Run to the Hills


I attended my first rock concert when I was 16: front row at Iron Maiden on their “Piece of Mind” tour.

My musical tastes have changed since then, but when I found out that Maiden was coming to a town near me – for the first time in 21 years – I just had to go and relive my long-haired “Wayne’s World” youth.

I was not disappointed. Thirty years (!) after the first time I saw them, these guys still put everything into their performance. Front-man Bruce Dickinson has more energy than should be humanly possible for someone half his age.

But the highlight for me was beforehand, when hundreds of aging metalheads in black t-shirts were waiting to get in to the arena. The show was in Nashville, and directly across the street from the arena there’s a bar where a country band plays on a patio. Much of the Maiden crowd was cringing at the country music infecting their ears – and then the country band suddenly launched into “Sweet Leaf,” a classic Black Sabbath tune.

The stunned metalheads turned around – almost in unison – shocked at what they were hearing. After it sunk in that the country band was paying tribute to one of their gods, they pumped their fists in the air and shouted in appreciation.

It was a “can’t we all get along” moment I would never have expected.

3 thoughts on “Run to the Hills

  1. In 1985 when I got out of the Marine Corps, my friends took me to an Iron Maiden concert in Philly. Eddy the Monster looked like the terminator and Bruce shot him in the back with a laser machine gun.

    The only song I remember was Run to the Hills, Run for your Life.

  2. That’s a great story, Nick. I first saw Iron Maiden in 1986 for Somewhere in Time at Madison Square Garden. This was the first show after the riots at their show at the Meadowlands in NJ. Awesome show indeed. I really love how the country band across the street played Sweet Leaf and got everyone into it.

  3. Awesome story about the country band. Plus… rock ‘n’ roll never forgets. Love to see the bands I enjoyed as a young… ermmm… younger! person showing that they still got it and then some.

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