Sunday, November 19, 2006

Attn: Metal Heads

Or Why Iron Maiden Rocks and Michael Schenker Sucks

We got tickets to see Iron Maiden. J's been sorta into them so we decided to spend the bucks and go. Him = all brand new. Us = whopping nostalgia. Unfortunately, the person who procured us tickets managed to get ones on the floor in the "Y" section. On the the "Y" section! Poor J wouldn't see a thing. Heck, I probably wouldn't be able to see a thing.

But I had a plan. While shopping at the local DIY store I bumped into one of these.

Yep. A metal toolbox! And I had an image in my head much like this.

There! The six/seven inches needed to see above the crowd. Now, I only had two real worries:

①That he'd be too tall and get in the way of people in the "Z" section (sods that they are).

②We had to pay a visit to the American Embassy before that and they're like hyper-paranoid of things such as...fingernail clippers and soda cans. Can you imagine what they'd think when they saw my husband approaching lugging this baby!?

The Embassy went as expected. There were at least a dozen cops on the road leading to the building and all of them quick to stop us and ask WTF! Then we get into the place and aside from body searches, metal detectors and leave-your-ice-tea-in-that-box-over-there they weren't too unkind. Mostly giggly that we would even THINK of bringing such an object into the place. Lock it up, Sato!

And believe it or not worry number ① was taken care of when I realized that the "Y" section is indeed the last one. "Z" is the monstrous mixing board (and they are all on stools) with a "Special Guests" area to the side.

Oh, I had a worry number ③. And that one was Steve's daughter Lauren Harris decided she was going to open for the band. Huh?! There is a reason bands in Japan don't have opening numbers. And that reason is people come to Tokyo shows not just from Tokyo but from all the surrounding areas as well. Bullet Trains stop running ten-ish and depending on where the arena is you should be getting out of there are nine/nine thirty. I just knew we'd have to leave half way through the show.

Turns out Lauren started very early, like when people were still coming in. See the picture below? She's up there on stage with her band. Look at all those empty seats. Another thing I like about shows in Japan, is that so many people come straight from work--notice dude in front of me in his suit and tie. That always cracks me up.

Maiden was great! They played the entire new album and several oldies ending with "Hallowed Be Thy Name" which made me very happy. I was also tickled pink to notice half way through that the Guest Section was filled with band members' families including Lauren and her band. They were so close I could have easily tossed a sticky rice cake and gotten someone in the ear. Lots of long-haired, good looking kids climbing all over the mixing boards behind me and even Rod Smallwood (their manager) was back their with his arms crossed all bigger than life. I made eye contact and smiled but I don't think He knew that I knew who He was. Yea, or probably he didn't care.

Again. Great show. Bruce's voice was fantastic! Part way through the show he reached down and single-handedly (as in using a single hand) pulled up a very large (with tripod) television camera. He was pissed off about something. He threw in behind him and some roadie grabbed it. Dave nearly soiled his leather pants he was laughing so hard. Me? I couldn't help but wonder what a shy Japanese photographer could have done to piss him off. Later in the evening though Bruce spoke to that person, asked his name (something Not Japanese) and asked after being so so many shows if he knew what song was next. The man couldn't answer, Bruce scoffed and yelled "Two Minutes to Midnight"! Oh yea!

It was a good night.

Part Two:

Michael Schenker sucks.

I used to like him. Not a lot. But some. And I did pay money in high school to see him once.

This past Friday my husband took a half day off work, paid 80 bucks for tickets, and over 150 bucks for trains to get to Tokyo and back just to see him (he's a UFO fan). I get a phone call at seven thirty and he tells me, "Michael just played two songs and walked off the stage."


I mean Japan might be the only place he even HAS any fans left. Not anymore. It isn't the first time either. I googled "Michael Schenker" and "canceled show" to see if there was any news about why he walked out of the arena and there were tons of hits. He does this a lot evidentally. Just because he used to angelically gorgeous is NO REASON!!! ...

My husband was a good sport (as was everyone, no one rioted...I wish I had been there!) and said there were people who lost far more money than he did. And indeed, I just got a text message on my phone from a friend in Tokyo, his friend came all the way from Niigata, paid $700 for front row tickets, $300 for trains tickets, and $150 for a hotel...all to have Mr. Sphincter walk out after two songs. Why? Because he was "feeling bad". My husband said he was playing shitty from the beginning. Selfish brat. The band came out and apologized.

The word around Japan is "Yappari Oniisan ga ii!". Michael is younger brother to Rudolph. I always like the Scorpians better. Bleh!!


Anonymous said...

Revenge of the Old Farts.
A friend of ours went to see the Blind Faith reunion a couple of years ago and said it was amazing, but I try to listen to stuff that's only a few years old now. Younger players seem to have more energy and can write pretty well, too. The last time I saw Clapton was in about 1979 or '80, and he was so wasted that he could barely hold his guitar and stand at the same time, much less move his fingers. Just six years earlier, he had burned his music into my brain at another concert at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. Another friend of mine saw Pink Floyd in Vancouver and said that, due to the lax enforcement policies at the arena I'd imagine, it was very good. I did go to some good concerts in Japan, the best being the Talking Heads in the early 80's, but the "atmosphere" is missing something there. I liked the live houses best.
The Scorpions were good. Von Iva is, too, and they're much hotter.

Kappa no He said...

It's kind of a constant battle between me and my husband. I get sorta sad seeing the old (ahem!) bands play. He loves 'em. If I'm going to pay the money, yea, I kinda want to see something new. We saw Michelle Ndegeocello play at a tiny hole-in-the-wall once. Amazing! But then again we just recently saw Earth, Wind, and Fire and that was pretty fantastic as well. You would never have guessed they are all in their eighties (cough cough!).

Anonymous said...

Michelle Ndegeocello is pretty good. I just listened to a bunch of music at her web site. Old Whites with whiskey and old Blacks with brandy.(Remember, Playboy started before I was born, and I'm old. I just sent a list of jazz greats my wife made up to a friend in Canada. I was sure Peaches had found a May, 1963 edition and had copied it to her Palm Pilot. It is all good tunes, though it makes me feel a little weird - sort of cool bop groovin' with the hep cats.) I'm waiting for the Charles Brown Live at the National Mall video to come out. Chuck Brown is a go go/jazz player from DC. A couple of summers ago, we went to a Jazz Fest at the bandshell near the Wash. Monument. He is fun by himself, but he had some Hurricane Katrina Vieux Carré jazzmen join him. That was great. PBS was filming it, but I never saw it. That was two summers ago. Go go is a funk/jazz/call back mix of styles. Very fun. Someone stole the video, I'm sure, or it would have been used as a fund-raiser by now.
Happy Thanksgiving! gobble, gobble. Full house of poor graduate students this year. I have Wednesday off, so I'm cooking the best stuff tomorrow (sweet potato pie - whipped cream version, not custard, about a dozen different appetizers-get a list later, and great savory veggies), and the big bird and plainer starches on Thursday. Those are easy, so I can drink during the football games, and not get anal about whether or not I forgot to prick the pie crusts. I'll have to be real wasted to screw up the boiled potatoes or not realize that the pop-up thermometer in the turkey's breast has gone off. And I'll have all those graduate students around to do all that even if I am!
Gobble, gobble.

Kappa no He said...

I miss your cooking. And what I'd give to listen to some cool jazz and drink a couple dozen Yuenlings with ya...

Anonymous said...

Peaches blog.
It's in Japanese, so I'm sure it has lots of stuff about me.

Kappa no He said...

She calls you honey! Very, very sweet. Tell her happy belated birthday! I wish I could have taken her out for some sushi or something, some nice Yaizu maguro and/or katsuo!

Matt D said...

Awesome review. I meant to post that when I first read this a while ago, but I just looked at the comments and remembered I was at work and got interrupted. Anyway, I didn't get to see Maiden this time around, mostly because they don't come very close to here anymore. Ah well.

I've never liked MSG.