HOLLYWOOD, CA TUESDAY JUNE 12, 2018
The ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT #157 Iron Maiden… Review over… It was MAIDEN!!! Ha! Seriously, I was going to be completely biased on the whole evening as long as they were going to cover Paul to Bruce back to Bruce again… What can I say? It was 80 degrees outside at 10 pm and I was in full old school metal jean jacket mode sweating up a storm, nothing was going to bring me down!!!
Tonight was one of those nights that started of a bit later than normal, so I honestly missed the opening act’s set, minus the closing couple songs… Made in the America sounded well received by the crowd as they completed their set. The bottom floor of The World Famous Whisky a Go Go was near capacity as the crowd eagerly awaited the Ultimate Jam Night House Band’s and guest musicians’ arrival.
Never one to disappoint the best crowd in Hollywood the ultimate MC Paulie Z “DiAnno” came out ready to rock channeling his inner Paul DiAnno, Iron Maiden’s vocalist from the Iron Maiden and Killers era releases, fronting the “Ultimate Maidens.” The Ultimate Jam Night’s house band’s regularly scheduled line up took a break this week and instead featured members of Iron Maiden tribute band members. From the world famous all female The Iron Maidens on guitar Ms Courtney Cox and on bass Wanda Ortiz, from Somewhere in Time on drums Adrian Aguilar and finally Frankie Lindia from Legal Tender.
Paulie DiAnno threw all in attendance a slight curve by opening with the classic Live After Death opening number Aces High, which he and the band killed by the way! Then bringing it full circle singing the band’s namesake closing number Iron Maiden, Paulie DiAnno got the crowd in full “Up the Irons” mode!!!
The first guest vocalist was Dyna Shiraski who’s expert handling, of arguably, Iron Maiden’s biggest early hit Running Free was unforgettable as well was Where Eagle’s Dare off of 1983’s Piece of Mind. She could not have done it without an equally amazing supporting cast consisting of Marco Minneman, Adam Kury, Steve Dawson, & Shane Hunter.
Since I am not one to shy away from personalizing these reviews… My first metal concert was June 1988 on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son World Tour, so this next song holds a special place in my heart… Oh and I was there for the filming of it at the Great Western Forum! The Evil that Men Do is a challenging piece of music and Somewhere Thru Time’s vocalist Keith McIntosh owned it. He was surrounded by Keith McIntosh, Adrian Aguilar, Greg Coates, Frankie Lindia, & Noah Young. They also brought us the epic Poweslave, the namesake of this history making world tour, which nearly killed the band, well not literally.
Just when you thought we were free of imperial rule, out came Paulie Dickinson, along with the remaining members of The Iron Maidens waving the Union Jack donned in full Dickinson regalia screaming about “the battlefield where no one wins,” The Trooper, without a doubt the quintessential guitar galloping metal fan favorite.
Paulie Dickinson gave it up to The Iron Maidens; Kirsten Rosenberg (vocals), Linda McDonald (drums), and Nikki Stringfield (guitar) for three classics, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Still Life, and the Adrian Smith penned, Wasted Years. If you need proof why these ladies are “world famous,” look them up on YouTube… they are endorsed by the men themselves.
Next up taking Bruce duties was Holy Grail’s James Paul Luna covering Iron Maiden’s breakout album and song by the same name The Number of the Beast as well as Paul DiAnno’s swan song and title track of the same name Killers. James fronted Francis Cassol, Jerry Montano, Ira Black, and Bill Hudson. Many of you know that Jerry and Ira, especially Ira, are Ultimate Jam Night regulars!
James would continue to handle vocal duties, this time on quite possibly the greatest of all metal anthems… Hallowed Be Thy Name. With a seamless change of musical artists Charlie Lorme, Jerry Montano, Steve Smyth, & Markus Svensson this metal favorite was slayed!
The next song has actually just been recently added back into the real Maiden setlist. From the Piece of Mind album, Flight of Icarus actually became Iron Maiden’s first US single and became a Top 10 single as well. The reason for its rebirth (which is completely opposite of the story of Icarus) was quite clear… It RULES. Well done Leah Elizabeth, Mike Dupke, Wena Velasco, Steve Smyth, & Johnny Blade.
Kirsten Rosenberg returned to the stage in place of Leah for this next Adrian Smith penned synth-guitar track Stranger in a Strange Land. Need I say anymore..? It was epic!
Maiden songs go long… Well since about 1984 that is, this was the song that started it all; 2 Minutes to Midnight was first to break the five-minute barrier. Just think… they eventually got to double-digit territory. For this song we had Adi Argelazi, Mike Dupke, Wena Velasco, Ira Black, and JD McGibney cover it like seasoned pros, which they all are.
Adi Argelazi remained on stage to cover a staple of Maiden’s live shows; 1992’s Fear of the Dark. It was one of Bruce’s final contributions to the Maiden family, until his triumphant return in 1999 on Maiden’s Brave New World. This is one of the songs that is an experience, the crowd cannot help but sing along and Adi realized that she was not getting off stage as quickly as she thought. The song extended well past its originally recorded length. Sharing the stage with Adi was Fernando Jaramillo, Gabriel Connor (Check out Gabriel’s band Red Devil Vortex’s release), Sam Kolton, and Adam Skeppar.
Out in front for this epic Maiden tune is Ultimate Jam Night’s (as far as I know) only resident comedian, actor, and frontman Hal Sparks… Another Adrian Smith penned classic, Can I Play with Madness? Features the same cast of musicians… Hal nailed it!
Only three remain… DiAnno era super fan favorite Wrathchild was performed by Made in America’s Dave Keckhut, and along with Dennis Leeflang, Rik Fox, Austin Ingerman and LA’s very own Rough Cutt’s Chris Hager.
1999’s triumphant return of both Bruce and Adrian (he had left prior to Bruce’s departure) gave us The Wicker Man off The Brave New World release. Like the return of Bruce, Paulie Dickinson returns and brings along with him Ricky Bonazza.
No Maiden set, from any era, is more metal both lyrically and musically than the final track of the evening… Run to the Hills. The Ultimate Maiden’s returned for the final song…
Iron Maiden has been around for a very long time and continues to add to their impressive 38-album catalog and headline world famous music festivals year after year, while remaining a force in the world of metal! So it was a no brainer that a night dedicated to them was going to happen. It just took a bit longer to coordinate getting a number of particular artists with a particular set of skills on the same schedule! There is no doubt another night will come along as long as Iron Maiden continues to more forward or when they call it a day (Heaven Can Wait!!!)
MAentGlobal has no doubt there will be an Ultimate Jam Night 158, because it has already been written, so it will be!!! This was more a 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 night… Remember I’m unbiased in my opinion that this was the best UJN to date!!!