Iron Maiden – Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls 6/12/08

The ‘Somewhere Back in Time – World Tour ’08’ was pretty much everything I’d hope to see, a good ole’ fashioned Iron Maiden show like back in the golden 80’s - full of pyrotechnics, elaborate staging and featuring most of the hits I wanted to hear. 

My wife and I, along with my 16 year old twins Tabitha & Hayley (pictured left to right) made the sojourn to the Northeast part of the state last night to Blossom Music Center.  Blossom is a fairly well laid out amphitheater buried deep in Cuyahoga State Park so thus, it is surrounded by tall trees which help (in theory) to dampen & contain the sound.  I also witnessed that they made good improvised latrines.  The stage area itself emphasizes width over length so most seats (even in the lawn like where we were) could see pretty clearly without feeling like you were 2 miles from the action.  Parking, on the other hand, requires a passport and a compass to navigate the winding side roads and hills leading up to the theater area.

Opening for Maiden was bassist Steve Harris’ daughter Lauren & her band – a powerpop quartet who seemed a fitting opener for dear ole’ dad.  ‘Steal Your Fire’ & ‘Like It or Not’ were decent tunes and guitarist Ritchie Faulkner was a real fretburner, but the band as whole seemed to suffer from a bad mix wherein Lauren’s vocals far overshadowed any instrumentation.  I would’ve preferred to hear them cranked up as collective ‘wall of sound’ but I do understand the venue has had problems recently with noise complaints (despite the aforementioned trees) so we’ll blame it on that situation.

Maiden came out to ‘Aces High’ (is there really any better choice?) and proceeded to give me flashbacks for the next two hours.  Bruce sounded great and gabbed with the audience frequently between songs.  Even with mis-fired comments about cows (we’re Ohio, after all) and a poorly received joke about ‘Freebird’ before they broke into ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, he seemed appreciative & was enjoyable to hear.

The band themselves are aging well and still prance the stage energetically, occasionally mocking one another and just generally coming across like a group of guys having fun.  Wish more bands took this approach to their shows.  They mixed the theatrics nicely with good stage presence and the always excellent musicianship to really give the audience what they had payed so dearly to see.   And with t-shirts starting at $40, we payed dearly indeed.  The backdrops changed with about every song, plus we were treated to fireworks, nice pyro and several costume changes by Bruce.  My family and I left at the encore without seeing any giant Eddie’s, which was a little disappointing, so I hope they did in fact bring him out at least once at some point!

All in all, it was an excellent show and I’m glad my kids were able to see it first hand.  Might help to prevent the brainwashing of what ‘good’ music is that MTV and local radio try to instill. 

The setlist seems to be stable on this tour from show to show but here it is (thanks to Metalsetlists.com for verifying the encore songs).

  • Intro/Aces High
  • 2 Minutes to Midnight
  • Revelations
  • The Trooper
  • Wasted Years
  • The Number of the Beast
  • Can I Play With Madness?
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Powerslave
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • Run to the Hills
  • Fear of the Dark
  • Iron Maiden
  • ENCORE/Moonchild
  • The Clairvoyant
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name

Sadly, no ‘Flight of  Icarus’ or anything from the newer albums like ‘The Wicker Man’, it was still great to see the guys in such good form, just like 20 years ago.

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3 Responses to “Iron Maiden – Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls 6/12/08”

  1. COD says:

    Excellent. We go Wed night.

  2. COD says:

    We had a giant puppet Eddie that shot sparks out of his eyes during Iron Maiden, and a 12 ft future Eddie from Somewhere in Time was on stage during The Clairvoyent.

  3. RevMortis says:

    Was on the way out the door when the song ‘Iron Maiden’ was playing, so it’s very possible we simply missed both Eddies. Shame, I would liked to have seen them but our drive was horrendous enough as it was, without delaying it any further.

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