Iron Maiden Will Not ‘Rape You for 200 Bucks a Ticket’
In this summer of show cancellations and poor attendance, Iron Maiden are selling out arenas and sheds with little or no publicity. The July 3 date at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre drew a capacity crowd of 16,000, and Montreal was 14,400 at Bell Centre a few days later. "Sold out in Vancouver; sold out Toronto; Edmonton was sold out," Bruce Dickinson rattles off to Noisecreep during the Toronto stop, but before Montreal. "We did 10 or 11 [thousand] in Winnipeg. We did eight in Saskatoon." The band are now doing similar numbers on tour in the U.S.
The British heavy metal legends aren't even pumping up their forthcoming album, 'The Final Frontier,' just yet, releasing just one free download, 'El Dorado,' the only new song in their set list. Perhaps their success has to do with their reasonable ticket prices, top seats all under $90 before the FMF fee and service charge.
"No, we don't do $250," scoffs Dickinson at acts that would charge that much and more. "But that's bulls--- anyway. What that is is all these quote-unquote 'heritage' acts . That's the name they've branded themselves with.
"Basically, you're going and seeing a bunch of bands that have been around for a while doing the same old s---. They just come out of the woodwork after 10 years and go, 'Hmm, let me see. You're going to pay through the nose for seeing the same old s--- so were gonna rape you for 200 bucks a ticket.' And what that says to me is, 'We won't be doing this again any time soon' or 'If you're crazy enough to pay this money and sell out, well maybe we'll come round again next year and see if it works again.'"
Maiden, however, have the kind of rabid fan base that will rarely miss a show. The Toronto concert was filled with guys under the age of 18 and many fathers and sons, all suitably outfitted in black Eddie shirts, sharing the Maiden experience. This was not like an Eagles concert where everyone is the same age as Don Henley and company. "Isn't that boring?" says Dickinson. "I'm 51. S---, if I had an audience of people my age, I think I'd kill myself. At least I wouldn't be there next time."
Instead, many of the men his age in the crowd are likely telling themselves they should get to the gym, after seeing the unstoppable Dickinson run around the stage like a man half his age.
"An Iron Maiden show should not be some kind of bourgeoisie experience like going to see the Eagles with $50 hotdogs and dickie bows and all that kind of s---," says Dickinson. "It should be as dirty and smelly and sweaty as you can possibly be. And I if you don't like dirty, smelly and sweaty s---, stay away."