Photos by Randall Vasquez.
What an epic night – two impactful metal bands took the stage at the newly re-named Budweiser Gardens, Ghost and Iron Maiden. Although Ghost isn’t considered a classic metal band like Iron Maiden, they are well on the way to having a successful and long-term appearance in the music scene with the show that they put on.
Ghost entered the stage at 7:30pm with the sun still shining (they still over-shadowed the sun with their ghoulish ways). They opened the show with Square Hammer, which was probably the best way to declare their presence. The show began with just The Nameless Ghouls rocking the stage and the audience simply just hearing Papa Emiritus III’s voice wondering when he would appear, but he made his appearance once the chorus began in his silky cloak and vocals better than ever. For this set everything was just about perfect- audio was on point, all instrumentals were loud and clear not overshadowing Papas voice, and set design and costumes were the perfect addition (as expected for a Ghost performance). This was my first time seeing Ghost and from what I had heard they were a must-see and I can attest to that. I will definitely be seeing them the next time they come to town! I was hoping Papa would talk just slightly more, but he did make a delightful speech to the audience about the female orgasm.
Not long after following Ghosts memorable set, Iron Maiden finally took the stage and the crowd could not be more stoked. It was amazing to see people of all ages in the crowd- older fans, and younger fans like myself, and even younger fans than that! Its truly amazing how rock n roll can get so many different generations together, and remind us of how it all started.
The band had amazing energy! Even Bruce who flew the band in to Toronto himself had boatloads of excitement and energy to share with the crowd. In that department I wasn’t expecting the most as they are a bit older, but in my opinion they had even more energy than some of the younger rock bands out there.
The set was awesome. It had a look that reminded me of the game “Temple Run” with blowing fire throughout the show, and a constant backdrop change which kept the show even more alive along with the bands energy. Instrumentals were awesome, but something was going on with the audio. At times Dickonson’s vocals were extremely difficult to hear- this is no fault with the band, it had to do with whoever was mixing the audio. For instance “Number of the Beast” was an epic performance because of the energy they brought and the vocals were great from what you could actually hear, but a lot of it was difficult to hear which was very disappointing.
They played mainly classics and tunes from their latest album “Book of Souls”. Performances included “Doctor Doctor”, “Children of the Damned”, “The Trooper”, “The Book of Souls”, “Fear of the Dark”, “Blood Brothers”, and so much more.
I truly enjoyed the opening of “Children of the Damned”. As I mentioned previously about generations being brought together, this became very visible before the song began. Dickonson took a quick survery of what year people were born in, and then essentially said that children who were conceived in the 80’s “children of the damned”.
Iron Maiden put on a much better show than I had expected in the sense that they had a consistent exhilarating energy throughout (not common with older bands), dead-on instrumentals, and visuals to keep the magic going throughout the show.