Hi-On Maiden in Sankt Vith

My tickets for Maiden playing Paris in June
I bought on the first selling day right at noon
But spring 2005 is still a long way
And listening to CDs just isn't live play

So imagine my joy and my happiness too
When a rumour was heard: Hi-On Maiden was due
To play in East Belgium; this great tribute band
Would come for two gigs on a December weekend

As soon as the news was on the BB
I decided to go there, to check out and see
Whether this Hi-On Maiden, from England's shore
Was really as awesome as I'd heard before ...

On a cold afternoon, 't was December the fourth
From Luxembourg city I drove up straight north
To Sankt Vith which is really a picturesque place
If only 't was summer, this town would be ace

The sports-hall wherein Hi-On Maiden would play
Was found pretty fast and a hotel just lay
Conveniently close to the venue as well
But guess whom I saw when I got to the hotel!

At reception, quite unexpected indeed
Was standing Dave Hurry and soon also Speed!
The tall guitarist with his long-haired blonde mane
And the fast-fingered bassist were guests just the same! *THUD*

So after the first waves of awe and surprise
Had subsided a bit I walked up to the guys
Said "hello" and "how are you" and asked if I might
Take a picture with me and the band then tonight

The hotel where Hi-On Maiden and I slept under the same roof  

But before this appointment I set out with glee
To discover what else there was here to see
Near the shopping street, festive in season's array
I found this fountain  and took a pic straight away

Just what the Eifel Tower is to Paris
(Or his bass to bass-god Steve Harris)
Is the Büchelturm to old Sankt Vith
A landmark, since 1350 stood it

Then destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War
But built up again it now stands like before
Right at the entrance to an enchanted dark park
Since I unlike others don't have fear of the dark
I amble enchanted through this star-lit scene
Among the tall trees and the frost-covered green

Then at last it was time to meet with the band
I entered the hall and went up to the stand
Where they sold, yes, believe it! Luxembourgish beer
Diekirch was the brand you could relish down there

First, I got this great picture of me and Speed
The band members were very friendly indeed
When I asked for a T-shirt they fetched for me
A Hi-On Maiden shirt: on the front our Eddie
And on the back a list of each single date
Which at the Maiden Convention tour they'd played
In 2001, for this band you must know
Has since '95 given their fans a great show

From left to right on this picture you see:
Quicko McBrain, Adrian Swift and then me
Speed Harris, Big Dickinson and Dave Hurry!

After the pictures were taken, I decided to leave
The venue again until later this eve
Hi-On Maiden, I knew, would be hitting the stage
No sooner than midnight, so me being sage
I thought I might as well check out a pub
I'd spotted before, when I'd looked for some grub.
This pub was in downtown Sankt Vith and I espied
Loads of people with Metal T-shirts inside
Most of these guys would turn up later on
At the Maiden gig venue, that's why they're in town

Back at the hall, 'round half past eleven
Not much's going on as upfront, oh dear Heaven,
A band's playing pop songs, and the audience stands
Well clear off the stage, while we Maiden fans
Are getting ready to conquer this space
As soon as the pop band is leaving the place

The audience was reticent while the first band was on ....

I'm securing myself the best spot in the hall
In the front row, at the middle, now that's what I call
A top-ace position in which one enjoys
The headbanging Maiden gig, played by the boys

... but that changed soon, as the T-shirt at the left shows

At last the band is hitting the stage as I'm
Hearing the opening chords to C.S. in Time
And wow what a blast, right from the start
I took this most awesome tribute band to my heart
The singer, Big Dickinson, worked his audience so well
Just like his counterpart, screaming like hell
Running around the whole stage, running free
This most amazing small bundle of energy!

Mefilas, another BBer from Luxembourg, enjoying a good headbang

He's making us clap, he's making us steam
And he's most definitely making us scream for him
As Hi-On Maiden is giving us hit after hit,
The Evil That Men Do, Revelations and, shit,
Also Paschendale and Charlotte at 22
I'm cheering and singing, can this really be true?

guitarists Dave Hurry ...

... and Adrian Swift

The guitar work provided by Hurry and Swift
Is furious and fast, yet melodic and shifts
From one riff to the other, even POTO is done
While Quicko's cool drumbeat drives them steadily on

again Swifty ...

... and bassist Speed Harris

Speed Harris, the bassist, has Arry's sweet smile
The fans are adoring his fast-fingered style
When he's shooting his bass at the crowd I am sure
I have never at a gig enjoyed myself more

Hi-On Maiden's performance is ace, they don't fail
To even take care of the most minute detail
Fear of the Dark is announced with "A light in the black ..."
And even their wonderful stage clothes don't lack

The features we find with our heroes from Maiden
Meaning necklaces, unbuttoned shirts and leather for Adrian
Funny pants for the singer, Speed's football shirt flurry
And ever again a smile from Dave Hurry

They play Hallowed Be and they play 'bout a daughter
Who unchains her backdoor getting ready for slaughter
Then Iron Maiden, our band's trademark tune
Announces that Eddie will for sure enter soon
And yes! There he is (after providing me with a Breezer)
He's hitting the stage with a mask, the dear geezer

Do I have to add that this is Ed?

After being sprayed on with green goo by Ed
The fans have to face a dark moment so sad
Cause the band leaves the stage, the lights all go down
That cannot be it, but instead to just frown
We start the magical chant of "Maiden", let's see
Whether they'll listen to it and agree
To play some encores, and yes! mark my word
A dark voice reciting "Woe to you ...." can be heard

Big waving a flag - it must be The Trooper!

They treat us to 666, The Trooper and then
With Run to the Hills the gig has its flamboyant end
Thank Rod that tomorrow I'll see them once more
The town of Verviers they will rock to the core!

It's after 2 AM by now already
And the music has changed into a steady
Unbearable noise, so I call it a day
Return to my hotel and sink down in the hay (I mean 'bed', well, it rhymed ....  )