Gig Guide June 2017

Welcome to the RT Rock Show Gig Guide for June.

Mays great gigs was over shadowed with tragic news of 22 deaths in Manchester after the terrorist attack on Manchester Arena on Monday 22nd May. It's times like these that put everything in perspective and if there is one thing to take away from this horrific event, that is we cannot live our lives in fear. #togetherstronger.

Last Month’s Gigs

May was a relatively quiet month for gigs within the RT Rock Show camp, with only 3 gigs under our belt.

On May 6th I visited Cardiff’s St David’s hall to watch Tom Chaplin, aka the singer of the huge indie band Keane. If there was one word to describe the gig it would be polite. It was strange for a number of reasons;

  1. St David’s hall is a theatre and have really comfy seats. I’m not complaining about comfy seats, just that it’s not the setting I’m accustomed to for a live music show. This old time rocker does prefer to stand, but when needed the seats were great

  2. Tom, has a great voice and the acoustics in the theatre were fantastic for showcasing his music. Yet I didn’t find myself reaching for my earplugs as the music was too loud, (no Motorhead and Manowar your world records were not going to be beaten by the bands volume)but for the crowd.

  3. Overall it was a pleasant but strange gig. It was two hours of nice, I like nice, but this was too nice for me.

The main event on everyone’s calendars for May must have been Iron Maiden and Shinedown in Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on May 24th. Just two days after the tragic events in Manchester, Cardiff was on high alert and I can only praise the police and authorities for their presence and great work in ensuring Cardiff was safe for the thousands attending the show.

Leading up to the gig I was very apprehensive. Not of the terrorist threats, but the ticketless entry system implemented. We were advised to arrive early, and that is what we did. We arrived at the arena at 5:30pm and got in line. Luckily the sun was shining and with the help of good banter the hour flew by and we were heading into the arena. With one swipe of my credit card, my tickets were printed and we were in. The only logical place to head after queuing in the sun, the bar. Hats off to Maiden they have thought of everything. T-shirts and hoodies in the merchandise stall and Trooper (their own branded beer) in the bar. So with a beer in hand we headed off to watch Shinedown.

Shinedown

This is the second time I’ve seen Shinedown and I was disappointed. Well I wasn’t disappointed with their performance, more the sound engineer. It seems to be every support act I see the sound engineer alters the sound just enough to make you think that the main act is better. It’s sad to say but this was defiantly the case.

Iron Maiden

If there's one band that I always try and catch on tour and will never get bored of it's the mighty Iron Maiden. When they started announcing tour dates on the back of their 'Book Of Souls' release, their Cardiff show seemed an age away. With their last Cardiff show in 2011 it's been a long time coming. And what a show it was! As soon as the unmistakable Michael Schenker tone comes through the speakers in the form of UFO's 'Doctor Doctor', you know you're about to witness something special.

With an impressive Mayan temple backdrop the band kick off with an energy that shouldn't be present in a bunch of guys on the wrong side of 50. That said, opener 'If Eternity Should Fail' seemed quite laid back compared to previous show openers and after UFO. It was when the typical single of 'Speed Of Light' followed that it seemed to pick up. Back to back classics of 'Wrathchild' and 'Children Of The Damned' (dedicated to those of a certain age) get the blood pumping. A few more off the new album followed.

The set was 6 out of 15 new songs which, when taking into account the length of some of them, seemed quite a lot. With plenty of classics in between though it, there weren't many complaints. The Trooper, Powerslave and Fear Of The Dark always hit the spot, even with the absence of Hallowed Be Thy Name' due to legal reasons. The set closer Iron Maiden had the band firing on all cylinders and after a battle with a large Mayan warrior Eddie previously, we are treated to a massive inflated head over the stage that looked surprisingly realistic.

The 'Woe to you oh Earth and sea' of the opening encore 'Number Of The Beast' reminds us why this band is so special along with following song. The little played 'Blood Brothers' had Bruce take a bit of time to talk about the terrorist atrocity in Manchester and put a shiver up my spine. He hit the nail on the head and had the whole crowd united through the music. The ending track 'Wasted Years' wouldn't have been my guess as closer but it fitted perfectly. Another triumphant show and a sea of happy Maiden fans.

A special mention goes to the staff at the Motorpoint who had the show run smoother than I've ever experienced there in the wake of the needed tighter security. If there was a downer to the night it was the sound which was a bit muddy and you would expect to improve but seemed to stay that way throughout the night. Maybe my ears have had it!