***A photo gallery by Brian Ronald appears at the end of this review***
The world’s only all-female Iron Maiden tribute band The Iron Maidens has made a name for themselves around the world with the chops and the looks that kill. Having seen them on MORC 2014 (Monsters of Rock Cruise), I knew what the score would be during their back to back Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario shows April 29 and 30, 2015 respectively. There was no way I’m missing The Maidens in Canada and I was fortunate enough to be able to squeeze in the Hamilton show before heading to the airport to begin my journey to M3 Rock Festival. It took me over two and a half hours of public transit journeying to get here, which could well have even been longer than The Iron Maidens, so that just goes to show how pumped I was for this event.
The club, This Ain’t Hollywood, was a small place loaded with character and by character I mean age, smell and disrepair. I actually loved the atmosphere in here even though it felt a little like I was in someone’s basement. The stage was warmed up by Little Foot Long Foot (an interesting name in itself) who served up a decent set of original material with the highlight being a cover of AC/DC‘s “Let There Be Rock” for which they were joined on stage by guitarist John Angus of Canadian band The Trews.
After the usual stage gear switching The Iron Maidens blasted onto the scene with explosions of confetti and dry ice during their opener of “Aces High”. The patrons at This Ain’t Hollywood were now crowded in front of the narrow stage, all vying for a better vantage point as the ladies proceeded to level the place (quite literally I often glanced upwards to ensure that the ceiling would not be caving in on my head). In a phrase coined by actual Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, Kirsten Rosenberg demanded “Scream for me Hamilton” of the audience who all responded in kind before The Maidens launched into “2 Minutes To Midnight”. “Flight Of Icarus” brought us to the revelation that it has been eleven years since The Maidens were in Canada, but that was only Vancouver, Rosenberg said as “Revelations” became the next selection. Things were getting hot in This Ain’t Hollywood and I just don’t mean on stage as I wiped the sweat from my brow. The Iron Maidens, made up of Linda McDonald (drums), Wanda Ortiz (bass), Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield (guitars), and the aforementioned Rosenberg (vocals) continued with “22 Acacia Avenue” and “The Trooper”. “The Trooper” saw Kristen Rosenberg (aka Bruce Chickinson) in the trademark red coat uniform which would have been worn during the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War on which the song was based and waving the Union Jack flag.“The Duellists” was followed by “Wasted Years” which brought the “Eddie” mascot onto the stage while after “Flash Of The Blade” some technical difficulty was blamed on “Doug”, in a joking manner, who I assume was the house soundman. The seminal classic “The Number Of The Beast” followed by “Phantom Of The Opera” led us forward a few years in the Iron Maiden discography for “Fear Of The Dark” which elicited quite a loud response from the crowd whenever Rosenberg held out the mike for us to sing. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” featuring a Frankenstein “Eddie” slapping hands with the crowd closed things down on an excellent show! Brian presented me with the setlist that he had acquired/pilfered from the stage and disappointment instantly set in for me! There were some selections printed on the list that were crossed out with a black marker, not being played: “Run To The Hills” was to be the final song, not really a big deal as I’ve heard it plenty over the span of my musical listenings. “Alexander The Great” was set to appear between “Wasted Years” and “Flash Of The Blade” again not a big deal for me. But near the top of the list was this: “2 Minutes/
Boots” which I can only assume to be “Die With Your Boots On”, my all time absolute no questions asked favorite Iron Maiden tune. Would have loved to have heard The Maidens treat us to that one, but still an excellent show overall and now has me wishing I could attend Toronto’s event tomorrow night, but wait, I’m off to an awesome rock festival so it’s not all bad! Chack out Brian Ronald‘s photo gallery from the event below and watch the Decibel Geek YouTube Chanel for videos from the Hamilton show coming soon!