Saturday October 25 the Pre-Halloween bash was going full scare all over Dayton. Katz in Kettering trumped everyone bringing in Aces High, ‘The’ Iron Maiden tribute band playing homage to metal’s scariest and coolest mascot, Edward the Great. The night’s Yankee played British invasion included two, 90- minute sets with a costume contest in between and plenty of grisly ghouls, a major French Kiss and some very lovely iron maidens.
Aces High pulled out familiar classics, crowd favorites and a few vintage tunes. Bathed in the vibrant green illumination of Osiris and eye of Horus, they start the evening’s maiden voyage to Egypt walking the sands of time as the names of ancient hailed deities are whispered through the air, telling us why we have to be a Powerslave and a slave to the power of death. Well, you know what they say, if you’re gonna die…. Die With Your Boots On! We get another nicely sliced Piece of Mind as dawn breaks above the ground. The only escape is air-born on your wings like an eagle, fly as high and touch the sun with Icarus, yeah. 11:58 came early at 10:19 with the glamour, the fortune, the pain. For anyone who doubts the power of Maiden, we’ll show the unbelievers. They’ll go anywhere, even Bavaria Where Eagles Dare.
Singer of all things Dianno and Dickinson, Tony Oliver said hello to the crowd and costumed incognito members of ‘French’ Kiss. “The fake Kiss came to see the fake Iron Maiden,” he quipped. We get our first Number of the Beast, walking along-side the doomed Children of the Damned. We skip ahead a few years to the late-eighties and get cultish with old creepy Crowley with the seven deadly sins, seven ways to win, seven holy paths to see Aces High as the first song from Seventh Son begins. Then they return to the beginning, since no one brought their daughter to the slaughter they play the next best thing, the blood red instrumental about Dracula’s home turf. Speaking of old-school Killers, they play another Dianno drenched bloodlust tune.
We take a time warp forward into an Eddie’fied future but before we’re caught in time we have to go back to the golden coast across the seven seas and search for those Wasted Years. You might need a Clairvoyant to find them. Back to killers in the literal sense as we get pseudo Poe’d in the Rue Morgue. Whether it’s the Rue Morgue, Mockingbird Lane or the Whitechapel district, we’re Caught Somewhere In time. Time catches up to even the greatest of legendary man, even Alexander.
As the band rested, the creatures of the night have their moment in the spotlight. A robust personal trainer, some iron maidens, Joker and Batgirl, the Mighty Son of Hercules and his queen, the ‘French’ Kiss, a straight jacket laced zombie and a solo feminine Gene Simmons among others rounded out the party guests. Though French Kiss had the bread and Pierre, crazy’s always in and the insane zombie won the night.
The Book of Revelation opens as the ominous voice of Barry Clayton reads its verses: “Woe to you, oh earth and sea, For the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short, let him who hath understanding, reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.” The song partially inspired by Omen II starts its epic intro and iconic scream. Sticking with the beast we are labeled number six by the new number two but we proclaim our freedom as free men, not a Prisoner. We get medieval in Egypt witnessing the swordsman seeking vengeance. Flash of the Blade is Oliver’s first Maiden song performed on stage. Dario Argento also used it in his 1984 film Phenomena.
The condemned is waiting in his cold cell when the bells begin to chime, at 5 O’clock he’s taken to the gallows pole. The sands of time run low and he doesn’t have much time. Iced Earth, Cradle of Filth and Machine Head have each taken the walk. Hallowed be their names. Churchill rallies the troops for war, they shall defend their island and fight…everywhere, whatever the cost may be, and never surrender. Aces High lives to play the opener from the legendary Live After Death Tour. After the fighting’s done we head down to Acacia Ave for some well- deserved decadent debauchery.
Aces played an impromptu fan request of Good Times Bad Times before connecting with some Infinite Dreams. Then go straight to Boleskine House for some Sacred Magick rituals to bring about Revelations. Then we hear the most epic song written by metal heads, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. We’ll never look at birds the same way again. Five minutes later the stage is sprayed in laser light and smoke as the ship sails wayward. The timbers stretch and creak as the captain spins his tale of strange happenings followed by one of the coolest bass lines…ever, from Randy Gaines and the tale goes on and on and on.
We go from a seas tale to the Crimean War and battle back to back with The Trooper. Even the Mighty Son of Hercules and his fair lady worship at the stage of Maiden going crazy for The Wrathchild. The Evil That Men Do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones. So says mighty Caesar. We finish the evening with the iconic show closer of confrontation between Indians and Anglo-Saxons. Run To The Hills, run for your life!
Oliver thanked the crowd for coming as they only do a select amount of shows each year. He thanked the band, Dave McCarty, drummer Brian Harris and guitarist Dan Briley for upgrading/sprucing up the stage design and props and there is… no Iron Maiden tribute without Randy Gaines. Till next time, scream for me Katz in Kettering, scream for me Katz in Kettering!