This show was to be recorded for a DVD release and having never seen the band live, it was now time. I recall buying tickets well in advance and waiting with great anticipation to see this show. Their newest record, Scenes from a Memory was out and after their live record, Once in a Livetime, my interest in the band was renewed. I lost most interest during Awake and Falling into Infinity but now was back into this fantastic band.
Mat and I were able to muscle pretty far up, but not all the way to the front. We were close enough though and stuck our ground for most of the show. They began by doing the entire Scenes from a Memory disc...which was entertainment enough. Regression and Home left a lasting impression as the band is so incredibly tight.
After this, they went on to play a number of older songs including Metropolis (all of it) and Learning to Live. I was thrilled as Images & Words was the album that got me into them, and probably still is my favorite. In any event, Jordan did a great keyboard solo and just when I was out of energy completely, they decided to go into A Change of Seasons. Quite simply I couldn't take any more, and so we moved to the back and sat down up against a pillar and enjoyed the 25-minute finale.
We were so exhausted once this was done, I simply couldn't imagine being on stage for all of that! There were 2 sets though, and so that gave us all a little breather.
The first time I saw them, and it was pretty damn incredible. Seeing such a technical band pull off their material without flaw is impressive to say the least.
Right before this show I was given the opportunity to interview King Diamond for his upcoming tour. Our equipment at the radio station was all broken at the time so I could not record it. I sat speaking to King in my comfortable chair in my living room as we spoke about a number of topics. It was definitely an exciting interview, though I had met King before.
I began the afternoon by driving to Northern Lights for soundcheck where I was to interview Andy. I was so psyched, as the first time (in '98) didn't happen. He asked me to come back later, but I stayed and listened to sound check. I taped the entire thing as well. Very cool!
Headed back later w/ Jeremy, and we went to interview Andy. Once again we were turned down but we asked to interview the other guitarist, Glen Drover. He was noticeably drunk and didn't really want to talk to us. I recorded our conversation on tape, but since it wasn't an official type Q&A interview, he impatiently left early.
This show was awesome. I was to leave Albany less than a month later and I got to see my friends from Music Shack one final time. Noteworthy songs included Burn and Dressed in White which blew me away even though I knew they were doing it. The closer of the set, Black Horsemen was without the intro, but still an incredible song and the perfect way to end a night, just pay attention to the lyrics. Definitely one of my favorite KD tunes.
The following setlist was found somewhere online and so I swiped the image. If I find the url I will post again.
The crowd was amazing, though it started off slowly. Towards the end, King played some gems that most didn't expect and received the proper response. The sound was terrible, but as a whole this show was still excellent.
Once again, King Diamond knows how to perform. Every time I've seen him, supporting whatever album is newest, he always kicks out some old-school classics and never...I seriously mean never...fails to entertain. Whether there are 50 or 500, he plays to the audience, saying, "Thank-You", shaking hands with the fans and cranking out some high quality metal. He always leaving appreciative of those who came, regardless of how few it may be and that is a good feeling for the fans. One of the best performers you could possibly see, whether it's King Diamond or Mercyful Fate, he's going to entertain.
Having seen the band 3 of the last 4 years, it was finally time to see Iron Maiden at a huge venue. Problem is, our tickets were miserable and we felt as if we were a mile away from the stage. It really was pretty terrible. You almost feel as if you deserve to be closer. I supported them through those shitty years w/ Blaze singing, now that things are good again, I get to sit in the back? Well, lesson learned...we hit the train and headed to NYC.
I was disappointed as we arrived just as Rob Halford was finishing his set. I really wanted to catch him, but he had gone on very early if my memory serves me and so we heard the last 2 minutes while in the bathroom and sat down to catch Queensr˙che. They went through a set filled with old stuff which pleased me much. The specifics of that set I cannot recall, though the "Why am I here, and for how long" line in Eyes of a Stranger yielded a huge crowd response and it was a moment I won't soon forget.
Their set was relatively short, but again, packed with pre-1990s material (the best) and during the setbreak we spoke to a couple next to us about Iron Maiden. They were older fans who soon left (or moved) from their seats during Maiden's set. There wasn't enough older material to satisfy much of the crowd and fans knowing the new record, Brave New World truly were in the minority. Of the first 8 songs, only 2 were from any early Bruce records, and this includes Wrathchild in it's 150-second glory as well as Sign of the Cross in its....well, it's like 15 minutes long isn't it? In any event, old-school fans were definitely disappointed, but screw 'em. They should've been there for the Ed Hunter reunion tour!
However, such a lack of enthusiasm, in conjunction with our mile-and-a-half-away seats really sucked our energy right out of us. I don't want to be the weirdo headbanger singing the new stuff when everyone else looks bored! But, it's just what I was reduced to, as the band didn't string together more than 3 old (pre-90) songs at any point, and that one time was the encore (not quite strung together)
From this perspective, the show wasn't the major success many expected, but as the band always does, they were touring for their new record and so they played much from it. While I was entertained, our poor seats really reduced the night to a good show, whereas the return of Bruce and Adrian to huge arenas should have created a great experience.