As if two nights of greasy, raw, tasty guitar riffs from Ace Frehley and Norse battle hymns from Tyr weren’t enough, I had to get in one more high-energy night featuring some eighties-style hard rock and assist New York with Lillian Axe and Alcatrazz in saying farewell to the queens of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, Girlschool with an hour to spare before doors opened at 7:00 PM, I enjoyed a medium-rare Eastsider Burger and a grilled chicken salad at Paul’s Da Burger Joint in the East Village and then roamed towards the Gramercy Theatre.

First up was a revamped version of the Los Angeles-born heavy metal icons Alcatrazz with keyboard maestro Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea at the helm playing nearly an hour-long set, and it was great to experience Giles Lavery and New York’s Joe Stump playing the roles of Graham Bonnet and famed Alcatrazz shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. The set was a career retrospective of vintage material heavily focusing on their 1984 debut, No Parole from Rock ‘n Roll, and newer cuts like Battlelines and Little Viper – a quite charismatic set from Alcatrazz, getting the stage lit up for the cajun and slick sounds of Lillian Axe.

The second big opener was Louisiana’s very own Lillian Axe. If I never heard XI The Days Before Tomorrow in 2012, I would have boxed them in with some of my least favorite eighties rock groups like Danger Danger and Poison. Lillian Axe is anything but lifeless shite rock. They have more in common with Vain than with Trixter. The set featured a good cross-section of their history, with Michael Darby and Steve Blaze as the two original members performing Death Comes Tomorrow and Show a Little Love. It was a treat to see them live. Even the performance was more profound than your basic strutting-down Hollywood-Boulevard rock band. If you have not heard Lillian Axe other than by their name, give them a listen. After what felt like a soul-searching experience – it was time for the long-awaited return of the legends in Girlschool.

Keeping the harmonious times flowing in the classic metal sense between all three sets was DJ Alex Kayne laying down some of the best of the best of the best from that decade, such as Angel Witch’s eponymous song, Armored Saint’s March of the Saint, Iron Maiden with Flight of Icarus as well as Gangland from Tygers of Pan Tang.

Forty-six years young, last up was the British hard rock royalty from the era of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Girlschool. It was my second time seeing them since they headlined Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar in 2015. Nine years later, the lassies came out swinging as if no time had passed. Although the set seemed swift, Girlschool loaded their song list with thirteen of their absolute best tracks like Demolition Boys, The Hunter, Emergency, It Is What It Is, and all the improvised, street-wise English stage banter between the quartet was great. Their set brought many back to when the new wave style of heavy metal began in England in the early eighties. Kim McAuliffe’s voice and performability remain dangerous and sharp. Denise Dufort pounds the drums better than ever alongside Jackie Chambers (bass) and Tracey Lamb (guitar), amplifying the super-charged lineup. It was a fist-raising, head-banging, hell of a performance.

My other favorite part of the night arrived near the end. Girlschool paid homage to Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister with a cover of Bomber. Girlschool, after all, are considered to be the female counterpart of Motorhead. He was a wise man, that Lemmy. The supposed final performance in New York ended with a hyperactive version of Screaming Blue Murder.

It was an exciting night for dyed-in-the-wool metal enthusiasts like myself and others. The British metal amazement they brought New York one more time was tremendous. In hindsight, it made me wonder, is this the final North American Girlschool tour, let alone the last New York gig? We all have opinions on the buzz term farewell tour. But you know what? Call it altered logistics. Call it the cost of travel. Call it ease of visa costability. Unless it’s a one-off performance like the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise or the Monsters of Rock events, I believe that this is the last time Girlschool will grace America as a touring entity. With hopefully a part two leg of West Coast-only dates getting worked on, do yourselves a favor and see this timeless band if you messed up on attending an East Coast date and you’re deep into this music like me. Life’s is short, buy the concert tickets.

The takeaway of my thirty-six-hour adventure is judging by about a thousand strong I stood with throughout three consecutive nights when we felt the seventies power surge of Ace Frehley! Lead guitar! Shock Me! Entering modern-day Faroese battles with Tyr to hailing the NWOBHM legacy of Girlschool and the five great support acts is that the main thing we unanimously share is a sweeping sense of exhilaration that we get to see our favorite bands live for the first time, second time, or the umpteenth time, no matter the decade or the genre.