maiden texas

i don’t think i’ll ever go see iron maiden again…

…cause my most recent experience will be hard to beat!

eight grade me is very satisfied!

i bought my ticket LAST november and got a floor ticket, which was general admission with zero seating. the last time i saw them i drove my buddy pain nuts dragging him to three different merch tables (each with over a hundred people waiting) trying to score the special texas tour shirt maiden does every time they come through texas. they’ve done it since their number of the beast tour in 1982, and they’re always super collectable.

(as you can see they basically do everything they can to NOT play austin, which explains why this wasn’t my first concert as it shoulda been)

the shirt this time around just as cool, but with fewer dates:

back in the day the music industry joke about maiden was they sold more shirts than albums. this might actually be true – but their relentless touring across the past (almost) forty years has resulted in them selling out venue after venue with virtually no radio airplay, even back when that was what made or broke you. i wasn’t sure when doors were – my e-ticket just said “7:30”. is that doors? maiden? some opening band?

it was the last one. we did some detective work to find out doors were at six. it literally wasn’t listed anywhere, but the ufc found some $200 VIP package that said you got in access to the floor “at 5:00, an hour ahead of doors” which is how we knew. i was shooting for getting there at 5pm, to guarantee i could get one of the texas tour shirts. the problem? less traffic and skipping a court errand (that will be it’s own bit later) and i ended up there at 4:15…only to discover there was a merch tent OUTSIDE the venue. no line. no waiting. i grabbed two shirts – an XL and an XXL because of the XXL in 2012 being almost TOO large. i had to sell my xl and buy an xxl for another one i’d already grabbed for this show, though, so i wanted to play it safe.

but enough about merch for now. it was 4:15, i had two texas tour shirts, and was parked close enough to walk back to my car and put them in the trunk, before going to stand in line to get in. i could read my license plate from where i was standing, so i got in pretty quick and even after having a sit down meal in the venue (brisket sandwich, fries, and a beer for $23) i still ended up close enough to take a pic or fifty pretty damn close:

(yes, the middle one was bruce dickinson actually making a face for me specifically!)

because they hadn’t put out a new album recently this tour was in support of a mobile app game they released, so it was a greatest hits set and the stage effects were larger than life:

(these i took off google from other dates because i was too close to get this perspective)

so, yeah…i’m not sure if this ever gets topped – or if i should even try?

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