MusicMarauders Presents: Head For The Hills & Iron Horse 12.1.12

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, Co

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
Video By J-man

For the last decade I have listened to no band more than Iron Horse. Made famous by their bluegrass covers of such mainstream acts as Metallica, Ozzy, Led Zeppelin, Modest Mouse, The Goo Goo Dolls and more, Iron Horse has become a force to recon with. Through their recognition, the band has remained elusive, with limited tour dates and what appears to be a local vision to touring. After ten years of checking their website and waiting to see them live, the day finally came. We did everything that we could to promote the event and make folks aware that Iron Horse was coming to town. We arrived early at the near empty venue and as the time grew near that Iron Horse would take the stage, a certain sense of disappointment overtook me. Where was the crowd of music fans? Did people not get the memo? As Iron Horse took the stage, a massive influx of young folks poured into Cervantes, which became packed within' what seemed like minutes.

Bluegrass versions of rock songs moved the venue as Iron Horse opened up with a couple of clear crowd favorites by Modest Mouse. What followed was Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," with incredible harmonies and instrumentation. The crowd was absolutely ecstatic, dancing uncontrollably and singing along word for word. Metallica's "Unforgiven" raised the energy bar yet again, but also included some terrible feedback as the sound engineer scrambled to handle the mix. The beginning of the set was littered with issues as the engineer threw his hands in the air like a frustrated child. The band played through and kept the show alive through some of the absolute worst sound that I have ever heard at Cervantes.

"Ramble On" was followed by some more Metallica before the band's return to the material of Modest Mouse, which clearly excited the young crowd once again. A ripping version of "Stairway To Heaven" came next and was followed by "Float On," in which the band seemed to forget both the words and the music. The show slowed for a brief number before picking back up with "Crazy Train." The band jumped into "Interstate 8," which fans had been requesting throughout the show. Upon it's completion Iron Horse was asked to do one last song, so they closed with Guns & Roses "Sweet Child Of Mine." The capacity venue was thrilled! Again, they were asked to play another, so they did. Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" closed the show as Cervantes erupted. Backstage, the band seemed excited. Unexpectedly, they were able to perform their opening set to about 800 people, many adoring fans.

Cervantes was at capacity on both sides of the venue as Head For The Hills took the stage for their headlining slot. That evening marked great growth for Head For The Hills. Selling out Cervantes was a big step in their quest for global domination and the band took full advantage of that opportunity. Denver loves Head For The Hills, that much was clear. Their clean, near flawless instrumentation dug deep into the compositions, resulting in an incredible output of sound. With Cervantes as packed as we had ever seen it, we collected our gear and headed over to The Other Side to experience some of Brothers Past. We quickly lost interest in their repetitive beats and unfortunate vocals and made our way towards the exit, having accomplished our objective of seeing Iron Horse.

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