NIB/Aces High Play Dublin’s St Patrick’s Bash

Saturday March 16, with the Irish spirits flowing and the green stuff coming from the tap, bottle, ATM’s and everywhere else desirable and not, The Dublin Pub showcased the beginning of an all weekend long celebration to good ole St. Patrick and the snakes he drove out of Ireland way back when. In the words of Aces High singer Tony Oliver, “A group of Americans came to hear British music in an Irish pub.”

Engines of Chaos’s Nativity in Black a tribute to all era Black Sabbath started the outside heated mayhem as patrons were having their fill of spirited blarney. Though the immortal wah-wah bassline intro’d song’s meaning is more about hair than evil Christmas decorations. An intro straight from the Metal Gods… or else-where filled the speakers then one of the best known riffs in metal history started to occupy our brain. We’re taken Behind the Wall of Sleep then visit their tribute namesake. While EOC singer Scott Toops doesn’t have Ozzy’s banshee wail or the hints of Birmingham hopelessness and desperation in those early songs his voice does carry the essence of the Ozzy effect. “You’ll know this one.’ He smirks as drummer Eric Estes starts kicking Marvels favorite signature tune.  All they have to give you is music that never dies; the Symptom of the Universe is written in the eyes of some fine ladies from the crowd dancing to the satanic blues. It was time to pay tribute to the little Elf with the goliath voice. Dan from Aces High joined them when the two fingered Maloik, Dio, the Neon Knight himself made famous were raised for the Mob Rules. Toop’s voice can carry Ronnie James’s pint sized heavy weight well. They reach forward playing some early solo Ozzy about the wickedest man that ever lived with original intro. Then it was all aboard the Crazy Train. The sirens screamed as the War Pigs gathered in their masses with evil minds that plot destruction. From a war stricken land we take a cool mellow trip with the incense and candles burning with Sweet Leaf through time and space to Planet Caravan. Then when you’re nice and relaxed the devils tritone jolts you back to reality as the figure in black gives chase. Due to time restraints there was no encore and no chance to go extra, extra, extra, extra f*****g crazy! God bless, Engines of Chao’s NIB loves you all.

Any band can play Iron Maiden covers but it takes true dedication and passion to design your own props,  make a large Seventh Son of a Seventh Son replica Eddie and turn a stage inside a tent into the Somewhere Back in Time tour but that’s exactly what Dayton’s Aces High have done. They show their love of all things iron and maiden. In addition they constructed an Egyptian backdrop and their own personal Eddie of Spades. They take their homage very seriously and give it to the audience up the irons as much as possible. During their 2 set 3 hour show they played heavily from the 80’s which too many die-hards is the best era. Maiden’s a band that’s acquired global success with little to no airplay but they’ve made millions scream for them. Churchill said it best, ‘we shall never surrender’! The doomsday clock says 2 Minutes to Midnight; maybe the Mayans were closer than we thought. Wasted Years is the British version of Turn the Page and one of the coolest Maiden videos for fans of Eddie art. Time to take flight on Ed Force One and touch the sun with Icarus and go Where Eagles Dare cause every Wrathchild needs a nice Piece of Mind. Transylvania was dedicated to recently deceased, early drummer Clive Burr. We go back to the ice age and get Clairvoyant with the ice man after he thaws, wakes and finds himself a Stranger in a Strange Land. We then follow the Nile to Egypt drawn back by the enchanting whispers of the ancient gods and the eye of Horus to be their Powerslave. While we’re there we’re reminded what not to do when an albatross flies over you. One of Maiden’s longest and favorite songs is played in its entirety, including sound effects but sadly no smoke machine. Lyrical belter Tony Oliver does a fine job of handling songs operatically sung by one of the greatest metal voices of all time. Though very few can completely match Dickinson’s delivery and 4 octave range, Oliver can deliver the Tattooed Millionaire’s vocal presence well enough. Bassist Randy Gaines has Steve Harris’s foot on speaker bass pointing Tailgunner style down pat. Dan Briley/Dave McCarty play the parts of three guitar maestro’s with no pressure and Matt Tickel keeps McBrain’s beat perfect.Starting off the second set we get a little creepy Crowley with the Moonchild and get some spiritual help to comprehend those Infinite Dreams. They play the war dance on The Trooper and crowd favorite Run to the Hills having one of the most recognizable drum intros in metal history.

Unfortunately, once again due to time restraints as Revelation would have it a few goodies had to be cut but we do have enough time for a trip to Acacia Avenue using a little green for a good old time. Hallowed Be Thy Name of the band that’s given us nearly 40 years of incredible music. Though this evening, the sands of time for us are running low and we know the time is short to consume and finish potent Irish liquids. So let he who hath understanding reckon the number of the beers he’s hadith, for it is a human number, and condition. No worries, Dublin Pub announced Care Cab for anyone whose mind was blank, couldn’t remember how many they had and needed time to get the memories from their mind.

Engines of Chaos’s NIB and Aces High take their tributes very seriously paying respect to two of the biggest names in British music, the undisputable Alpha/Genesis of metal and the greatest band of all time to be named after a guy in a mask and a medieval torture device. Even to the most Eddie’d up ‘Irish for the evening’ stumbling patron what we all saw that night was real and not just fantasy.

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