Iron Maidens, Sign Of Lies and more at Diamond Ballroom (2020)
Diamond Ballroom (Oklahoma City, OK, USA)
Iron Maidens, Sign Of Lies, Stain The Skin
February 21, 2020
It's a Saturday night, and the place to be is at the Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City's undisputed destination for all things heavy. Tonight, it's the IRON MAIDENS, the world's only all female tribute band to IRON MAIDEN. Here's the deal, I'm usually pretty critical of tribute bands. Over the years, there have been very, very few of these types of bands that have managed to impress me, much less hold my attention. IRON MAIDEN is, and has been one of my all-time favorite Heavy bands like countless others.. The kings of the NWOBHM movement are well, legends. With that in mind, would it be possible for these five ladies to capture even a sliver of the MAIDEN magic, without the usual cheezy parody factor creeping in? Let's dive in and take a look, shall we?
IRON MAIDENS came together in 2001, and after some line-up changes over the years is now comprised of, Linda McDonald (Drums), Wanda Ortiz (Bass), Courtney Cox (Guitar), Kirsten Rosenberg (Vocals) and Nikki Stringfield (Guitar). Together, they can tackle the entire MAIDEN catalog, seemingly with professional ease. The current tour was the band's first visit to Oklahoma City, and saw them sticking to a setlist full of unmistakable hits, as well as a few deeper, rarer cuts.
As the house lights came down, rthe room was filled with the welcomed sounds of U.F.O.'s, "Doctor, Doctor", just as MAIDEN had done on the Book Of Souls and Legacy Of The Beast tours. Then the unmistakable voice of Winston Churchill's voice filled the air, and just like that, the band launched into "Aces High", followed by "Prisoner" and "Revelations". The ladies immediately captured the audience and never let them go. The whole set was extraordinarily well executed, with Rosenberg engaging the fired up crowd, while Cox (Adrian Smith's parts) and Stringfield (Dave Murray's parts) electrified the crowd. Not to be outdone, McDonald nailed Nikko's thunder and fills and Ortiz captured the essence of the master himself, Steve Harris.
The entire show was sensational and memorable, but there were personal highlights that I feel compelled to mention. Deeper cut, "Alexander the Great" was stunning. "Powerslave" was unforgettable, and "Fear Of The Dark" was a crowd singalong favorite. Of course all the fan favorites were present to, with the "The Trooper", "Number of the Beast" and "Children of the Damned" standing out as well. All throughout, the ladies interacted with the crowd, inspiring a whole room of new fans. The ladies were incredibly fan friendly, even sticking around for more than an hour post show to talk with, sign autographs and take photos with a long line of fans. It was a pretty magical performance and a very memorable night, and at times I found my self lost in the songs, forgetting that it wasn't MAIDEN up on that stage. Folks, that's impressive. The IRON MAIDENS' set, despite being a tribute, was one of my favorite sets of Heavy music I've seen lately. Nothing about their performance seemed contrived or fake. The IRON MAIDENS truly love the music they're playing, and it shows. If you find them headed to your town or city, do yourself a favor and go see them. I know you won't regret it. Up the irons!!
Keep up with IRON MAIDENS and their tour dates here: https://www.theironmaidens.com/
Getting the Saturday night party started, was local high energy rockers, STAIN THE SKIN. Made up of Conrad Fanning (Vocals), Will Whyman (Guitar), Danny Martin (Bass) and Tink McGathy (Drums), they made the most of their short set, and in particular, impressed me with their powerhouse medley of thrashin' METALLICA and DIO covers. These guys are the real deal and definitely a band I hope to check out again.
Visit STAIN THE SKIN here: https://www.facebook.com/staintheskinband%20
Owning the middle slot of the evening, was another local OKC band, SIGN OF LIES. These Hard Rock heroes took a slightly different approach for their set, focusing on and impressing with original songs before giving way to the MAIDENS. Lead vocalist Devon owned the stage, encouraging and firing up the crowd as Arik Hanradt wailed on guitar and Jesse Marin and Cole rumbled and crushed the low end. Showing influence from a who's who of Metal legends, SIGN OF LIES put on a high energy, fun set. Yet another powerful OKC band to keep an eye on.
All things SIGN OF LIES can be found right here: https://www.facebook.com/SignOfLiesfficial%20
All told, it was another great night of Heavy music in the historic Diamond Ballroom. Great music, fabulous bands, an accommodating and welcoming staff as well as a surprisingly friendly and professional security staff. Top it off with some of OKC's hardest rocking fans, young and old and it's hard to beat. Get out there and support live music!