Did you catch that headline? I am not going to explain it, you have to be a true rock fan to get it it. About 14000 true rock fans showed up at the Susquehanna Bank Center to see two rock icons tear up the stage. The temperature was in the mid 90’s. Inside the amphitheater it seemed like it was at least 120. Hot summer nights at a great concert. Life gets no better.
First up was Cooper. First time he was in town in like forever. His Atlantic City venues do not count. Actually, the last time he was in this area was in July of 1996 at the same venue (only the venue was called a different name). Alice stole this show. With visual effects that included kissing a live snake, getting his head chopped off and fireworks, Cooper showed why he has staying power.
His time was limited. Songs had to get cut. It would have been awesome to see what he would do with “Elected” in an election year. Remember in 1972 when he sort of ran for President? He did play “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, ” Black Widow” and “Brutal Planet”. During “Schools Out” , Cooper donned a top hat and Phillies Jersey with the number 18 on it. He even gave life to a 10 foot Frankenstein during “Feed My Frankenstein”
We watched as he stabbed a pesky paparazzi to death, then saw some of his ghouls grab him and put Cooper into a guillotine. While his band mates sang “I love the dead”. Cooper came back to life and sang the next song.
Headliner Iron Maiden was up next and raised the temperature and volume 10 fold. The band stormed through classics such as “Iron Maiden” and “The Prisoner”. Multiple flame jets heated up the night even more. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson ( and pilot of the Iron Maiden) promised some surprises for the 4th of July and he did not disappoint. A live 10 foot Eddie dressed in a Revolutionary War uniform and fireworks were a part of it. (If you do not know who Eddie is go here ) At one point, Bruce grabbed a tattered Union Jack and waved it .
Maiden were loud. It was a show that went back to the 1980’s. Of course, that was the heyday of Iron Maiden and they played many songs that the crowd came to hear. “The Number of the Beast” and “Two Minutes to Midnight” HAVE to be played at an Iron Maiden show. Iron Maiden sell more t shirts than almost every other band. Fans were cued up at the merchandise tables at least 12 deep.
Iron Maiden got their success from the street. With virtually no airplay and no mainstream press. Their management takes the attitude that the band will go on with or without media coverage. They try not to accommodate too many online publications. That kind of backwards thinking does not do the band any favors. They try to push official prepackaged , rehashed press materials off on them. Iron Maiden’s fans (read YOU ) are much smarter than that . The fans want original content or they will not read the article. A lot of news outlets have gone the way of the 8 track tape or are online only. Failure to accommodate them will result in less original content being generated. fans lose interest and the band being relegated to smaller venues.
Local radio station WMMR. does play Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper. Both Maiden and Cooper are on tour together across the country. The gig in Camden was one of the first on this tour.
THIS ARTICLE AND ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHT BY ALEX LLOYD GROSS AND MAY NOT BE REPUBLISHED OR REPOSTED WITHOUT PERMISSION.