We love our all-female heavy metal tribute bands. Their emergence marks an important step in the evolution of the genre, and I’ve even taken to writing poems about some of them. Here in Philadelphia, we can’t get enough of Misstallica and Queen Diamond down at the Trocadero. Our far-flung correspondent Daniel Nester now adds to the tradition with his article on Judas Priestess, the latest Defenders of the Faith!
“We live in the golden age of all-female tribute bands, from Sheagles and Blonde Jovi to AC/DShe and Cheap Chick. Here we present the anatomy of a scene, with DANIEL NESTER and Judas Priestess.” Click here to read the article.
“Heavy Metal Tribute Night at the Trocadero” by Ernest Hilbert
I’m up in the empty balcony
Of an antique Chinatown theater,
Once opera house, burlesque dive, movie palace,
Still filled with agile ghosts each age made.
Dan and the others recline on the leather
Steps of the amphitheater, somewhat bored.
I tilt a lager to douse the last shot,
Lit like a horror movie director
By the bloody glow of the upstairs bar.
Darkness throbs below. Four teen women
Execute thrash metal tributes, routines of
Accomplished violence, furious blonde plumes
Of hair lobbed side to side on the old stage,
Splay-leggèd in tight jeans, knot-muscled arms
Attacking black guitars until they shriek.
I dream of vanished empires of the sea,
Lamps turned down along distant avenues,
And know I’m always partly somewhere else,
Watching Degas’ ballet dancers: aslant
Like snow-loaded firs at their haunted rehearsal,
The rostrum a grotto flanked by valleys
Where nymphs and hunters trek in cold shadow.
Feet in position, the singer calls the next song,
Ready to pivot at heel as she charges
Into “Ride the Lightning,” and three awkward,
Aging men, thick-torso’d and gray-goateed,
Lighters aloft, nod their blunt heads at the foot
Of the apron for their fighter and faun,
Valkyrie summoning them, like memories
Of themselves, into vistas of smoke.