ICED EARTH's JON SCHAFFER: I Had Tears In My Eyes When We Played New York City

May 24, 2002

ICED EARTH guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer shares one of the biggest highlights of their recently-completed Horror Show tour:

"It had to be the way the crowd reacted in New York City when we played 'The Star Spangled Banner'. Over two thousand people were singing at the top of their lungs. I had tears in my eyes and got goose-bumps... it was one of the most powerful and emotional experiences in all my years of playing on-stage. It was a very special moment for me...

"We had a day off in New York City, so we jumped in taxis after parking the tour bus and went directly down to Ground Zero [in Manhattan, where the Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11th]. It was really emotional. You wouldn't know what happened by looking at it because it looks like a new construction site. So much of the debris is gone, but pieces of mini-blinds are still up in the trees—a lot of little clues are still around. Gifts and banners and flags and mementos are still around that whole area. It's pretty devastating but it's pretty amazing at the same time how they've done so much to clean that place up. They've got two gigantic beams of light that go on every night where the Twin Towers once stood...

"I'm sure some of our fans lost family and friends in that disaster. New York City may be a huge city, but it's still a small place, it's still a community. I knew we had to play 'The Star Spangled Banner' for them. Overall, it was an AMAZING tour. It was a big step forward for the band and we still have a way to go, but we couldn't have asked for a better tour."

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