|Review: Iron Maiden - Brave New World Tour|
|Brave New World Tour|
Venue: Air Canada Centre / Molson Centre / Colisée Pepsi
City: Toronto / Montreal / Quebec City
Show date: August 01, 2000
Guests: Entombed, Halford
Review online: August 7, 2000
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Brave New World Tour
Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)
Having seen Iron Maiden in concert only once, on the Ed Hunter tour - and I have no good excuse for not having seen them more often, this year I was anxiously waiting for the Canadian dates to book my vacations. I decided to make up for all the shows I missed by going to the first three Canadian dates, in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. Three nights in a row, lots of driving, lots of REAL METAL!
After a 5 hour drive to Toronto, I take a walk downtown, killing some time. I saw Janick Gers jaywalking on Yonge street around 3:30-4pm (er... that's almost suicidal.) Not wanting to get him killed, I did not stop him or anything. Maybe I should have, I hear he's a real cool guy. At some point I was about 3ft from him and I'm pretty sure I saw him check out my Destruction t-shirt. Anyways, next time I'll stop him! I get to the Air Canada Centre, and after buying a tour t-shirt, I walked into the amphitheatre. The first thing I notice is that there are no floor tickets. I look around and figure this configuration probably can't hold more than 5000 people. Turns out there were about 4200. The advantage of this configuration is that the stage was much close, so I got to see the show very close, even if I was 24 rows up.
The show starts with Entombed. I'm not much into this band. They gave a good performance, and I'd say the sound in Toronto was better than in Montreal and Quebec City. Not much action during this set, the singer being the only one who moved quite a bit on stage. A decent performance.
Next comes Halford, the metal god himself. Great reception from the crowd, and with reason, after all the guy is a legend in metal. I noticed a good number of Judas Priest t-shirts in the crowd. No waste of time, he kicked off with a couple of songs from his excellent new album, Resurrection, giving a flawless performance, what anyone would expect from him. This was his first show on the tour, and his satisfaction was visible during the whole set, he said a number of times "It's good to be back!". Well, it's good to have you back, Rob! Helped by two guitarists with a great stage presence, the whole set was a pure joy, metal the way it should be. I was smiling almost the whole time, not only because the performance was so good, but also because I was telling myself that I would see this again in Montreal and Quebec City! They played a good number of songs from the new album, Fight's Into the Pit and some Judas Priest classics. Too bad they couldn't play more songs, but still, this remains one of the best live performances I have seen.
Next, Iron Maiden... Do I really need to say that the crowd went berserk? After a little "nebulous" intro, Adrian Smith comes on stage with the opening riff of The Wicker Man, quickly followed by the other musicians then by Bruce Dickinson who's already running around the stage, practically a trademark of his! Maiden played 6 songs from the new album, something a lot of people have been complaining about, considering the number of old songs they could have played. I guess they'll get this kind of reaction for years to come, but hey, they can't keep on just playing old stuff. Bruce actually made a comment on this, saying they were not on a "greatest hits" tour, and that they were touring for what he considers is the best Maiden album ever. Personally, although I would have liked to hear some more old songs, I thought the new stuff came out great live, I even appreciate Blood Brothers a little more now that I've seen them play it live. I also really like the two Blaze-era songs, Sign Of The Cross and The Clansman, sorry to contradict those in a permanent anti-Blaze mood, but I think those two are among the best Iron Maiden songs, and with Bruce signing they are just great. At the beginning of Sign Of The Cross, a wooden cross is elevated behind the stage with Bruce on it, quite a good effect. Some people around me didn't notice him on the cross at first so they were really surprised when they saw him start moving. Great performance.
The regular set list ended with Iron Maiden, with a giant Wicker Man behind the stage, with Bruce being held in it by a bunch of virgins (right...) This was really good. Later he stopped during the song to ask what they should do with them, then some fire burst up from the stage, and then some fake flames slowly elevated around the Wicker Man, making for a really cool looking effect. It seems like this worked only right in Toronto, as there were some disruptions in Montreal and Quebec City, but nothing major.
The encore included three of my favorite songs: The Number Of The Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Sanctuary. I especially enjoyed their performance during Sanctuary, it was just great.
The Maiden stage was accompanied by excellent lighting effects, just amazing, and the energy of those guys is absolutely unbelievable. This has got to be one, if not THE best live act in the world.
The next day I drove to Montreal, again about 5 hours. The show was essentially the same, but with an attendance of about 6200. Halford changed his set list a little bit, playing Breaking The Law, which he didn't play in Toronto. There were some technical difficulties during the Iron Maiden set, Bruce's microphone going out a few times, some pyro effects not working properly, etc..., but still, with such a stage presence, this was again an awesome show.
After the show, there was a Maiden tribute band at a local bar, so I went there with some friends to check it out. The guys were very good, and they played a lot of old songs so that kind of made up for what we didn't get to see at the Maiden show.
Next day, a 2.5 hours drive to Quebec City. There's a love affaire between Iron Maiden and Quebec City, as a proof it had the largest attendance of the three dates with 6500, for a city not even a third of the bigger Montreal, and not a fourth of Toronto, which happens to be North America's 5th largest city. The Colisée was packed, but it was hot as hell in there, I have a low endurance for heat so that kind of prevented me to enjoy the show as much as in the two previous days, but still, with Halford and Maiden giving such great performance, at some point I just forgot about the heat. The crowd there was the best, and Halford even came back for an additional song, something he didn't do in Toronto and Montreal. He spoke a little in French there too. As usual (so I'm told), Bruce spoke in (very good) French to the crowd, mentioning a couple of times that Quebec City is the heart of metal in Canada, making an already enthusiastic crowd just go wild.
I can't really pick a favorite out of the three shows, as each one had some advantage over the other two. I'm just glad I got to see this awesome show three times. I actually have to restrain myself not to get in the car and go see it a fourth time on one of the northeastern U.S. dates! I also got three different views of the show, being up in the center in Toronto, on the floor to the right of the stage in Montreal, and on the left in Quebec City... How could you possibly beat such as experience?
Iron Maiden is alive and well, those who pretend the contrary should contact their psychiatrist immediately! Same goes for Rob Halford, the metal god is alive and kicking, and with a great album to back up this claim!
If you haven't seen the show yet, don't miss it.
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