Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Rob Halford / Queensryche / Iron Maiden
Live in Mexico, Jan 9th at Foro Sol

Reviewed by El Cid

A crowd that arrived as early as 1pm eagerly awaited for the show to begin as scheduled by 7 but we all had a particular feeling that this (as usual) wouldn’t be the case. Much to general surprise, at 7 pm SHARP the lights went out and Rob Halford emerged clad in his usual leather attire. The crowd cheered as Halford began their set with the title track of their new album “Resurrection”. This song marked the triumphant return of the “metal God” to the Metal world and it was received with high spirit among the audience. After this we had a chance to hear a pack of songs out of Resurrection which included Made in Hell, Locked and Loaded, Night fall, Silent screams and Cyberworld.

Halford was not going to disappoint the audience and thus he plunged fully into his earlier years’ work in FIGHT with Into the pit and then proceeded to please every soul standing there in the rain by bringing on a full heavy metal onslaught out of Judas Priest’s catalog which included Metal Gods, Jawbreaker, Electric eye and Closed his set with the one song everyone was eager to hear, Breaking the Law which was almost entirely sung by the audience as a smiling Rob Halford stared in contempt at the crowd.

As usual the gap between bands gave us a chance to run out of the mass and buy beer while half an hour went by.

Queensryche came out next with every member of the mighty band dressed entirely in black and they gave us a great show marked by songs from their long lost 1983 EP such as Queen of the Reich and The lady wore Balck. Queensryche gave us a great set that included Walk in the shadows from their “Rage from Order” album, Take hold of the flame from “The warning”, the title track from “Empire” and Falling down from their latest effort “Q2K” among others.

Front man Geoff Tate’s work was impressive as he consolidated his place as one of the best heavy metal voices out there along with Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson. The lead man for Queensryche talked to the audience to let them know how excited he was to be in Mexico for the first time in his career with the band and to be on top of that, sharing the stage with 2 flagships of metal such as Halford and Iron Maiden. Sadly Queensryche’ set was everything but long, the band got offstage without playing many of their classics which real fans expected to hear due to the bulk of morons calling maiden out before time… What’s the rush you ignorant fucks?

After a truly long wait under the rain, being tired, wet and sweaty Iron Maiden’s intro finally hit and the tension could be felt all around. Finally The Wicker Man started and the headliners were in the house. The pure bliss of finally being able to see a classic Iron Maiden line-up is beyond words and just the head banging made you realize it was just the beginning. After a strong opening track, on of the favorite tracks from “Brave New World”, Ghost of the Navigator made the crowd go wild. After two more songs from their latest Opus (Brave New World and Blood Brothers, song dedicated to the Mexican fans for their support) Bruce introduced one of the classics to an ecstatic crowd. 2 minutes to midnight was the highlight of the night so far as the entire audience sang their lungs out to the chorus of the song. Wrathchild  from the “Killers” album was next as the crowd began to cheer and demand that the band played the classics.

The Mercenary was next to continue presenting the new material as Janik Gers, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith made the crowd go nuts with the onslaught brought by 3 first line guitar players on stage. A very familiar décor followed in the back of the stage as The trooper sent the crowd into a slam dancing frenzy while the mighty Dickinson swayed 2 union Jack flags behind Nicko McBrain’s drum set. Eddie came out to a gigantic ovation during The Evil That Men Do and the crowd cheered him endlessly as Gers “battled” him running around Maiden’s 7th member while playing.

A big cross rose behind McBrain’s drum set to herald Sign of the Cross to the audience. Being the first time many of us heard this song live with Bruce’s in charge of the vox the song was much appreciated even though the next song totally eclipsed it. As the lights went completely out and a very familiar guitar intro echoed in the venue, Fear of the Dark began playing as every soul at the show sang along with Dickinson’s smile crowning a very awaited performance. Clansman was next as Bruce Dickinson gave life to one of the songs originally written for Blaze Bayley. Maiden “finished” their set with a powerful version of Iron Maiden during which Bruce came out of a giant cage-like Eddie behind McBrain’s drum set accompanied by 3 maidens clad in white.

After a 10 minutes of demanding that the British 6 piece came out again, the very familiar recorded prelude to Number of the Beast boomed from the speakers and the band came back out for a 4 song encore which also included Dream of Mirrors. Personally I think  all the show came to the highest point as Hallowed be thy Name crowned a night full of Heavy metal madness. As in most shows the closing song was thought to be Sanctuary which was greatly accompanied by one of Bruce’s characteristic rants but following this Maiden’s front man announced the last song of the evening as the new single Out of the Silent Planet.

 And thus ended the headbangers fest 2001 with the crowd absolutely reduced to shadows of men with energy but leaving the arena with a very special smile in their faces, until next time we just have to remember the Iron Maiden’s gonna get you no matter how far!

- El Cid

All rights reserved and contents ©2004 Metal-Rules.com
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995!