Iron Maiden & Dream Theater

Critic's Pick Release Date: 2010-06-09

Most likely, the iron maiden is a fake. Not the band, of course, but the 7-foot torture cabinet that serves as an ominous namesake. Supposedly used during the Spanish Inquisition, this spike-filled upright coffin was more likely created in the late 18th century by combining a few less-horrifying devices found in a torture chamber into one massive, grotesquely entertaining oddity. Sound familiar?

Iron Maiden carved a pentagram-shaped niche for itself (probably using the blood-consecrated Blade of Azbimuth or something) by combining the most bombastically wicked elements of late ’70s metal with the cartooniest, Halloweeniest elements of the Christian apocalypse. Check out “The Number of the Beast” (666, in case you just got a new phone), for example. The title track from the classic 1982 album that marked vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s Maiden debut and knocked Barbara Streisand’s Love Songs out of the number-one spot on the UK charts begins with a Vincent Price-style reading from the Book of Revelation and embellishes a creepy nightmare with demonic imagery and instrumentals way more badass than a horned dude in red pajamas deserves. The album was protested and critically spit on, but its “Satanic” inspiration can be spotted in most of the decent hard rock made since from Metallica and Megadeth to Cradle of Filth and Coheed and Cambria. Hell, opener Dream Theater once played Number straight through in concert. More than 30 years since Maiden first formed, you can expect to see hardcore fans literally bringing their daughters (probably even granddaughters) to the slaughter. Maybe they’re all “Children of the Damned,” but, as Bill Hicks said, if rock ’n’ roll’s really the devil’s music, “at least he fucking jams.” $27.50-$73, 7:30pm Sat, Jun 12, AT&T Center, 1 AT&T Center, (210) 444-5000, — Jeremy Martin


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