Saturday, April 07, 2012

Iron Maiden-En Vivo!



Iron Maiden have several years between studio albums, but part of that is due to their extensive touring schedules. Of course they have released plenty of live CDs and DVDs along the way. Now we get En Vivo! take from a show on April 10th, 2011 when Maiden played in Chile's Estadio Nacional in Santiago in front of 50,000 fans. Iron Maiden have been around for well over three decades and they have been through ups and downs. However age hasn't slowed them down and the last decade has seen them get back close to the form they were in during the 1980's. Maiden fans have come to expect that live this band will go all out in stage show and performance. For this band it's never been about ego, but instead it's always been about giving their all in performing the music they believe in. Despite some less than great albums here and there over the years they still manage to shine live, they always have. The first disc on this set is the live show. Since this was the Final Frontier tour several tracks from that album are included in the first 2/3 of the set plus we get Eddie as an alien and a space ship stage set. When the DVD begins we hear the intro "Satellite 15" from "The Final Frontier", but on the DVD they show lots of clips of the band's stage being set-up and the fans waiting and then finally getting to enter the stadium. It does a fine job of setting up the excitement and then the band launches into the title track from the last album. As always the band is full of energy and let all that go into their performance. I'll just list a few of the highlights for me. "The trooper" is always highlight of any Maiden set. Bruce comes out in an army jacket waiting the British flag as band tears into this song. "The wicker man" isn't always one of my favorite Maiden songs, but they really go at it here and the crowd eats it up. "The evil that men do" is an incredible song and the performance here is tight plus we get to witness the sea of fans going crazy for it. "Hallowed by thy name" is a classic with it's haunting feel. It always translates well live as well as the tension builds gradually within the song. The sound quality is excellent, I don't think it could have been better. Bruce is slightly off in pitch on a few songs, but that's natural and I am glad they left rather than editing it to be perfect. The picture quality is sharp and consistent. I love the crowd shots that really capture the mood and the chaos. The lighting really allowed for some great shots. My only complaint here is when they go to split screen and try to cram several images into the screen at once. For me that doesn't work as well as a single image. I don't mind cutting quickly to different shots, I appreciate that. However give us one image on the screen, we want detail not little shots crammed in together. That doesn't help the viewing experience at all. Still this is a great show and the band shows they still have a lot to give. The main feature on the second disc is an 88 minute documentary called "Behind the beast". This shows all the background work that goes into getting ready for the tour and in keeping the shows going. We see a lot of the unsung heroes that help these shows get ready and keep them going. I found it quite interesting to learn all the details and preparation that goes into a production this size. They talk to roadies, sound people and more. I think this documentary shows the dedication of Maiden and their crew towards in giving the best show they can. The documentary covers the preparation for travel through the filming of this show to the end of the tour and several shows along the way. The pacing and all the different aspects they cover help it to be interesting. The second disc also includes the video and making of for "Satellite 15/The final Frontier" plus a world tour show introduction.Live Maiden releases are frequent, but the great audiences and extras like "Behind the beast" make this is essential for Maiden fans.

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