Saturday September 16, the Alrosa Villa was packed with people paying tribute to the four bands playing tribute to four metal forefathers. Both levels of the venue were stacked with metalheads ready to hear their favorite Judas Priest, Metallica, Dio and Iron Maiden songs.
Defenders of the Faith opened the evening paying homage to the Metal God and Priest with classic Halford era tunes, though there may have been some Ripper fans there as well. Sanitarium rode the lighting with pre-Black album classic Metallica. Evil or Divine gave the horned salute to the goliath voice and immortal spirit of Dio, no hologram needed. L.A.’s answer to Eddie and the boys done maiden style, The Iron Maidens took Columbus for a historical ride through their classic-mid ‘80s library. With the Somewhere In Time Robo-Blade Runner Edward, the Number of the Beast horned fiend and the Piece of Mind Eddie storming the stage throughout the show. There was no smoke during “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.
The show honored both the Di’ Anno era and ‘80s Dickinson years. Kirsten Rosenberg (Bruce Chickinson), Linda McDonald (Nikki McBurrain), Wanda Ortiz (Steph Harris), Courtney Cox (Adriana Smith) and Nikki Stringfield (Davina Murray) upped the irons making Columbus scream.
The evening had a big show feel as the metal meltdown began with Defenders of the Faith. Dan The Metal Man came out adorned in classic leather and studs, stepping into the Metal Gods boots and wardrobe. The classic opener “The Hellion/Electric Eye” started off as they screamed for vengeance on “You’ve got Another Thing Comin.” Sins were counted with “Diamonds & Rust.” They took a forward turn to the ‘80s turning on the synth, speed and ignition, burning the hydro on “Turbo Lover.” They ended with the Sad Wings of Destiny and “Victim of Changes.”
Sanitarium brought old school ‘Tallica to Columbus when they were young, hungry and undeniably heavy. Nothing beyond the black as Tom Corsi (James Hetfield) Will Yaekle (Kirk Hammett) Gary Lopez (Lars Ulrich) and Mike Mechlin (Cliff Burton/Jason Newsted/Rob Trujillo) killed them all, rode the lighting and bowed to their master.
Lightning struck first, hard and loud as the hooded man took his electrified seat. “Master of Puppets” reached out promising only lies. The hammer came down hard on the early days with Metal Massacre’s “Hit the Lights.” “Whiplash” tested spinal endurance and integrity as “Seek and Destroy” closed encouraging more bad behavior and adrenaline.
With lady evil on their side, Evil or Divine brought forth the Elf and the voice of Rainbow with a woman’s touch. While guitarist Dan Laverse, Jeff Tong, bassist John Talmage (who performed with a look of deranged raw focus) and drummer Jeff Zarate brought the master of the maloik back to life. “We Rock” opened as the building shouted at cancer in the name of Ronnie, surveyed by the “Man on the Silver Mountain.” They went back to 2002’s “Killing the Dragon” with the broad sword. They sang from symbolic rooftops about the “Rainbow in the Dark.” Bowman asked for a collective moment of prayer and positive energy for Columbus Events Group member Gregg Bender’s recent health issues. (Heavy Metal Bender, an all-day benefit will be held October 21 at the Alrosa Villa)
Bowman threw the horns with a warning, if you listen to liars and fools, “The Mob Rules.” The album that started Sabbath’s second chapter started on and on, and on “Heaven and Hell.” They ended like a tiger with the “Holy Diver.”
Whether it was the legendary Live After Death, down the street in Long Beach or airborne on Flight 666 “Aces High” began the show. “2 Minutes to Midnight” came early. The first Piece of Mind came with “The Flight of Icarus.” The ice aged prophecy of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son came to pass on “Can I Play with Madness.” Somewhere In Time were those “Wasted Years” as Robo-Eddie made an appearance packing futuristic mid-‘80s heat.
Muskets fired on “The Trooper” with guitars sparring like Egyptian “Duellists.” The first mark of the beast came from “Children of the Damned.” Rosenberg offered the crowd a choice. They could either play “Alexander the Great” or a long 13 minute epic about what not to do when a bird shits on you.
The albatross soared unanimously as guitar chords got creaky and surly as the barge roamed the symbol sea with water everywhere. As the show started winding down, time grew short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the “Number of the Beast” for it is a human number. They weren’t playing the devils tritone but the horned one made a heckling mischievous appearance. Di’Anno’s voice came through on “Phantom of the Opera” and “Running Free.”
They encored with their namesake’s namesake as metals most famous mascot made his final appearance giving Columbus one final Piece of Mind. Columbus, The “Iron Maidens” got, all of you. Scream for me!
Images by Mike Ritchie