and onto the roof of the stadium. There is a small platform up there presumably for TV cameras at the football matches but it suited our purposes perfectly. Our IMTV crew came with us for footage and for the price of a couple of beers I did an interview with them up there. It was a fantastic sight even at that time of day. Johnny did a lot of filming into the huge audience. So 56,445 in fact officially, plus guests etc of course, our biggest of the tour so far and the biggest stadium show we are doing this year, with only Wacken being more people.
Then it was the usual painful couple of hours waiting to get started, wandering around filling in time (and making sure I ate properly this time!!) chatting to the band, crew, promoters, record co and various guests and having a quick peek at Lauren and Avenged, and appreciating how good the sound was. It remained that way and I thought our sound there was not just good it was GREAT. This is a fine stadium for sound and as I have mentioned before, this along with the band performance and how exhilarating the audience are remain the three key ingredients to a great show.
Our film and photo team on the roof
Just before we were due on I managed to get through the throng to the mixing desk with our promoters, Thomas and Tor, settling ourselves down with a few bottles of good wine (yes wine, I know, I am really a beer man but as I said Ihave to start somewhere getting some pounds off!!). Chants of Maiden Maiden rang out and there was even a tentative Mexican wave, which improved dramatically later as the arms followed Bruce's finger. A roar went up when Doctor Doctor started, everyone seeming to know its our cue tape, and of course for Transylvania and the start of the show. Once again everything worked well, the dry ice being perfect for Mariner and obliterating all of the band at times! Bruce had brought along his own special effect -- a parrot on his shoulder for the mid section of Mariner and the fog cleared nicely for it. The Maiden chants were up loud and clear between all the first few songs with the walls of people on the sides of the stadium in almost perpetual motion reminiscent of Brazil. A 110% terrific audience -- thanks to all of you for making this a spectacular day for us. Again looking at the sheer number of people we played to in Sweden it was hard to identify the 15-20,000 or so who hadn't seen us before. I can tell you Iwas a very happy camper watching and hearing all this from my own perch behind Dougie on the desk. And full marks to you Dougie for another majestic performance on your desk! We had also been able to go on a bit later here, at 9.15, than the other Nordic shows so this time it did get dark about halfway through the set (and Rob got paid in full!) which really does make a difference to the drama of the show -- it's a shame we couldn't go on later in the other stadiums up here but they were largely in residential areas so laws are laws sadly. Hopefully next time all the local residents will buy tickets so there is no-one at home and we can go on later and get more darkness.
After the show we took over the Dubliners Pub for an after show bash, inviting along Avenged and Lauren's band for a bit of a (nearly) end of tour party as Avenged leave us soon. It has worked very well them supporting us here and I do hope they really get a boost in the Nordics as they were very good indeed and really good guys to have along for a while. Of course Lauren and her band are with us until the end but we still let them have their share of the alcohol on offer. The place got pretty rammed and I don't know where some to "our guests" came from but that is often the case!! And it was bloody hot.
After a while I headed back and was stopped by some fans who had found some posters of the front pages of one of the next days newspaper. MAGISKT MAIDEN it said. What a great end to a day to remember for a long while!!!