Last week can be termed as one of the most rocking one of my life..After having two days of pure fun at NIT Calicut's Raagam '07, we headed straight to Banglore to watch the concert of our lifetime..to watch the uncrowned kings of heavy metal in action.. to watch none other than IRON MAIDEN... It was a sort of get together of the who's who of the Trivandrum headbangers club.. let me compile a list of the metalheads from TVM who attended the show.. first of all, the 'Rage' band..Nithin chettan, mithun chettan, abi chettan, pramod chettan...then, Raja, Nikhil, JK, Pappu and Kishore chettan from K.OS...Govindan chettan from old 'transmigration', Vivek, Chippu and Alex from 'Soulburn', metal fans bhasi chettan, sono chettan, subin chettan, Rohan, sreejith and finally rohith and me representing 'Stoneage'..
with the superfans from Germany
Me and k.os guys set out to the palace grounds at morning 10am itself. Even the autorickshaw drivers in banglore seemed to know 'iron maiden' and they easily recognised that we were heading to the concert venue. As we reached there, lots of young guys and gals were already pouring in. The site of IRON MAIDEN LIVE on the arch leading to the ground really pumped up my spirits. We walked in and was greeted by the awesome sight of a sea of black shirts outside the grounds and most of the shirts had the words 'iron maiden' written on it. Some weirdo guys and gals with equally weird haircuts and dressups were roaming around there. Many of them carried beer cans. As expected, some were busy smoking the 'stuff'. It was only 11am now. The gates won't open in another 4 hours. And the guys who were having our tickets were still to arrive. We sat around there savouring the multi cultural, multi lingual but still united rock crowd who had gathered there. Am sure there were atleast a dozen people representing each state in India.
As we sat around there munching some water melon, a van carrying police men passed by. And the agressive crowd raised up their middle finger in unison and sang some slogans which cannot be written here. Already, big queues were gathering in front of both the 900rs and 1500rs entry points. Atlast at 2, all the guys arrived. We posed for pics holding the tickets in our hands. Then, we queued up for the final push to the stadium. The impatient crowd were banging on the metal panels and chanting 'maiden , maiden'...and finally the gates opened at 2 30 pm...The ticket guy checked our tickets and was collecting it back. I was not ready to part with that prized possession. I showed it to him and ran away with it. I could hear him calling from my back but i dint turn back. We all ran straight to the front. And all of us went mad because we were so close to the stage. The first 30 minutes were really mad as lots of pushing and swearing were happening. We were struck by the sheer elegance of the stage. The number of lighting equipments dangling from the top were just mind blowing. After many rounds of slogan shouting, the crowd settled down. As we roamed around there, we met 3 superfans of maiden from Germany. They had the SPF[Superfan] badges and lots of Maiden stuff on their dresses. According to them, there are only 40 people all around the world with this special pass. These people follow the band wherever they go. We spend sometime talking with them. As we walked around, we could see smoke enveloping the whole stadium. Cigarettes and the 'other stuff' were being smoked freely all around.
We didn't know what hit us. And before we could find out, it was all over. We didn't want it to end so fast. But it was all over by the time we realised its Maiden playing in front of us. Now, that is Maiden magic for you. Its not for nothing that they been ruling the Metal Kingdom for the past 30 years... The audience kept on chanting 'Maiden, Maiden'. Most of us were relucatant to leave even after Maiden left. We hung around near the stage trying to catch a glimpse of the Maiden guys and all we got to see were the sound guys. They were all really fast in dismantling the huge amount of concert equipment that they had set up there on stage. Atlast, the policemen drew us away. As we walked back, we were still shaking our head. Now, as I write this, almost one week after the show, am still shaking my head. Am wondering when will it all sink in..the truth that I watched Iron Maiden live...up close..in flesh and blood..from the front row..... Until then, its 'MAIDEN MAIDEN'....chant alongggg...all u members of the Maiden army...
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your crusader Praveen