With the exception of Paul McCartney (who is an exception to anything) and Punk bands, I think every band has an obligation to come in to the stage after a very nice intro coupled with a great opening song. And anything goes in that respect. It can be classical music, movie soundtrack, a “call to arms” to the fans or even an intro written by the band itself. The important thing is to make people pumped up to start the show.
So here we go:
5- Rush : 2001’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” + “Dreamline” – This combo opened Rush’s concerts in the “Test For Echo” tour. It was a perfect marriage. The intro is epic and practically of public domain by now and the beginning of “Dreamline” with those guitar licks is brilliant. It fits so perfect after “Zarathustra” last chord. “Dreamline” is also the opening song on the Rush album “Roll The Bones”.
4- Metallica: “Ecstasy of Gold” + “Enter Sandman” – “Ecstasy Of Gold” is used by Metallica as an intro to their concert for 25 years now, if I’m not mistaken. I guess the first time they used was on the “…And Justice For All” tour in ’89. However, the greatest fit was on the mammoth “Black Album” tour in ’91 when they paired it with “Enter Sandman” that went on to become arguably the most famous Heavy Metal tune of all time.
3- Black Sabbath: “E5150” + “Neon Knights” – In the studio, “E5150” was used to introduce the song “Mob Rules” (and it’s a great combination as well, by the way), but live they paired with one of the greatest songs in Sabbath catalog: “Neon Knights”. It was the culmination of Dio entering the band and his vocals and melody lines were rarely better.
2- Kiss: “You Wanted the best… You got the best.” + “Detroit Rock City” – The greatest call to arms ever, “You wanted the best…”, was clamor for the Kiss Army to join their heroes in pure Rock And Roll party. Coupled with “Detroit Rock City” in the opening of the seminal “Alive II”, only a statue won’t start banging its head. Over the years no song they put in the place of “Detroit” could maintain the power of this opening.
1-Iron Maiden: “Churchill’s Speech” + “Aces High” – Iron Maiden is very British. And nothing can be more British than using a speech from Britain main political leader during wartime to open your shows coupled with a song about aircraft war pilots with one of the greatest chorus of all time. It’s the greatest combination EVER. Any true Maiden fan can recite each word of the speech from “We shall go on to the end…” until “we shall never surrender!” And how about old Winston powerful voice? It gives chills up and down your spine. Also is the opening of the greatest live album ever: “Live After Death”.
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