17 February 2012

Iron Maiden North American Tour 2012

Everyone's favorite band (everyone with an exquisite taste for metal, anyway), Iron Maiden, announced their plans for new tour of North America this summer. I will most definitely be making my second epic pilgrimage to witness what I believe is the best live show any metalhead could possibly want. Only this time, the journey won't be nearly as long, treacherous, or involved as the last.

I saw Maiden in the summer of 2010 at the hilariously named Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater in Bristow, Virginia. My wife and two friends trekked the 600+ miles to the greater metropolitan D.C. area in one day (the day before the show). If you've never made that trip, I highly recommend it. One does not simply walk into Washington. With no reservations or any real idea of exactly what we were doing, we found a hotel room on the southern outskirts of our lovely capital city around 11:00 that night.

We got up the next morning, ate a lousy hotel breakfast, bought train tickets, and went on a sightseeing rampage. We aimlessly walked roughly 9,000 miles around Arlington Cemetery and the National Mall before heading out to the concert. At least it was only 160 degrees outside that day. After suffering through entirely too much slow-crawling traffic and entirely too many imbecilic drivers, we pulled into a Chik-fil-a to grab dinner before heading out to the show. We decided to stay there and wait out a thunderstorm which had parked itself over Bristow. The result was missing out on the opening act, Dream Theater (who I had already seen several years prior), much to the chagrin of my wife. I wish I had the pictures to prove it, but her iPhone crapped out later that night at the other hotel we stumbled upon, which was somewhere in Virginia and absolutely crawling with satisfied Maiden fanatics that night.

Ultimately, Maiden took the stage that night and completely blew me away, giving me a concert experience that I'll never forget, and I can't wait to experience it again this summer. If you've never seen Iron Maiden and you live in North America, don't miss this opportunity. They aren't going to be around forever. I mean, they've only been doing this for over 30 years. Plus, you unquestionably have to see them to consider yourself a worthy metal warrior. However, seeing the opening band is optional, apparently.