ABOUT THE PERFORMANCES:
One might be inspired to take an Anti-Aging Master Class from these rockers (you can include Sting, age 72, who played at Acrisure Thursday night). The legendary frontman, Bruce Dickenson, who changed the trajectory of Iron Maiden when he came into the group in 1981, performed with the energy and physicality of a 30-year-old. He’s 65. His vocals showed no sign of age or loss of power for the near 2 hour set of high-volume, wide range singing. Axel Rose looked better than he has in a long time and sounded powerful. Duff McKagen and Slash I’m certain have been frozen in time. All of these guys still have their mojo, and based on the crowd response, it’s gotten better with age.
The light show was stellar. Like Bruce Fessier, former long time entertainment writer for the Desert Sun and current contributor for Joshua Tree Voice shared, “Opening night of Power Trip was oddly bombastic and chill. Comfortable padded chairs (in the reserved section), screaming singers and guitarists, Marvel Comics-level imagery.”
There’s nothing like watching a professional tenured musician doing what they love in a venue like this. You could practically see beams of light coming from the eyes of Dickenson as he reveled in his element. During a three-song encore, Dickenson shouted to the crowd to their roars of approval, “Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, tonight, we are all one!”
Axel Rose has done some work to get healthy compared to the last time he appeared at these festival grounds. His voice was strong – it seemed to get stronger as the night went on. These weren’t optimal conditions for long term power vocals – dry and dusty – but you couldn’t tell from the performances. The guitar and bass riffs went off with rapid finesse proving that musicians get better with age. The drummers brought the thunder on kits that defy reality.
It was one hell of a first night.