Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers has admitted his band were intimidated at the thought of supporting Iron Maiden on their recent UK and European tour – but they were astonished at the warm welcome they received from audiences.
And he’s singled out a handful of diehard Maiden fans who helped make the experience memorable, despite the notoriously hard time some support acts can receive from followers of the NWOHB giants.
Meanwhile, Bruce Dickinson and co have released a video, thanking fans for the “absolutely mega” experience of their first large-scale UK tour in several years. Watch it above.
Myers says via Facebook: “I knew Iron Maiden fans were amazingly hard on support acts. All I would hear from my friends is, ‘You’re just something in between these people and their favourite band. If you weren’t here Iron Maiden could go on earlier.’
“Our experience ended up being the complete opposite. We’ve opened for numerous bands that we didn’t fit with at all – Kiss, Metallica, Slayer. The aforementioned are hard, but not nearly as hard as turning a Maiden crowd onto your side.
“The fans that I thought would tear us apart were some of the best people we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing in front of. I made os many memories with these fans, who completely weren’t having anything Shinedown was selling in the beginning.”
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Among the diehards he namechecks, many of whom attended many or all of the shows, is one who “started this tour on his phone the entire time, in the front row, and would never look up. By the last show he was singing along to every song.”
Myers continues: “You seriously made the tour that much better for me. Seeing your hand raise got me way more emotional than you’ll ever know. It felt like a triumph.”
Describing Maiden’s following as “in a league of their own” he adds: “It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. They take over a city. It was such an amazing sight, walking around and seeing thousands and thousands of Maiden shirts.
“If we turned even 15% of the people we played for into Shinedown fans, and if you’re only 15% as loyal to us as you are to Maiden, we’d be over the moon with excitement.”
Iron Maiden continue their world tour in support of 16th album The Book Of Souls with a North American run that starts on June 3 – full dates below.
Iron Maiden North American tour dates 2017
Jun 03: Bristow Jiffy Lube Live, VA
Jun 04: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Centre, PA
Jun 07: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Jun 09: Charlotte Music Pavilion, NC
Jun 11: Tampa Amalie Arena, FL
Jun 13: Nashville Bridgestone Arena, TN
Jun 15: Chicago Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, IL
Jun 16: Minneapolis Excel Energy Center, MN
Jun 19: Oklahoma City Chesapeake Arena, OK
Jun 21: Houston Toyota Center, TX
Jun 23: Dallas American Airlines Center, TX
Jun 24: San Antonio AT&T Center, TX
Jun 27: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheater, NM
Jun 28: Phoenix Talking Stick Resort Arena, AZ
Jul 01: San Bernardino Glen Helen Amphitheater, CA
Jul 03: Las Vegas Mobile Arena, NV
Jul 05: Oakland Oracle Arena, CA
Jul 07: Salt Lake City Usana Amphitheater, UT
Jul 09: Lincoln Pinnacle Bank Arena, NE
Jul 11: Kansas City Sprint Center, MO
Jul 12: St Louis Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, MO
Jul 15: Toronto Budweiser Stage, Canada
Jul 16: Quebec City Videotron Center, Canada
Jul 19: Mansfield Xfinity Center, MA
Jul 21: Brooklyn Barclays Center, NY
Jul 22: Brooklyn Barclays Center, NY