Moonchild

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Amager Bio have had a long-standing tradition of getting Metallica Jam, a Metallica cover band to play on the famous J-Day (the day the Christmas brew is released), but this was not J-Day and it wasn’t time for any Metallica look-alike’s either.
No, this was P-Day (release-day of the Easter brew), and it was Moonchild who had the stage, an Iron Maiden cover band!
I don’t have anything against Metallica, but it was Maiden that I was fed from early childhood and the English heavy metal machine will always have a top-spot in my heart.

Anyway, back at Amager Bio Broken Hand Charity had finished warming the audience up (except for us, who had made an unfortunately late arrival), and it was time for Moonchild to cast their magic upon us. Having never seen them before, my only hope was that they would be able to live up to the incredible legacy the original band has created. We could only wait and see, but the surprisingly large audience seemed very excited about what was about to come...
In the back we could see a fairly large backdrop with the band’s name on it in the Iron Maiden font, with a smaller Iron Maiden Jam written beneath it in italic, together with a lot of different Eddie’s – the same picture as the front page of their website.
There wasn’t much time to stand and gaze at it though, as the band quickly came bursting out onto the stage, firing up for the party with a speedy Aces High, always a good opener! We just nearly managed to catch our breaths when the band just as quickly moved on to 2 Minutes To Midnight, which in turn was followed by more classic songs, with only one special album glaring at us with its absence...

You see, it wasn’t just the P-Day we were celebrating this fine first of March 2013, it was also nothing less than the 25th anniversary of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, an album which is by many considered the peak of Iron Maiden’s entire career! If this is true or not I shall let everyone decide for themselves, suffice to say that it is one killer of an album, the likes of which has seldom been seen or heard!
So why wasn’t it played tonight?
Well, it was, only it was played with all due respect for its greatness and with a special birthday celebration – after Moonchild (who’s name is taken from the opening track of this very album) had played Fear Of The Dark with a great response from the audience in the sing along parts (basically, the entire song) they left the stage and the lights went out. In the darkness we could just barely see something happening on the stage, and when the lights came back on we were greeted by an even larger backdrop than before, now displaying the cover art of the Seventh Son Of The Seventh Son album, surrounded by a frame of other Eddie pictures, and out on the right hand side (seen from the audience) of the stage there was a single, not overly large pillar of ice built from Styrofoam. The backdrop was impressive, the pillar not so much... Had there been more of it, I’m sure it would have worked though...
Not that there was much time for speculating on such matters as out of the speakers the famous speech about the seventh son which introduces the album began rolling thunderously as an intro for the part of the show wherein the entire Seventh Son... album was played. Yes, you bloody read it right – the entire album was played! From bloody start to bleeding finish!

Sure, a few of the song intro’s were pre-recorded, maybe a bit too many if you ask me, but when playing the songs I neither saw nor heard any mistakes being made, and the band proved that they weren’t just musicians but good performers to boot! Sure, many of the moves were highly inspired by the original Iron Maiden, but hey, isn’t that what an Iron Maiden cover band should be doing? Far better than turning it into a shoe-gazing competition if you ask me...
It was especially vocalist Lars Larsen (whom you might know from the prog-metal band Manticora) that really put the show in showmanship, but it felt very natural as Bruce Dickinson is the one who does it in the original. That’s not to say that the rest of the band was much worse, in all there was a great deal of running, posing and playing around going on on stage, some of the more memorable tricks being Larsen picking up a large Danish flag and waving it during The Trooper (did I mention this was a cover band?), or in the grand finally with Iron Maiden (the song, if you were in doubt) where the ice pillar burst to pieces and Eddie came out! Holy shit, this was worked out through and through, a quality show if ever I saw one!

“Shut up everybody, I have something to say! You want your money’s worth right?”
- Lars Larsen (vocals)


Maybe you’re thinking now; “Hey, Iron Maiden isn’t on the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album?”, and you if so you would be absolutely right. You see, when that entire Seventh Son... album was played, the band returned to the best of like show they had been playing before moving on to said album. Heck, they even had time for an encore before leaving completely; after Iron Maiden and a short break, Moonchild came back to rip Amager Bio up one final time with Be Quick Or Be Dead.

The audience had loved every minute of the show, and judging from the atmosphere in the hall alone it was almost like seeing the “real deal”, which was far above my expectations I must admit. Not that I had thought anything bad about it, but I could never have imagined that it would be this awesome! Had it not been for the many beers that got consumed through the night, I dare say a lot of throats would have been mighty sore the day after.
Before leaving, Larsen commented that this, Moonchild playing on P-Day, ought to become a tradition just like Metallica Jam is on J-Day, and I can only concur whole-heartedly! Expect me in the front again next year boys!

Setlist:

Aces High (Iron Maiden cover)
2 Minutes To Midnight (Iron Maiden cover)
Run To The Hills (Iron Maiden cover)
The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)
Fear Of The Dark (Iron Maiden cover)
Moonchild (Iron Maiden cover)
Infinite Dreams (Iron Maiden cover)
Can I Play With Madness (Iron Maiden cover)
The Evil That Men Do (Iron Maiden cover)
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (Iron Maiden cover)
The Prophecy (Iron Maiden cover)
The Clairvoyant (Iron Maiden cover)
Only The Good Die Young (Iron Maiden cover)
The Number Of The Beast (Iron Maiden cover)
Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter (Iron Maiden cover)
Hallowed Be Thy Name (Iron Maiden cover)
Iron Maiden (Iron Maiden cover)
Be Quick Or Be Dead (Iron Maiden cover)

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