Iron Maiden, Sheffield Arena, 10-5-17

I’ve been going to Sheffield arena since 1991. It took a few visits before we wised up to the parking being expensive & a bitch to get out of the place after the gigs. We started parking at Meadowhall. It’s only 10mins walk & free too park. Imagine our surprise to find out parking is now restricted there ! Supposedly there’s ANPR cameras & if you stay too long, you get a fine! We went in Meadowhell & i asked someone about the parking. She suggested going down road towards Arena & to park at “Valley Centertainment”(where cinema is) as it’s free there. Andy was still a bit paranoid about parking there,but after i’d chatted to a couple of people on their fag breaks, they said it would be fine. So we walked back to Meadowhell, did some shopping, had some food (In the most expensive Wetherspoons we’ve ever been in ! Even more than London prices!!) then walked to arena. They had an official booth outside selling the merchandise. Difference between Nottingham & Sheffield was they actually had an event shirt for today ! Just had to buy one 🙂
Once again, on entry, no searching, just checks that tickets matched to I.D.s I really think this is a great step forward to beat the touts 🙂
We had reasonable seats; about half way back on the side.  Shinedown play the usual 9 song opening set, starting with “Adrenaline”. Brent comes out with his usual shtick about saying hello to the people next to you etc. Before “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom), he gets the crowd to split down the middle ,so he can walk in amongst them & get em in the mood for some jumping around. What would impress me here is if he was to STAY IN THE CROWD for the jumping. But he goes back on stage & says on the count of three, he wants everyone stood up & jumping. It’s an impressive sight. After that, the mood is brought down a little with the moody “How Did You Love”. “Enemies” is a highlight of the show for me. It just rocks. Then a complete contrast is next when they perform “Second Chance”. Still a beautiful song. Their set finishes with a rousing version of “Sound of Madness”

Maidens set is also the same as ever on this leg of the tour. Tonight, for myself, i didn’t think the first song had got the sound quite dialled in. But it improved during “Speed Of Light”. Next we get the classic old school 1-2 of “Wrathchild” followed by “Children Of The Damned”. Bruce is his usual talkative self. He says ” Ello !” & isn’t impressed with the reaction so then says ” I said Ello !!”. He’s now greeted with the cheers that should have happened first time 😉 He mentions how they’re gonna play a lot of the new album tonight “The clue is in the stage set “. He also talks about how they’re having a go at the ticket touts (which, as we all know, are in fact the ticket distributors who automatically push tix to the resellers sites…which the big companies own!) & have implimented a new system of having to match i.d. to who bought the tix. It’s been long overdue that someone took a real stand against those fuckers & i’m real proud that it’s Maiden who started the ball rolling. I have nothing but respect for them for taking this initiative ! I digress…. “Children Of The Damned” is a timeless classic.

We’re then brought back to the modern day songs of “Death Or Glory” & “The Red & The Black”. Can’t beat a bit of a sing a long 🙂 
“The Trooper” is great with Bruce hamming it up with Janick, messing about with the flag.

“Powerslave” is another classic. It takes me back to 1984 when i followed the tour around the UK – such great memories 🙂  I’m still not keen on “The Great Unknown” & would much prefer to hear “Hallowed Be Thy Name” in it’s place. But as we recently found out, there’s some old chancer trying to sue them over the song as Maiden did “borrow” parts of the original ‘Life’s Shadow’. Apparently, the matter was settled years ago, but now someone seems to be trying it on with Maiden.
“The Book Of Souls” comes over great

As ever, as the intro to “Fear Of the Dark” starts, we all have a great sing a long. Great stuff ! They finish the main set with “Iron Maiden”.
Come encore time we get “The Number Of The Beast”, “Blood Brothers” & the final song of the night “Wasted Years”.

Overall, i think i prefered the show in Nottingham over the Sheffield one. But hey, it was still great & maybe i’m being a bit picky. Tonights show was the 51st time i’d seen Maiden, so maybe i have the right to be picky lol.
We didn’t hang about afterwards & went straight to the car. Had a feeling it would be a pain getting out of the place & damn it was ! Just getting out of car park was hard enough, but once on dual carriage way, we just didn’t seem to move ! Andy was getting stressed that the car looked like it was over heating & eventually when we got to Meadowhell, we turned off & parked up a while. We took a totally different route out of the city, via Rotherham, parts of which we remembered from when we visited the “Magna Centre” for the HRH AOR show back in 2013 ! Whilst this was a longer journey, i think it was a wise choice. We got home around 02.00AM & damn was i knackered ! As ever, huge thanks to Andy for driving tonight, it was most appreciated. Will we go to Sheffield Arena again ? Hmm, i dunno….but have already figured out a better place to park if we do go 😉

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/watch-iron-maiden-perform-in-sheffield-england/

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The Prodigy, Public Enemy Sheffield arena, 28-11-15

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My old mate Nick went with me to this one. Was good seeing him to catch up etc. We got down the front-ish, about 4th row, watched all of Public Enemy from there. Was quite entertaining…loved Flavour Flavs moving around the stage on his skates or whatever. I did crack up at the guy on the left who just basically waved his handkerchief around & as for the guys in the cammo gear, doing their dances, can i say “boy band” ? No seriously, sillyness aside, they were entertaining . It did seem strange to me hearing “Bring The Noise” without Anthrax though 😉

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We stayed in the pit for The Prodigy….well, for the first few songs. I woulda stayed there the whole night, but, i just couldn’t take any photos/video down there : it was mental ! (But brilliant). So we dropped back to the side & i filmed a couple of tracks. I certainly need a new camera as it’s just not focusing how it used to…more expense! It was a great party atmosphere in there all night. My third time seeing The Prodigy & they’re always great fun.

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Metallica, Sheffield Arena, 16-10-96

I don’t remember much about this one & it’s hardly surprising really. My personal life was in turmoil. Since my dads passing at the end of ’93, my world was falling apart. I got ill with colitis,which is stress related. At the worst i was just shitting myself away with no control of my bowels & often blood was involved. There was extra stress at work as i could see the place was going down hill ,partly due to the new “manager”. My wife wasn’t supporting me, she was just getting further away at i time i really needed her support. They were dark days. When i was diagnosed with colitis, someone said to me “You must be pleased to know it’s not bowel cancer”. Strange as it sounds, i hadn’t even considered that to be a possibility. I always thought i was indestructible, but things were proving me wrong.I was wasting away & losing the fight. I knew there were problems with the wife, but, when she wont talk about it, it’s hard to try put things right. I’ll also admit it wasn’t one sided, i had made mistakes. But, it was becoming too much of a struggle for me to get through the days as i was so weak (physically & mentally), so i needed to try look after myself more, or i wouldn’t make it through. So the Metallica show….All i remember is i met my old friend Andy there as at the time he was living in Lincoln (he’s since moved back to Boston). I said to him something like “It’s really falling apart with me & Jack. I think we’ll end up splitting up”. Little did i know that that night, whilst i was out, she would be fucking an absolute slime ball…i’d find out the following day. I still think it was partly because she didn’t have the guts to talk or even finish things between us. An easy cop out & she could blame someone else. For me, the most important thing in any relationship is honesty. If there’s a problem, talk about it & try work things out or call it quits. As much as i was furious,disappointed, betrayed, i said lets try work through this. (Yeah, i know, a stupid thought from me, but …) Damn it’s hard reliving this era of my life. Even now it ties my guts in knots. But i will say, there was one redeeming thing about this shit from her, she did eventually realise what she did was scummy & was perfectly “fair” with our divorce. No silly demands & just wanted a large cash settlement. Ironically, i had secretly set up a P.E.P.  The plan was to surprise her with a trip to Australia to see her cousin.  She cleared me out of all my money & then some. At least she didn’t put up a fight. I think that’s also because she knew i would not give in easy & we’d have both ended up with nothing.

So this show is one i’d like to forget & yet i will never be able too due to events around it. Jump forward to 2015 & i’m in such a good place now. The happiest i’ve ever been maybe. I’m surrounded by great friends, both local & abroad. Sure, there are times i wish there was that one special person in my life,but, i don’t think i can ever trust anyone again…

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