29 January 2011 | ajs-10
A real MUST for all Maiden fans!...
I was checking out what was on TV the other night and found this tucked away after midnight. As a bit of a fan of Iron Maiden, (I've seen them a couple of times over the years) I thought I'd give it a go. What I found really surprised me, a very professional bunch of guys that happen to play some great heavy metal music (IMO). But more of my thoughts later, here's a very brief summary first (summary haters please load the plane while I write the next paragraph).
Iron Maiden hardly ever get their records played on mainstream radio and are seldom featured on mainstream Music TV. And yet their albums always sell well and they have a massive fan base all over the world. As part of their 2008 Somewhere Back in Time tour they provided their own transport in order to reach some of these fans in far-flung parts of the world. The transport took the form on a 757 jet, modified to accommodate the entire crew, the band and all of their equipment. Of course the plane was piloted (amongst others) by their lead singer and qualified pilot, Bruce Dickinson. We see the logistics of moving such a huge operation through India, Australia, Japan, Los Angeles, Mexico, Central and South America, before ending in Canada. Interviews with the band, the crew and many of the fans intersperse live performances of many of their classic songs. It gives a real insight into the lives of the band members and just what life is like on the road these days for this group of musicians who, let's face it, aren't too young any more. But that's enough summary, here's what I think of it.
As a fan of Iron Maiden, of course I like this documentary. As a fan of film, I think it's very well edited and gives a coherent chronological account of the international leg of the tour. The balance between the live performances and the interviews and the narration is just about right for me. It may be a little long for those that aren't fans of the band, but I guess if you're not a fan then you wouldn't choose to watch it. So, over all, a definite recommendation for fans of Iron Maiden, but maybe give it a miss if you're not.
For those that are fans, what follows is a list of live tracks included in the film: "Aces High", "Transylvania", "Wrathchild", "Moonchild", "2 Minutes to Midnight", "Revelations", "The Trooper", "For the Greater Good of God", "Number of the Beast", "Wasted Years", "Can I Play with Madness", "Powerslave", "Run to the Hills", "Heaven Can Wait", "Fear of the Dark", "Iron Maiden", "Rime of the Ancient Mariener", "Hallowed Be Thy Name" My score: 8.3/10