Metal is not dead and “Powerslave“, a tribute to Iron Maiden and Fade to Blackened, the Metallica tribute band are here to stay and honor Metal greatest bands. All Music Magazine was invited to cover “Powerslave,” “The Iron Maiden Experience” Saturday May 29, 2021 at the famous Basement East in Nashville, Tennessee.
I knew I was about to enter into a time machine when I parked, and I could hear the crowd singing from my car. I arrived 45 minutes after the opening act, Faded to Blackened a Tribute to Metallica, had started playing. The venue was packed with a sea of long-haired, black t-shirt, head-banging heavy metal-lovers. For some of us, this was the first time since masks we’re mandated to be worn in all public spaces. It was strange to be surrounded by so many people without masks, and it was superb to see so many smiling faces in one place.
“Fade to Blackened” includes a set of famous Metalhead brothers, Ben and Dakota Denman from the Nashville scene. Ben and Dakota Denman are the founders of the Denman Band. These guys are no stranger to the stage and you can see that they are at home shredding the guitar and headbanging with the crowd. I met their father, a musician himself who proudly told me about how the brothers have been shredding like Eddie Van Halen and performing live since they were 7 years old. It was clear that these guys are Nashville’s metal darlings. Adoring fans screamed with excitement and sang along and celebrated each guitar or drum solo as if we were actually seeing Metallica. For me, the drummer was a highlight and I loved how energetic he was and how he used his space to connect with the crowd and to cheer for his fellow band members.
Contrary to popular belief, Nashville is not a city that’s all about Country Music. The GUITAR is king in this town. Tributes to Metallica and Iron Maiden surely packed a venue with guitarist from all genres. Every time I spoke to someone in the crowd, they told me about the band they played in or how they guy standing 3 feet away from us on stage played in another local legendary band. The crowd adored “Fated to Blackened” and they also won another fan in me.
I was there for “Powerslave,” and I am an Iron Maiden disciple and my dream was to be able to one day sit in the front row and photograph them. I was not sure about how a tribute band to the celebrated Iron Maiden could perform at that level. I saw Iron Maiden several times in the past and I couldn’t imagine that anyone else could take me and the rest of the crowd to the sacred place of heavy metal nirvana.
“Powerslave” was formed by local renowned metal-head musicians who have actually performed with the real Iron Maiden. As with the openers, “Powerslave” was no stranger to the Basement East or to the metal scene in town. The venue was dark for a few minutes and the excited crowd began to look for signs that indicated that the band was coming out. I spoke with people who like me, have seen Iron Maiden several times. They were all seeing “Powerslave” for the first time. We all had the same question: Can this band live up to our expectations? When Terry Palace, “Powerslave’s” vocalist, took the mic and began to sing, we knew that a beast was about to be unleashed right in front of us. How can anyone sound exactly like our Hero, Bruce Dickinson? How can anyone dominate the stage and engage the crowd just like Bruce? I’m still not sure how, but Terry Palace is a beast, he performed all of Iron Maiden anthems exactly as everyone remember and delivered a powerful performance. This was an Iron Maiden experience up close for a 10th of the price.
Something that separates master performers from rookies is their use of the stage and their availability to make the crowd be part of the show. That is why adoring fans show up and keep showing up to Iron Maiden shows, and that is exactly what “Powerslave” gave us. There was not one part of the stage unused. When we go to concerts we don’t only want to see our idols perform, but we want them to acknowledge us, hear us and to know we are there with them and for them. “Power Slave” had the availability to make every single person at the Basement East feel seen and appreciated. They are an spectacular band. From drums, guitars, bass and vocals.
Remember how I dreamed about sitting in the front row and photographing Iron Maiden? I can say now, I’ve accomplished that. If you had showed up to this show blind folded, you would not know that this was not Iron Maiden. However the band offers an amazing light show, superb stage presence, and yes the beloved Mascot Eddie, also came to sing and head bang with us.
On behalf of All Music Magazine and that of an adoring obsessed Iron Maiden Fan, go see “Powerslave” if you have the Chance!
Terry Palace – Vocals
Mark Warner – Bass
Chris Dunnett – Guitar
Zach Ballard – Drums
Hatton Taylor – Guitar
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