Lady Beast and Legendry are both becoming local mainstays, the former having had a brush with national fame for appearing briefly on a cable television program last year. They are also difficult bands for a touring act to follow. Legendry’s immensely satisfying NWOBHM revivalism eclipses better-known traditionalist darlings Night Demon through more original songwriting and dead-serious performances. Lady Beast, are of course riding along that same track albeit on a somewhat more Euro-oriented car, at times like a runaway maglev train, sudden bursts of thrash-inflected speed a la early, chaotic Running Wild giving away to mid-paced Accept-like anthemic bangers, Ramage and Tritschler riffing and soloing like Tatler as well as Hoffmann, as drums rumbled like Ulrich when he was hungry.
MindMaze might have seen out of their element, their female-fronted proggy, Queensryche-laden take on Firewind-influenced power metal coming off as perhaps too modern and sheer for the battlevest, mopheaded, punkish crowd Lady Beast amply draws time show after show. Yet, they along with the other two bands, rose above it, sound problems affecting all three groups on the bill little. Brother and sister guitar/singer tandem Jeff and Sarah Teets were shone as brightly as Bonnett and Schenker or Soto and Malmsteen. Sarah Teets’ vocals pierced the summer night somewhat like Doro mixed with Sandi Saraya, her love of eighties glam showing through in a welcome manner while her brother schooled aspiring axemen with his Lifeson/DeGarmo/Petrucci/Lynchesque chops and licks. Classy and intelligent songs were on order with Rich Pasqualone’s nicely rickety bass even recalling Steve Harris as Mark Bennett’s drums rained down mortar not unlike Nicko McBrain.
So perhaps none of these bands were truly that different from each other in the end, and the proceedings were entirely poseur-free. Rather, the atmosphere was as urgent and current as it was rich with history, with not a single player merely throwing shapes.