I realized after the first one of these that I called it “Story and a Song” but I do “song and a story” instead. Oh well.
This is two songs and a very small story. It’s almost not even really a story, more a chuckle-worthy anecdote from a concert I attended a few years back.
In 2018 I had the honor of seeing Judas Priest and Deep Purple. The show was at an amphitheater in Kansas City. I had missed a few opportunities to see Judas Priest in the past and this was finally my first time seeing them. I also had not seen Deep Purple before and I was very happy to have seen them in concert. Both bands put on great sets and I had a very enjoyable time.
For Judas Priest I’ll go with the lead single from their last album Firepower. This was an electric tune and the album saw a rejuvenated Priest clawing back at the top of the heavy metal heap. They had meandered a bit since their reunion, touring solidly as a legacy act while recording left-of-center material before finding their stride again with Redeemer Of Souls, then truly recapturing it on Firepower and Lightning Strike.
For Deep Purple I’ll also roll with the lead single from their last original studio effort. Throw My Bones comes from the album Whoosh!, released in 2020. The group tried to delay the release while in the grip of the pandemic but ultimately decided to get the music out. The play worked as the band hit their highest UK chart position in decades with the effort.
My story from the concert is this – I was up inbetween sets. Judas Priest played before Deep Purple on this night, I’m not sure if that’s how the whole tour went or not. I was off to fetch more beer and was among a lot of other people doing the same thing.
I hadn’t paid much mind to my surroundings. I guess I wasn’t processing a fact that was clearly abundant right before me. As I was heading off with my fresh brew in hand, someone very bluntly and loudly asked
“We’re at a fucking Judas Priest show, why is everyone wearing Iron Maiden shirts?”
I busted up laughing, with beer in hand and my fresh Book Of Souls tour shirt from the year prior on my body. The handful of people next to me, all wearing similar Maiden tour shirts from the past several years, also kind of looked around and laughed. A guy a bit off to the side with a Trooper Beer shirt cracked up, as did his friend in the Killers shirt.
It’s true – there wasn’t a lot of Priest or Deep Purple merch to be found on people that night. They do say to not wear a band’s shirt to their show. It’s kind of a stupid rule that many break when they buy their new shirt right then and there, something I’ve done myself before. But I was among many that night sporting the other British metal favorite while Priest was playing.
I mean, it isn’t a hard choice to make. I may like different kinds of music, but I could and have wore Iron Maiden shirts to country shows. I’ve worn Iron Maiden shirts to the grocery store, to baseball games, to get gas or to the brewery for a few pints. I have 15 of the damn things, I’m not going to feel out of sorts wearing one. I’d wear one to a funeral, if the person who passed on was worthy enough of having an Iron Maiden shirt at their final ceremony.
I don’t know, it wasn’t like something I thought about long and hard or anything. If I’m seeing Judas Priest or, well, anyone else, I would certainly not have an issue wearing an Iron Maiden shirt to that. Apparently I was far from the only one, as I’d say a good 20% of the crowd of around 5,000 had Maiden gear on.
There it is, that’s the “story” for today. The next few of these will be actual stories, and one of them will also have to do with an Iron Maiden shirt.