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Reviews, Comments & Other Putdowns for this event (by Ray)

I am going to try and keep my ramblings short on this review but there is a lot to say so advanced apologies if this ends up being a “The Stand” sized novel. I was in San Diego for 4 days at a Photography/Software Summit and skipped out on the Joe McNally presentation (which was a bummer to miss) to go see Pearl and The Iron Maidens, which I was excited for, at 4th & B! Once again, thanks to Phantom (Iron Maidens’ management) for the pass to the gig – he’s always been extremely kind and accommodating when I have asked about shooting the band.

So, my day started off at 5:00AM and pretty much spent the day hiking up and down the hills of the SD Zoo. I was able to take a quick nap from 5:00-6:00 and then I was off to grab some food and leave for the gig. Fortunately, the venue was about 6 miles from where I was staying so it made for an easy commute. I got there around 8:30 and the first band was already on as I walked through the door. I was armed with my Canon 1Ds Mark III, a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.2. I also had a Speedlight with me but I opted not to use it at all as the stage-lighting was pretty decent. My biggest enemies this night were the mic stands and the fact that I always seemed to always find myself out of place from the action. Also, I kept focusing on the mic stands instead of the bands (I’m lame). As an example, take a look at the Pearl shots and look towards the end (second to last shot) where I focused on the mic stand instead of Scott Ian’s trademark jump – uhhhg, frustrating! Next time…

  • Venue Review – 4th & B:
    My first time at this venue and I will definitely drive down to see more shows here. The place is pretty big and has lots of floorspace (holds 1,500) as well as theatre seating with tables & couches for those who prefer to be out of the “dance” area. Something out of the ordinary happened, which I thought was very cool; The light tech made it a point to come over and ask me how the stage lights were and if I was getting good shots from his work – very cool of him! The rest of the venue’s security and staff were pretty low-key and polite as well… except to the one girl who got waaaay too drunk and was out of control most of the evening. I saw her at the end of the night with either cuffs on or zip-tied yelling her head off at security in front of the venue. Yep, there’s always one in the crowd…

  • First Band: SUNDAY GIRL:
    Like I mentioned above, I got there just in time to catch their last song and snap off a few shots. They were somewhat heavy and had sort of a Chevelle sound to them. I didn’t really even get a chance to take in what they were like as I wanted to get a few shots before they left the stage. Other than that, all I can say is to go check them out at…

  • Second Band: MONSTERS OF ROCK:
    A cover band. Here was their setlist: No, not from memory – I wrote them down as I heard them, otherwise I would surely have forgotten (“and stop calling me Shirley!” Name the film that the quote came from and you can pick up your prize in the lavatory.)
    - “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest
    - “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC
    - “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin
    - “Highway Star” by Deep Purple
    - “Shout At The Devil” by Motley Crue
    - “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath

    I may have missed a song in the above grouping but I think that was about it. You can check them out at…

  • Third Band: DUST -n- BONES:
    A Guns n Roses tribute band. They had the look and sound of the GnR that most of us loved when Appetite For Destruction first came out in 1987 – and yes, I remember buying that album at Mirabelli’s Record Store in the Park Lane Mall (Reno, NV) the day it was released! I think I also bought “Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide” on vinyl that same day, which I was surprised they still had on the shelf. I digress… I was glad that they stuck to only the Appetite songs in their setlist. Sounded decent – no complaints. Go check them out next time they play in your area. Keep in mind that there are quite a few bands that go by the same name so here is their official site:

  • Fourth Band: PEARL:
    I was extremely excited to see Pearl as I find her debut album “Little Immaculate White Fox” to be a breath of fresh air as far as full albums are concerned. Remember back in the day when you would sit for hours listening to the same album over and over trying to figure out the lyrics and background sounds to every single song on the album? At least this is how I was… Well, Pearl has made one of those albums. Most of the music that gets corporately churned out these days is more about the Singles and may contain one or two decent songs while the rest is just crap. Not this album (release) though. This one is packed with heavy blues-rock all the way through it and contains some pretty solid riffing. If you haven’t heard it yet or want to know a little more about Pearl and her rockin’ band, then just think of this: If there were a rock mould and Dr. Frankenstein was trying to create the ultimate rock goddess he may want to inject the monster-mould with approximately 50% classic Tina Turner, 25% Angus Young and 25% Janis Joplin. If this were to actually happen then you would have one Pearl Aday terrorizing the stage and belting out some amazing rock n roll! Thanks to Eddie Trunk’s show on The Boneyard and That Metal Show for turning me on to this gem!

    On top of that, none other than Scott Ian (of Anthrax fame) is playing rhythm guitar, who is someone I’ve looked up to in the Metal world since “Spreading The Disease” came out around 1985, I think. Once again, I purchased the “…Disease” picture disc at Mirabelli’s in Reno, NV. and have pretty much worn that thing out.

    The show was fast-paced and delivered great rock n roll attitude from the stage. They opened with “Rock Child” and ended with a cover of “Nutbush City Limits” (originally written by Tina Turner and covered by a lot of bands, including Nashville Pussy). They pretty much tore through the rest of the album in between those two songs. This was their last show of the tour so I’m glad I got a chance to be there.

    Bottom line is that if you are any kind of Rock n Roll fan then you should check out the Pearl CD or download. Don’t just download a song or two, spend the couple of bucks to get the whole package as it is well worth it. I urge you to support this band as they are tight and flawless! If you are still unsure then check out her MySpace where you can listen to a few songs and watch some videos from the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

  • Fifth Band: THE IRON MAIDENS:
    By the time the Maidens went on at 12:15AM I was pretty spent from a long day and was starting to get really sleepy… until that first note came out of the speakers and I was immediately energized and was good to go until the end of the set. Well, what can I say that I haven’t said about this band before? They are one of my favorite bands to photograph and hope to do it again very soon. Some highlights of the show include:

    - This night’s show featured Nili Brosh on guitar, whom I had not seen with the Maidens before. She fit right in!
    - Courtney being a little tipsy while celebrating her birthday and playing a short-but-sweet guitar solo
    - Pearl and Scott coming out and singing on “Heaven Can Wait”
    - Kristen got a big ol kiss from Pearl after “Heaven Can Wait” (at least that is what it looked like – Kristen had a surprised look on her face afterward)

    All in all, it seemed like the girls had a lot of fun and put on a great show of classic Maiden! Up the irons…
    Phantom, once again; thank you very much for the chance to shoot the Maidens one more time.
    Lastly, I have three other Iron Maidens galleries on this blog if you care to take a look. The dates for these galleries are: 8/1/2009, 5/2/2009 and 3/22/2008.

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