(Post title is a reference to “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens.)
I’m in Chicago. There’s free wifi in the hotel, and I think it’s kind of cool to post “from the road.” So I’m doing that. Even though I don’t have much to say. So it is.
We’re here for my brother’s birthday. As it happens, Iron Maiden and Dream Theater showed up in town on the exact same day—who’da thunk it?
The show was really good. Full review coming in this week’s “Empty Checking,” but I’ll post a few short thoughts here, too…
- It was really, really HOT.
- My knees hurt.
- Maiden played mostly newer stuff—which I enjoyed, but of course people have been grumbling about all tour long. Of course, I came into the Maiden world full-force when Blayze was in the band…so I guess I’m a rarity in that I really don’t see much of a difference between “The Trooper” and “The Mercenary” (neither of which they played tonight…but you get my point).
- Bruce Dickinson talked a LOT.
- Dream Theater did a good job of keeping it heavy for a metal crowd. Even though I’m not as big on their last couple of records, the stuff they DID was the stuff I liked, so that worked… One weird thing, though…Jordan Rudess (keyboard player) is down to just being bald with a long, white beard. Kinda looks like a wizard. I enjoyed that.
- Hotel room’s nice, but not super-nice. It’s supposed to be 4.5 stars…I’d say it’s more like 3.5-4… But still nicer than most places I’ve stayed on the road. (All of my hotel experiences are weighed against this really nice Renaissance Inn I stayed at once. The one I’m in now ranks somewhere between that and a nice Holiday Inn I stayed in when I was touring with Jeff Moody for a brief period in 2002. Worst hotel? Budget Host Inn in Kirksville, MO, 1997. That bedspread left nothing to the imagination.)
- Somehow we did not eat any Chicago-style hot dogs or pizza. We ate at Texas Roadhouse. Which was my suggestion, since it shares a parking lot with our hotel. Still though…kinda want a wiener…
- Aimee Mann is on Austin City Limits right now. That’s a MASSIVE change from the show I just saw…but a welcome one, as I love Aimee’s music.
- Bought the latest Iron Maiden Football (or “soccer” for those of you who think that’s what it’s called) shirt. I look pretty good in footy shirts. I may have to start rocking those more often. Somehow I manage to not look TOO fat in footy shirts. Weird how fat guys so often end up in athletic-wear, isn’t it? Maybe that’s just because it stretches. Anyway…I paid WAY too much for that… EDIT 7/20 – In fact, I just found out that I paid DOUBLE what it costs on the band’s website! That kind of exploitation of the fan at the show is BEYOND disgusting. (I don’t blame the band. They are likely unaware of the situation and/or are powerless to change it, and I get that.) I wrote to the web-store on that one. Nothing will come of it, because—let’s face it—life works that way…but I had to complain to at least SOMEONE in the Maiden camp on that one. Maiden fans are scary-loyal to the band. It’d be nice if the band’s representation was at least a LITTLE loyal to us, too.
- All in all…STILL worth it, despite the VERY bitter pill of the merch-booth rip-off.
So happy birthday, Dave. You snore, by the way. (But just wait until you hear ME!) For now, I think I’m getting into a hot bath to loosen up my sore knees.