There's simply no denying that rock music has been a primarily male-dominated endeavor. While most of the best rock music these days comes from women, for most of the genre's history they've been scoffed at, pushed aside and ignored by the dudes with power.
This being the case, one longtime outlet for women who want to rock has been gender-swapped cover bands. If the guys aren't going to take you seriously as musicians with your own music, they'll have a much tougher time dismissing you while you're acing the tunes from one of their favorite male-fronted bands.
And among all-female tribute bands, the Iron Maidens stand out as one of the undisputed top acts. Sure, there are other all-femme outfits that have tackled the English heavy metal of Iron Maiden (Iron Madame, Diamond Beast and Women in Iron Form, to be specific), but since 2001 the Los Angeles-based Maidens have stood out due to the quartet's virtuosity and an army of fans (garnering over 1.2 million Facebook likes, which is insane). Heck, they've even opened for KISS. Not Priss or Black Diamond or another tribute act — actual KISS.
A massive portion of the gender-swapped cover band movement roots itself in heavy metal, with classic rock tailing close behind. It shouldn't come as a shock that the rock subsets most outwardly drunk on the testosterone-fueled machismo would be the most fun for the ladies to ape.
The leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the most gender-swapped band? AC/DC. Holy hell, have there been a lot of all-female AC/DC tribute acts: AC/DSHE, BACK:N:BLACK, Hell's Belles, Hells Bells (not a typo, those are different bands), ThundHERstruck, Her Way to Hell. And there are many more. But there's plenty more metal women shredding where that came from. Just a cursory sample: Metallica (Misstallica), Black Sabbath (Mistress of Reality), Van Halen (She-Ruption), Alice Cooper (Malice Cooper), Judas Priest (Judith Priest) and even Spinal Tap (Tap This).
There's no shortage of women who have laid down classic rock licks, either. The list is long: Led Zeppelin (Hammer of the Broads), Queen (the Killer Queens), Cheap Trick (Cheap Chick), David Bowie (Ziggy Starlet and the Spiders from Venus), the Beatles (the She-tles), Jimi Hendrix (Foxy Lady).
With all that said, there are so many gender-swapped musical acts that don't exist but should. For the sake of this article, we made a fantasy list of tribute bands that we wish were out there and rocking.
Rancid — Ruby Soho. This is honestly my No. 1 draft pick of gender-swapped cover bands that need to exist. The thought of some badass women throat scratching their way through the punk band's equally gritty and catchy anthems warms my heart.
Jay-Z — Jay-She. First off, why aren't there hip-hop tribute acts? Rock should not have a monopoly on this. Step it up, y'all. Secondly, I fully endorse Jay-She tweaking it to, "You got 99 problems, and this bitch is one."
Beyoncé — BeyoncThey. I'm just looking for an excuse to get the power of the Beyhive to support trans rights with the same passion they attack someone who says anything negative about Beyoncé online.
Miley Cyrus — Guyly Cyrus. Anyone who's seen me do "Wrecking Ball" at karaoke knows that I have dibs on this.
Beastie Boys — Beastie Girls. As the opening line of "Intergalactic" fittingly states, "Well, now don't you tell me to smile..."
Japandroids — The Girls Are Leaving Town. Much like Ruby Soho, there's no joke here. This band would just slay.
Weezer — Sheezer. So it turns out this one already existed in Toronto circa 2011-15. But they broke up. SAY IT AIN'T SO-OO-OH-OO-OH!
Saves the Day — Saves the They. Being emo is a choice; gender is a construct.
Billie Eilish — Billy Eilish. More literally the bad guy.
The Barenaked Ladies — The Barenaked Laddies. How long has it been since an awful pun? Well... hmmm. It's been... ♦
The Iron Maidens with Dogtown and Elephant Gun Riot • Fri, Aug. 9 at 8 pm • $15 • All ages • Knitting Factory • 919 W. Sprague • sp.knittingfactory.com • 244-3279