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TUESDAY

My introduction to the standard-bearers of the new wave of British Heavy Metal was a hastily edited, Christian anti-rock screed titled “The god of Rock,” supplied by my well-meaning but hopelessly Baptist mother. Its opening sentence on Iron Maiden was poorly constructed, factually incorrect, and rife with twisted logic: “This group is relatively obscure ‘heavy metal’ molten madness band that has recently come out with an album named, The Number of the Beast 666.” I was hooked. It helped that Maiden had the best approach to brand marketing in the entire realm of metal. The band had a simple, unforgettable logo (designed by bassist Steve Harris, a trained draftsman), but the most appealing element was its iconic mascot, Eddie, a skeletal demon who adorned every bit of Maiden paraphernalia. Eddie was seen in all manner of badass guises—WWII bomber pilot, Revolutionary War redcoat, Egyptian pharaoh, cyborg bounty hunter—and I swear at some point I saw him as a ghoulish Canadian Mountie. Human air-raid siren Bruce Dickinson rejoined the group in 1999 after an eight-year layoff, and now the band is touring again, certainly banking on fans’ nostalgia for the glory days. That’s fine, because both the fans and the band exist in a blessed state of arrested development: Maiden’s primary song subjects—military history, science fiction, and the occult—have massive appeal to (perpetually) adolescent males. The only major heavy-metal theme that was ever missing from the catalog was ladies. But then, ladies were absent from our own lives, as well. Iron Maiden plays with Dio and Motörhead at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $10-$45. (202) 432-7328. (David Dunlap Jr.)