First things first, this is not a review of Iron Maiden's performance at the Palace Grounds. Primarily because I'm smart enough to know that any adjective that I use will only come out jaded and cliched. So I will stick to doling out advice for the newb who is gonna watch his maiden concert.(I know. That was a PJ)
Get yourself a pair of really tough sneakers. Do not dare enter the staging area with just your sandals on. No matter how difficult it is to find footwear for you, get something. There are around a gazillion feet out there jumping, hopping, kicking, moshing, skipping and they all have to land somewhere. And more importantly those feet are not sandal covered like your puny feet but they are all wearing shoes. Apart from all this, there's also gonna be a lot of pushing and shoving going on near the stage. And at some point you will find yourself on the ground and you will soon see a lot more of other peoples sneakers, which should help you choose a good pair for the future, if you make it out alive that is.
Besides, if you're gonna die, you might as well die with your boots on! :)
Do not reach too early. Too early is defined as the scheduled start of events. Any energy you use, out on the sun waiting for the headlining band to come out, is energy wasted. Reach the venue at T+(4 to 5) hrs. Maiden came out at around 19:50. We reached at 12:00. That is Bad. And I say 4-5 and not flat out 7 because the bands just before the main act are usually good.
As was the case with Parikrama, I'm not very musically literate but even I know that the violin leads were brilliant. Apart from that what was commendable was the fact that they knew that the crowd was restless waiting for Maiden, so they used that to their advantage. That brings me to the most important part of the concert apart from the band, the Mob.
The mob is made of people like you and me. But collectively its an entity of its own. When it all begins, there is some gentle ribbing with all the other performers, and some of the taunts are pretty clever too.
Like when Lauren Harris (daughter of Maiden bassist Steve Harris) came out on stage to perform,some one started singing Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter. It was pretty funny. For some time, we all sang Bring Me your Daughter, Fetch Your Daughter...Bring Me your Daughter, Fetch Your Daughter...So the taunts can range from this to the usually used medially located finger approach and other such gestures.
Its not just the crowd that can sink low, one guy (I think he was from Cyanide Serenity. Not sure), said this as soon as he came on to the stage, "How many of you here hate Bush as much as I do". That was a cheap shot. I know its difficult to get the crowd going when all they want to see is Maiden. But this was sinking too low. It was almost as bad as Godwin's Law. But the mob responded to this as well.
This is one of many many other stunts that the bands tried to woo the crowd. One could understand their plight and to be fair, apart from all the Death Metal/Nu Metal/watever-it-is-that-its-called songs that they sung, the remaining were quite OK.
The rest is routine. The rest of the 2 hours you spend waiting, must be over in a haze of over-prized-food, gawking (there are lots of weird things to look at), vaporised nicotine and gentle swaying to the beat of the other bands.
And then there was MAIDEN.
I want to end this right here (and might probably include the rest in another post) by saying this about how I feel about what followed
I lived alone my mind was blank
I needed time to think to get the memories from my mind
What did I see? Could I believe? That what I saw
that night was real and not just fantasy
-The Number of The Beast by Iron Maiden