Iron Maidens In Japan by David Glynn

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Iron Maidens / Hattallica / Mary’s BloodDUO Music Exchange, Tokyo (June 12, 2015)

Iron Maidens Japan

The General Admission room was full for the very first band, Mary’s Blood, and we were in for a treat. A Japanese band who requested that pictures not be taken during the performance, these young women put on a very unexpected show. The guitarists came out with ribbons in their hair, and the drummer was so short, you almost couldn’t see her from behind the kit. Those little arms created one hell of a racket, though, as the band alternated song styles from hard rock to progressive to thrash – usually all in the same song. The lead guitarist played some nasty solos and the lead singer had the crowd in her hands from the first scream. She actually Iron Maidens Japan (2)has a pretty powerful voice that came out in several of the songs, and when there were problems with one of the guitars, she was able to keep the crowd entertained for a full 5 minutes without music. Very impressive for such a young band. They have a video on YouTube. Check it out!

The middle band was a Metallica cover band called Hattallica. They did their best to look like Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted, including having the right haircuts and, in Lars’ case, practically jumping over his drums to reach the crowd. Unfortunately, while the Hetfield look-a-like did a great impression, and even got his voice to sound similar, the performance was a bit sloppy. With the entire crowd screaming out the words, I don’t think too many people minded.

Iron Maidens Nikki StringfieldReturning to Japan for the first time in 5 years, The Iron Maidens came out to a roar as they broke into “Aces High”. In fact, the first half of the set was all classic songs from the 80’s. While undoubtedly beautiful, the women’s musical abilities really showed through! The duel guitar attack is handled by longtime member Courtney Cox (“Adriana Smith” – her Maiden moniker) and relative newcomer Nikki Stringfield (“Mega Murray”), who filled in for Nita Strauss in 2013, and now alternates with her based on touring schedules (Nita is currently touring in Alice Cooper’s band). Realizing their audience was mostly male, they would both gather center stage around bassist Wanda Ortiz (“Steph Harris”), for photo ops – the first came during the mid-song instrumental on “Revelations”, and the cell phones were raised (and the photos were posted I’m sure!). Even drummer Linda McDonald (“Nikki McBurrain”) posed for pictures several times while playing complicated drum fills. The band also introduces some characters during the songs – lead singer KirstenIron Maidens Japan Kristen/Nikki Rosenberg (“Bruce Chickinson” – get it?) dressed as the “Trooper”. Various monsters, including Eddie were brought out (by some dude in a costume) at the appropriate time – a little cheesy, but this IS a cover band after all. Kirsten’s voice was clear and strong, Courtney’s solos shred and Nikki added some bluesy-ness to hers, while Wanda and Linda ensured the band would keep up – and at least one or two songs were played even faster than the original. It was a fun celebration of iconic music, and a great way for these ladies to show off their obvious – talents!

The Iron Maidens Website / The Iron Maidens Facebook / The Iron Maidens Twitter

The Iron Maidens Set List

Aces High

2 Minutes to Midnight

Flight of Icarus

Revelations

22 Acacia Avenue

The Trooper

Duelist

Wasted years

Alexander

Purgatory

Number of the beast

Phantom of the Opera

Fear of the Dark

(Encore)

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Run to the Hills

Written by David Glynn

PHOTO CREDIT: David Glynn

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