Monday, February 16, 2009

The Ancient Mariners steal the thunder at Palace Grounds

"Day after day, day after day,
we stuck nor breath nor motion
as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean
Water, water everywhere and
all the boards did shrink
Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink."

- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Metal Gods, Iron Maiden, truly resembled the Albatross from Coleridge’s ballad. As Bruce Dickinson clenched his fist and sang the first few lines of the epic ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, we knew we were witnessing history, not oft repeated. Because it’s not often does one get to see them performing the 13-minute classic.

‘Scream for me Bangalore’ yelled Dickinson. And the crowd not only yelled, but sang along all their biggest hits. At 7.50 pm, once the dust had settled from the other acts that performed, impatience reared its curious head. Within seconds, from the dark recesses of the stage, the initial chords of ‘Aces High’ burst forth. In came the band in manic fury unleashing one hit after the other.

Though it took at least 3 songs to get the sound mix right, the audience were witnessing theater of the highest order. Especially when Steve Harris plucked the thumping bass lines of ‘The Trooper’. With the Union Jack held high, Dickinson was at his mercurial best. Supported by the wizardry of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Nicko McBrain. Not to mention the incredibly talented Bass behemoth and writer Steve Harris himself.

Back-to-back performances of ‘Fear of the Dark’ and ‘Hallowed be thy name’ got the crowd into a frenzy. And they wanted more of it. Maiden gave it to them with incredible passion. ‘Run to the Hills’, ‘Two minutes to Midnight’, and ‘Powerslave’ followed.

Suddenly, at 9.35 pm, they said goodbye and went in. The lights followed suit and got turned off. The crowd though, got turned on. As the chant ‘Maiden, Maiden’ hit a crescendo. Within minutes they were back for the encore. Belting out the all-time favourite ‘Number of the Beast’ which was followed by a slightly longer version of ‘The evil that men do’.

At 9.55 pm they bade the crowd goodbye. Some lucky ones in the front got hold of Nicko’s drum skins and sticks which he threw. Few others got the plectrums of the guitarist.

But what all of us certainly got was a shot of adrenalin, mesmerism and magic from the masters of metal. Thank you guys!

Posted by Murali.

1 comment:

Shane said...

I hold my lighter up in the air, to celebrate and acknowledge your picturesque recollection of the night. Good Job.