I have been watching THE IRON MAIDENS for a long time. People who follow IRON MAIDEN probably are aware of these most talented ladies from California. Although they have real names, their stage monikers channel their respective counterparts in England. On lead vocals you have Kirsten Rosenberg (a.k.a. Bruce Chickinson), at the skin station is Linda McDonald (a.k.a. Nikki McBurrain), on the four string is Wanda Ortiz (a.k.a. Steph Harris), Courtney Cox (a.k.a. Adriana Smith) is guitar stage left and Nikki Stringfield (a.k.a. Davina Murray) on guitar, stage right. Of course the legendary Nita Strauss was at one point with the band and she is now touring the globe as guitarist with the infamous ALICE COOPER.
There is a relatively well known video on YouTube where Strauss and Cox are at the 2012 NAMM show and jamming out to “The Trooper”. If you haven’t seen it, they kick some ass to be sure. Most people who follow either MAIDEN(S) have probably seen it. I must say, it is something to behold. I always told myself, if they ever came to my neck of the woods, I’d go see them. I’m not huge on tribute bands, but these ladies are the real thing, probably the most famous in the world. I kept an eye on when they would tour, and they would do short runs nowhere near me, and they never came to Texas. Until they did!! When I saw they were coming to Trees, the day the tickets went on sale, that sucker was on my home printer.
The event started with Dallas based DIO tribute band HOLY DYVER. You can put me in shackles, but I never was a huge fan when he was on his own. I liked him much better with RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH, honestly. Although they sounded great, I was really waiting for Dallas based KILL ‘EM ALL, who of course tribute METALLICA. They’re excellent and did a great job. The highlight was when Courtney Cox joined them on stage for their final song. Of course, she just blew everyone away. It was great.
The ladies started the evening with “Aces High”. If you don’t think these gals are for real, either check out their videos or go see them live. Although, MAIDEN has three guitarists, whereby their California counterpart have two, there is a slight missing element in their live cover songs because of this. They are such incredible musicians, one hardly notices, however. Guess Janick Gers is shit outta luck in THE IRON MAIDENS, and they couldn’t find anyone flexible enough to be able to stretch their leg over their head like he does on stage (LOL). Ouch! It’s obvious they study the boys, because down to stage clothing and mannerisms, they remind you of THE band.
Other covers of note were “2 Minutes to Midnight”, “Flight of Icarus”, “The Trooper”, “Children of the Damned”, “Fear of the Dark” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. A fifteen song setlist and the ladies played for almost an hour and a half. By the time they hit the stage it was 11:30 and when I looked at my watch it was 1:00 am. I don’t think anyone was ready to quit either. At 1:30 am we were all standing around to get autographs and meet the band. The ladies were just as nice and cordial as one can imagine, even after their long set and long night.
I was certainly not disappointed in any way, other than the fact the night seemed to have start about an hour late. The place was as packed as I’ve ever seen so the bands have quite a following. Catch them if you can. If you are an IRON MAIDEN fan, although you won’t see the multi million dollar stage, I think you’d enjoy seeing them and enjoy how they pay tribute to one of the best bands in the world. Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH
LIVE WORDS: M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY