Review and Photos by Mike Bax
The Iron Maidens: Five Los Angeles based women with big enough balls to take on a 14-year career emulating the almighty Iron Maiden. And, they do it in such fashion that they have garnered world-wide recognition as the finest Iron Maiden tribute band on the planet.
Tonight was my first time seeing the Maidens perform. Due diligence before the concert yielded me some Youtube clips showcasing that the evening would be well worth attending, despite the crappiest quality video clips illustrating that the band is genuinely talented. They took the stage at about 11:20pm to the Robert Downey Jr. 666 speech from Natural Born Killers and delivered 15 classic Maiden tracks to an appreciative crowd over the course of a 100-minute set. The crowd was primarily men, and while it would be easy to say this was because the Maidens are all pretty damn easy on the eyes – I’ve been in enough Iron Maiden crowds to know that likely wasn’t the case; Iron Maiden fans are predominantly male. That’s just how it is.
The bottom line is this – anyone tackling Iron Maiden material lacking the talent to deliver the songs will wind up with a room full of angry fans, irritated at hearing their favourite songs massacred. Kirsten Rosenberg, Linda McDonald, Wanda Ortiz, Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield are all excellent musicians. There were no lemons this evening as the five-piece band delivered song after song of vintage Maiden in a more-than-competent fashion.
Much like an Iron Maiden performance, mascots took the stage with the five members of the band (the grim reaper, the devil, and Eddie, of course) enhancing the performance even more. Sure, this evening was a more ‘grass-roots’ approach to the material – The Maidens having a lesser budget than their metal forefathers, but it was still an entertaining presentation. I enjoyed the slant to the material the musicians gave it. Some of the riffs and vocal delivery in many of the songs completely pay homage to the source material, but the band has managed to bring their own magic into the mix as well, making their performance more than a mere cover band approach.
The Maidens tour with a full stage crew, and they were kept busy with numerous technical challenges creeping up throughout the show. Nothing that took away from the show really, it was interesting to watch them rush on stage to untangle a cable or replace a guitar when needed.
Highlights for me: Kirsten Rosenberg taking the stage with a confederate flag and military jacket during ‘The Trooper’ in a total Bruce Dickinson homage, and the inclusion of old nuggets like ’22 Acacia Avenue’ and ‘Flash of the Blade’ put a big fat smile on my face as they were performed. For $25 this evening was a total win. I got to hear 100 minutes of quality Iron Maiden material in a smaller club setting.
Die With Your Boots On
The Wicker Man
22 Acacia Avenue
Alexander The Great
Flash of the Blade
The Number of the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Fear of the Dark
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run to the Hills