LIVE (Retro): Iron Maiden & Accept @ Glens Falls Civic Center, 05/28/1985
36 years ago tonight, 1985-style real metal rolled into the Nippertown area: IRON MAIDEN and ACCEPT at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY.
This was the ‘Powerslave’ tour (a.k.a the “World Slavery Tour”) for British heavies and headliners Iron Maiden – the show had been originally scheduled for January with Twisted Sister opening, but the whole Iron Maiden band was laid low by a flu, so they postponed the show. It was rescheduled for May, and Germanic bruisers Accept replaced Twisted as the opener.
Let us not forget: Iron Maiden are still huge, still packing arenas worldwide, even here in America where metal’s trendiness is at a low point, but in the United States 1984-85 was their peak: they’d supplanted AC/DC and then Priest as the biggest real metal band, although Metallica would take that title over within a few years. This show was packed. They’d played GFCC twice before this – in 1982 supporting Judas Priest, and headlining in Summer 1983 – but by 1985 they’d ascended to truly huge. The Civic Center was heaving and full of denim, leather and hairy headbangers.
This was the one and only ever area appearance of hefty German metalmeisters Accept. This was when the ‘Metal Heart’ record was new – not their best, but good. They were excellent, although the song choice was a bit naff: only stuff from ‘Balls To The Wall’ and ‘Metal Heart’, completely ignoring the ‘Restless & Wild’, ‘Breaker’ and ‘I’m A Rebel’ albums, meaning we didn’t get to hear classics like “Restless & Wild”, “Princess of the Dawn”, “Breaker”, “I’m A Rebel”, “Midnight Highway” or, astoundingly “Fast As A Shark”. How do you do a 45 minute Accept show and not play “Fast As A Shark”? Strange. I guess they were about promoting the new album. But they rocked. Diminutive, troll-like howler Udo Dirkschneider stalked the stage like a king, while Wolf Hoffman, Jorg Fischer and Peter Baltes headbanged, swayed and blasted out riffs like Teutonic conquerors. So no “Fast as a Shark”, but “Balls to the Wall” brought the house down – and to this day, they’ve never even once returned to the Albany area.
Iron Maiden, of course, were tremendous. The stage set was a legendary one, with a Egyptian motif that followed the new album theme, walkways, coffins, and a giant pharoah-zombie-mummy Eddie. I’d seen them before and have seen them many times after, but this stage show was the coolest. Over the top, but somehow not too cheesy. If you have the Live After Death video, it was pretty much the same show. The set list was unassailable – Churchill’s famous speech, into the opening salvo of “Aces High” and then-hit “Two Minutes to Midnight”, plenty of songs from the recent ‘Piece of Mind’ (“The Trooper”, “Revelations”, “Flight of Icarus”), an epic, 13-minute-plus “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, and a back half of the show that included “Number of the Beast”, a glorious “Hallowed be thy name”, perennial set-closer “Iron Maiden”, and an encore of “Run to the Hills” and first-album singalong “Running Free”. Top-shelf, neck-snapping real metal.
All hail ACCEPT. All Hail IRON MAIDEN.
Screaming For A Love Bite
Dogs On Leads
Living for Tonite
Up To The Limit
Balls To The Wall.
Two Minutes To Midnight
Flight of Icarus
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run To The Hills