It was a great day for a not so common Metal Fest in this country, one of the biggest and populated in the world. It's time to leave the house and take way to the Foro Sol (a venue designed for car races and a baseball stadium, and nowadays used for massive concerts).
Finally I arrived to the Foro Sol, ready to see the opening act, Agora, a Mexican band which appeared as scheduled at 3:30 pm. Usually Mexican bands are not well received by the audience, I don't know why people don't give the opportunity to local scene… maybe it's cultural, but that's one of the reasons of why Mexican Metal is so limited.
I was surprised by this prog metal band, they performed with a great attitude and a very high technique which the crowd recognize almost immediately and began the head bang and applause.
Agora played about 25 minutes songs from their first 2 albums Segundo Pasado and Zona de Silencio and a new song of the upcoming one. The frontman Eduardo Contreras talked between each song and refer that Mexican Metal is alive, which made the crowd scream a unison ‘Mexico! Mexico!’.
Definitely, Agora is a band which deserves to be known as an international act.
Lauren Harris (UK)
After 20 min., Steve Harris' daughter Lauren appeared on stage, with the same show she presented last year in Mexico as Maiden support. It's no surprise that we saw her again, not because of her talent, only because she's Steve's daughter.
This time, she wasn't so out of tune, but she was booed by the audience. Her style is a bad copy of Bruce Dickinson, she ran across the stage, in general all her movements are so clumsy.
She lost my attention, and I was more busied trying to find the beer man than listening to her music. I would rather see another Mexican band than Lauren.
Morbid Angel (USA)
It was time to see Morbid Angel, a legendary death metal band commanded by David Vincent on bass and vocals. I was really excited to see Morbid Angel for the first time.
All the fans reacted immediately to the Morbid Angel music, really fast riffs, a smashing drum and the piercing screams of David. Unfortunately, the equalization was terrible, and you can't not distinguished between songs (Usually it's difficult to understand the lyrics, and with this you can imagine).
As far as I know, they played songs from almost all their albums.
Now it was time for the metalcore band Atreyu. They started the show with a high energy performance, running through the stage, head-banging and their typical screams.
This was the first time that Atreyu played in Mexico (and maybe the last one), because they were not well received by the crowd. I don't understand why? But I really enjoyed the show, maybe they're stereotyped as a Nu metal / metalcore band, and with old metal school fans of Carcass, Maiden and Morbid Angel it was a challenge for Atreyu.
I liked their show, they're a band with a good technique, and I liked the combination of the harsh vocals of their frontman Alex Varkatzas and the clean vocals of their drummer Brandon Saller.
It was time for one of my favorite bands. I had the opportunity to saw them 5 months ago with a great show marking the return of Jeff Walker on the bass / vocals and Michael Amott in the guitars (Arch Enemy).
As all the expectations, Carcass was very well received by the Mexican fans, with a modest scenery they show that talent is the only thing they need. They played for 30 min. Their biggest hits like Heartwork and Keep On Rotting In The Free World. They were awesome and I hope soon we could have a new album.
Iron Maiden (UK)
The main act of the night was ready to begin, the lights went out and we could hear the instrumental song Transylvania from their first album followed by a video with tour moments such as Dickinson flying their airplane. As a note, it was the same video they played a year ago.
Finally they appeared with the powerful Aces High, and the 70,000 fans went crazy, all the people screaming, jumping and head-banging. An idolized Bruce Dickinson appeared with the rest of this veteran band, which is loved in Mexico.
With an amazing two-floors stage and a scenery remembering the Powerslave album, everything was ready for a night that I will (and everyone present) remember for a long time. The second song was 2 Minutes To Midnight (from the Powerslave album) followed by Wrathchild (from the album Killers), a charismatic Steve Harris got the people attention with his unique bass technique and as the Maiden's mastermind. It's incredible the energy of Bruce Dickinson, he never stopped running through the stage, creating an incomparable bond with the crowd.
The next song was Children Of The Damned followed by the super song Phantom Of The Opera, which was left behind for many years and is one of my favorites. Janick Gers is like a little boy running from one side to another, and literally playing with his guitar, throwing it through the air and catching it back. (This man is so flexible and made movements that remind the Billy Elliot movie).
They followed the show with the smash hit The Trooper, where Bruce appears with the traditional uniform waving the UK flag. What a moment of the show, supported by the Eddie pilot curtain. The next song were Wasted Years and The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, where they showed a ghost ship scenery. (I don't like very much this song, because it's too long, but it has a great display of fireworks). They continued with Powerslave, and the hits Run To The Hills, Fear Of The Dark and Hallowed Be Thy Name. The turn to the classic Iron Maiden, where a really big mechanical Eddie appeared behind the stage, which made the crowd went crazy. The energy never went down during the entire concert, I'm not sure how many bands could do this after hours of standing?? They said goodbye, but we were expecting more songs for the encore, so the 'Maiden' call appeared.
After a couple of minutes, the intro of The Number Of The Beast appeared, and as expected the show was going to continue for a couple of songs.
The next song was The Evil That Men Do from the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album followed by their first album song Sanctuary, in which they appeared with Mariachi's hats (some traditional hats that folk musicians used as their regular costumes), this detail was ovationed by all the fans.
Finally they left the stage, with a pleased crowd that returned to their regular lives after a great metal fest.