I'll never forget the one and only time I saw Iron Maiden in concert.  Believe it or not, it was in Waco, the Baptist bastion in the heart of Texas, in the mid-80's.  I was living in Killeen at the time working at KIXS which was a rock station that catered to Fort Hood soldiers.  We were playing "Two Minutes To Midnight" in our new-music rotation and, though I had not been that familiar with the band before, I just loved Bruce Dickinson's vocals and the overall energy of the song.

KIXS promoted most of the rock shows that came to the Centroplex which included Waco, Temple, and Killeen, so we were asked to be the radio sponsors of the show.  So, I loaded up the station van and took the one-hour drive to Waco to hang banners and represent the station.  I think the opening act was Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P., which was an experience in and of itself, featuring Lawless drinking "blood" out of a human skull.  Somewhat entertaining, but the music was pretty basic as was much of heavy metal at the time.

And that's why I've always put Iron Maiden in their own category--art metal.  Bassist Steve Harris writes songs like "The Flight Of Icarus" and "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner".  Add in Dave Murray and Adrian Smith's virtuoso dual guitars, and Bruce Dickinson's operatic vocals, Iron Maiden is like no other.  (Well, maybe Richie Blackmore and Dio, but they've nowhere approached Maiden's output or success.)

When Iron Maiden hit the stage and blasted into "Run to The Hills", then screamed through "Trooper" I was enthralled.  Then Eddie clambered onto the stage and the show went to a whole other level.  Now the band is back on the road again with their "Book Of Souls" tour.  So, if you get a chance to see them in Dallas in June take it.  I guarantee it will be a memorable experience.

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