THE IRON MAIDENS — THE FOUNDRY — MAY 9TH, 2018
Yes, you read that right—The Iron MAIDENS—the world’s only all female tribute to iconic rock band Iron Maiden finally had their debut headlining show here in Philly, and it was AWESOME.
Guitarist Courtney Cox, who takes over the role of Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith and is known onstage as 'Adriana Smith', is a Philadelphia native and seemed nothing short of ecstatic to return to her hometown with The Maidens.
The show was at The Foundry, a smaller secondary venue of The Fillmore here in Philadelphia and it was without a doubt packed with rock fans eager to jam out to the music of Iron Maiden.
Starting off the night was the Dio Tribute Band Live Evil who overall, put on a good show. Stephen Desko, who took on the role of RJD, was dressed in 1970’s Dio attire and all in all put on a good performance. My only complaint of his Dio interpretation was that it was a little too “Ozzy” in his mannerisms, and his vocals weren’t too reminiscent of Dio’s iconic vocal stylings. Not to say he wasn’t a great singer, just a simple observation. Guitarist Nick Toth spectacularly nailed every guitar solo, and the rest of the band including Dave Campbell on bass and LTK on drums also did a good job at replicating Dio’s quintessential songs. The band put on a high energy performance, and got the crowd singing along and excited for the rest of the evening.
Next up was the headliners—The Iron Maidens. The stage was decorated in numerous Iron Maiden-esque decorations, including a street sign that says ‘Acacia Avenue’—hinting towards the popular tune ’22 Acacia Avenue.’
The band started out with ‘Aces High’, which made attendees very happy. Over the course of the night, the band broke out many Maiden hits including ‘Fear of The Dark’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘The Number of The Beast’, ‘Wasted Years’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, and many many more. They also threw in songs that Iron Maiden themselves have never played live, one being ‘Alexander The Great’ off of the record Somewhere In Time.
Something I absolutely love about this group that might seem incredibly obvious is the fact that it’s an all female band. It’s no secret that rock ’n’ roll and the heavy metal genre is male dominated. But more and more so, women are taking over and proving that girls can rock even harder than guys can. From artists like Nita Strauss (who actually was a member of The Iron Maidens before joining Alice Cooper’s current touring line-up), to Orianthi Panagaris, and female fronted bands like Halestorm and Lacuna Coil, women are breaking the stigma.
Anyone who has ever seen The Iron Maidens put on a show can attest to the fact that these girls play these songs just as fantastic as the real Iron Maiden; and their gender has nothing to do with it. For a girl going into the music industry (although I am not a professional performer), it is incredibly inspiring to see women holding their place in the rock world.
Guitarists Nikki Stringfield and Courtney Cox hit the nail right on the head with each and every solo, and had real musical chemistry throughout each and every song. Any fan of Iron Maiden knows that the guitar harmonies are a large part of the group's sound, and both Courtney and Nikki manage to pull them off together miraculously. One of my personal favorite Iron Maiden solos is from 'The Trooper', and let's just say they made me want to rush home immediately after the show and pick up my guitar to practice!
Bassist Wanda Ortiz, otherwise known by her stage name ‘Steph Harris’, has been a part of the band sine 2002 and does a killer job at recreating Steve Harris’ intense bass lines. Ortiz lays down a fundamental piece to the music, and is without a doubt a key player within the band's sound. She also appears onstage fit in modern Steve Harris-esque clothing pulling it all together.
Singer Kirsten Rosenberg also dressed the role of her character ‘Bruce Chickinson’, played the part perfectly. Rosenberg even came out in Bruce Dickinson’s iconic attire for ‘The Trooper’, fit with of course, the waving flag, and Dickinson's famous spiked bracelets that wrap around his forearm for 'The Number of The Beast.' All in all, her vocals were incredibly spot on to the same way Dickinson's vocals are articulated. She also interacted with the audience, holding a contest as to which side of The Foundry could sing the loudest during 'Running Free.'
Drummer Linda McDonald, also known for her time in the all-female rock group Phantom Blue and her all-female Ozzy tribute band The Little Dolls, also put on a fantastic performance. She always seems to have a smile on her face behind the kit, and does an incredible job with her role as "Nikki McBurrain", a tie on the names of both Maiden drummers Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain. Below is Linda photographed by our very own Mark Thompson from their latest run of California shows.
During the performance the band also had their own version of Iron Maiden's signature mascot Eddie that came up onstage during 'Wasted Years' as well as a 'devil' that ran around on the small stage during 'The Number of The Beast' that helped make the performance all the more fun for the audience.
Overall, I would definitely recommend going to see The Iron Maidens. If you're an Iron Maiden fan and a huge fan of their catalog, you can't get closer to seeing the tunes played other than seeing Iron Maiden themselves! And if you're a female in rock, or even not a female in the music industry, there's nothing more inspiring then seeing five women onstage completely killing it.
This show gets a 🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻 4.5/5 from me!