Category Archives: two times

Ghost and Iron Maiden at Sprint Center

“Scream for me Kansas City!”

There are few bands for me that are on the same level as Iron Maiden. The songs, the lore, the musicians, the routine onstage shooting fire columns, the longevity, the theatrical performances, and Bruce Dickinson.

Angie, Sam and I picked up these tickets within minutes of them going on sale with neither of them having any idea who this opening act “Ghost” was. I, of course, knew who Ghost was and knew it was going to be an interesting evening watching those guys do what they do.

No-one however mentioned to us that one of these bands seemingly have a problem with Air Conditioning. They requested the Sprint Center be no cooler than 83°. Sure doesn’t sound horrible, but this is inside with no air movement. It got sticky quickly.

Anyhow Ghost was setup first and had some expected Satanic imagery on their graphics:

As I expected they opened with some Gregorian chant style music I presume to give a feeling Church is in session. With all this and what I knew about their style of music my interest was peaked “I have never seen any sort of hard core Satanic group perform, will there be blood and chicken guts?” I kept thinking. Chicken guts! Probably smells horrible in this heated up arena.

So Ghost started playing their stuff with the “Papa Emeritus III” talking mostly about sex. Having sex, the pleasure of sex, how he wanted everyone to go home that night and have sex. It was clear this guy has some strange obsession not being “Satanic” but “Sexual”.

It was very, VERY odd. So here is this Swedish band known for Satanic lyrics and Satanic themes sounding like someone in the pop-rock type genre with clearly Satanic lyrics continually mumbling something about Sex. Sure the music wasn’t horrible the musicians were good but damn it was really weird. Like watching Pee-wee Herman + Jack Sparrow sing Satanic music level of weird.

A clear advantage Ghost had was being able to use the light bar setup for Iron Maiden, which was of course spectacular (worth noting Ghost did not utilize the side video screens):

Ghost was on about 30 minutes, followed by a quick set change (took the stage hands like 15 minutes to switch out, I was impressed at the organization of the seemed like about 30 stage hands):

Pic of mixing board setup a more than average amount of equipment for two band. No sound mixing equipment changed between sets:

Right at 2000 Iron Maiden comes on the set, friggin’ Iron Maiden – yes I was pumped:

There is an old saying “A bad day of fishing is better than a great day at work”. Well Iron Maiden was awesome, but again a “bad” Iron Maiden is better than damn near anyone else. So what did you expect me to say. I did think that Dickinson’s microphone dropped in an out frequently, which was annoying, but all of the guys just nailed it. Again, it’s Iron friggin’ Maiden.

Check out the light bars, such a spectacle to behold:

Throughout the show the back banner would change with the various incantations of Eddie, this mixed with the on stage presence of a Eddie and a about 20 foot tall blowup (I presume it was a blowup might have been a paper mache type setup) of Eddie – Eddie was all over. Picture roll ahead:

Following the 20 foot Eddie was a probably same size Minotaur, again who else puts on concerts at this level?

One more in case you thought the light bars weren’t totally impressive:

Several times throughout the show Dickinson would wear various suits, masks. At one point a monkey mask and tossing bananas into the audience – a memento banana? Kinda weird but the crowd seemed to love it.

Wrapping up all this was some fireworks and the drop down from the ceiling of another Eddie picture:

A genuinely badass concert. Seriously if you have questions if this was a concert of epic proportions I suggest you scroll back up and look at my fuzzy out of focus pictures again. Put on “Genghis Khan” and imagine Dickinson running around like a over-caffeinated crazy person.

Oh and this; Angie, Sam and Me in our Iron Maiden shirts being way cooler than your family 😉

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Tesla, Poison and Def Leppard at Sprint center

Just about a year ago we saw Tesla, Reo Speedwagon and Def Leppard at Sprint center. We saw these tickets go on sale and I personally have never seen Poison so we decided to add a couple of artists to our elusive “two time” club (Tesla and Def Leppard).

One of the first things that I noticed was the unusual amount of sound board equipment setup, I get it there are three bands but not often you see three complete sets of sound equipment and what seems like then some:

Although my picture is hard to see the Poison equipment had the Poison logo on them, not just the name like you see most times. I found this interesting and it emphasized the amount of branding/marketing you see all over with Poison at their show. Here is another shot in the dark you can kinda see the Poison logo:

Tesla opened up and, unfortunately, very much like last year I was disappointed in the sound. I think it’s not the band that seems off it’s Keith, he just seems well kinda out of it. Like he didn’t really realize he was in a concert or in front of people or something. Very odd behavior and his singing is no where near the rest of the band on “sounding like the album”:

Once again my point to this is if you’re going to tour with the powerhouse that is Def Leppard you should really bring your “A game” – else it highlights the shortcomings.

Shot of the crowd size for Tesla, lots of empty seats:

Frank Hannon is a top level player and “Love Song” is something to behold with him picking that acoustic:

Tesla played about 6 songs for about a 40 minute set. Then came Poison with Brett Michaels jumping about in his what I guess is “Modern Cowboy Glam” look?

Shot of the crowd for Poison, considerable difference (note this highlights the excellent light bars setup for Poison/Def Leppard (not used for Tesla)):

Poison was high energy and I think they are a seriously underrated bunch of musicians. Sure they didn’t do themselves any favors with the entire Glam Metal genre, dressing up like girls, and picking ridiculous name (“Ricki Rocket”, “CC Deville”).

The spotlight solo for CC Deville was borderline spectacular. He went into Van Halen “Eruption” (nailing it I might add), added some Steve Vai “The Audience is Listening” (again spot on). You don’t see that often and I was seriously impressed by his fret fingering, clarity, and speed. Well done indeed.

They also gave Ricki Rockett some spotlight time and he proved his chops banging out some drum work that was impressive (don’t get me wrong no where near Rocket’s showcase, but impressive nonetheless.)

I did get a kick of of the way that Michaels held and strummed his guitar at a near 45° strumming nearly straight and up down. Unusual but worked and gave a real “Rock ‘n Roll” type appearance (strumming without care or looking down to ensure he had the correct placement).

Poison played a short set as well about 45 minutes, it was very well done the music and singing was spot on. Angie and I were impressed at the energy, humor, and production value of the set.

Here is the crowd and pre-set image for Def Leppard:

Here is a close up of the banner used:

In case your wondering, yes it was the same banner they used last year with just different light colors, this shot from last year by yours truly:

Their production set has both times been top notch really impressive lighting, graphics, sound quality. A nearly two-hour tour de fource rarely matched in concerts we have seen:

Here are some shots of the graphics from the show:

When you have enough cameras setup you can do awesome things like this:

So last year I went to Def Leppard not really being that big of a fan, however after seeing their show twice I am getting there. Really if Def Leppard comes anywhere near you, get there.

Me and My Angie:

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Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo at Starlight

For the second time at Starlight Angie and I saw Rick Springfield followed by Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo in concert. This opened up our 2017 concerts, we have like 10 planned (we might have a problem…)

Here is how the very minimal stage was setup:

This was taken about 15 minutes before showtime we noticed the unusually high amount of empty seats, we blamed this on both being May 5th at Starlight (at bit cool) and Garth Brooks having one of his seven 2017 shows at Sprint center on the same night.

Here is Rick on stage doing his thing, the two white blocks on each side were the projection screens which they did use for both sets:

Here is a closer view of the projection screens in use (Starlight up till now hasn’t used these much during concerts):

Pat and Neil played a pretty simple set, four in their band:

I thought she sounded great, her vocals on “We Belong” were impressive and clear. Neil on the other hand was, well, a bit off vocally I thought. There is no doubt the man can shred on his various guitars (including “Pain”):

Overall it was worth doing a second time, however I think if they all come back I might try to talk Angie into a dinner out or something.

Me and my Angie (she is wearing her 35th Benatar concert shirt, we didn’t see any others):

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