Iron Maiden Montreal July 11 2012 with Alice Cooper   Leave a comment

This picture was posted on Facebook by IronMaiden.com so I hope it’s ok to use here

Phantom of the Opera

Iron Maiden live 2012

I am a man who walks alone. Except Wednesday July 11th.. I caught a bus to Shelburne, picked up my brother and a car, and headed north to Montreal. It was a beautiful day. The drive was easy. Getting through the border was easy. There was clear sailing into Montreal, with no hold up on the Champlain Bridge. Moments later we were in and parked. We wandered around a bit, grabbed a bite and went to the show. The ticketless option I had to take when ordering tix put us in a long line. It was kind of stressful, but it went pretty quick and we were in and seated 15 minutes before showtime. Our seats were four rows above the floor and very close to the stage. The stress of waiting in line slipped away, and soon enough, it was showtime.

The lights went down and Vincent Price began reading the intro to the Black Widow. The band kicked in and Alice Cooper was wheeled out in a small staircase. He had a spider arm jacket and set off sparklers in his hands. The crowd was on fire as we sang We love him, yes we love him. The band, with three guitar players, bass, drums, and Alice, kicked it up a notch for a wicked heavy Brutal Planet, then lit the room up with Eighteen. He brought out the snake for No More Mr Nice Guy, then got the audience singing Hey Stoopid. I was a bit worried when I saw that in the setlist, but it was pretty fun live. Next up, Orianthi Panagaris, ripped out a killer guitar solo, proving girls can rock as hard as any guy. For Billion Dollar Babies, Alice had a sword full of dollars, that he shook into the audience. Alice looked both menacing, and like he was having a great time, despite the photographer who kept walking up to the band to take pictures. Alice shooed him away a few times. For Feed My Frankenstein, Alice donned the lab coat, did some experiments at the back of the stage, and a 12 foot high monster puppet came to life to wander the stage for the rest of the song. Up next, Poison rocked pretty hard, and had the audience singing. Wicked Young man followed, and it was great except that photographer came back again. Alice was sick of it, and took his mic stand and rammed it through his heart. A couple of local goons took him from the stage, but came back to make Alice pay for his sin. They grabbed him and stuffed him into the guillotine. The blade dropped as the band cranked out I Love the Dead. They finished off the song, as the executioner held Alice’s head to the audience, and then the stage went dark. Suddenly the school bell rang, and out came Alice in denim tux with a Canadians shirt underneath. Large balloons were tossed to the audience, and the band locked into Schools Out One balloon came back to the stage and Alice disintegrated it with his sword. He slashed his way through most of the rest, as the fans tossed them back to the stage. As the song slid past the second No More Pencils part, the lyrics changed to We Don’t Need No Education. The audience followed along up to the All in All It’s all Just Bricks in the Wall part. Alice brought the school back and sent it into recess. The band received a hero’s ovation as they left the stage.

After the standard 30 minute switchover, the music on the PA kicked into Doctor Doctor. The lights went down as it ended, and some heavy classical music begat Moonchild. The set was tremendous, as was Iron Maiden. Two hours of back to back to back really intense songs kept us standing and rocking all night long. We were very close to the stage and at times it was like a Janic Gers guitar clinic right in front of us. Steve Harris spend the night with something between a serious grimace and a huge smile on his face. As always, he mouthed all the words. Murray and Smith traded solos and played beautiful harmony guitar. Nicko roared on drums, and kept the pace driving all night long. The band were on fire, and so was the stage for much of the show.

The first few songs came at us fast and furious. There was not much chat in between. Moonchild set the staggering pace for the show. Can I Play with Madness had the audience screaming the chorus, the Prisoner had the classic video opening from the TV series, and rocked hard. 2 Minutes to Midnight followed and kept the audience singing loud and true. They slowed things down a bit for the beginning of Afraid to Shoot Strangers, but were at full tempo by the end. The brutal pace continued with a searing version of The Trooper. Bruce ran to our side of the stage and hung the tattered Union Jack in Gers face as he was soloing, seeming to delight and annoy him at the same time. The night turned Biblical with a reading from Revolution, and the band used massive amounts of fire on The Number of the Beast. Ken and I were sitting so close, that we could feel the heat. They dug back to the first album for Phantom of the Opera, and I was elated. I’ve had that running through my head a lot lately. It’s so great to hear Bruce sing it. For Run to the Hills, Eddie showed up as a cavalry trooper with an arrow through his head. The 12 foot caricature of their mascot brandished a sword and dueled with Janic a bit. Dave strapped on the flying V and Adrian sang a bit on Wasted Years. The audience sang a lot. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son unfolded like the beautiful epic that it is. After the heavy opening, as is slowed into the middle section, one of the candles on either side of Eddie the prophet was lit and the other was not. As Bruce finished off the lyric with “So it shall be written, so it shall be done” he pointed at the unlit candle, flicked his wrist, and up it lit. So simple, and yet, so sweet. The band brought the song through the rousing final stages and ended with fireworks exploding from the ceiling, in perfect time. That’s the rock and roll we know and love! They stayed on that album for the Clairvoyant, then slowed things down for Fear of the Dark. It built and built to a stunning height before ebbing back where it came from. We returned to the beginning with a rousing Iron Maiden, and the version of Eddie on the Seventh Son album appeared, holding his beating heart in his hand. Thank you and good night.

Of course that was not the end. The stage was black but the video screen lit up. Winston Churchill gave his speech and the band ripped into Aces High. The audience was still singing along at top voice. Going back to the Seventh Son album one final time, The Evil that Men Do kept up the punishing musical pace. Again, they reached back to the beginning for Running Free. Bruce did the band intros and periodically yelled “I’m running Free” with the audience screaming the same back to him. They wrapped it up with a bang, and brought down the lights as they left the stage. The house lights started to come up and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life started playing. What a show. What seats. What a great time.

We we went out the nearest door, and made our way to the car. We were quickly out of the parking long and on the road out of town. The was a bit of a slowdown on the Champlain bridge, but after that, it was smooth sailing home. Crossing the border went quick, and I had Ken home in Shelburne 2 hours after the show ended. Still wired, I drove home, but woke up early the next morning to bring the car back. I met Ken and my parents for breakfast, then caught a ride back into town. Through with being a car person, for now, I am a man who walks alone.

Thanks to Blammermouth for posting these videos

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