Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio (2002)
Director: Dean Karr
After being absent from Maiden’s last two CDs, beloved lead singer Bruce Dickinson returned to the band that made him famous for the kick ass "Brave New World" album (released on May 29th, 2000). Guitarist Adrian Smith, who was out of the band for 10 years, also returned to the fold for this new collection of dead-on tunes. "Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio" chronicled the last show of the “Brave New World” tour.
“When you know that your time is close at hand, maybe then you'll begin to understand. Life down there is just a strange illusion.” -- Hallowed be thy Name
Brit rockers Iron Maiden will always have a special place in my wretched heart. I was first attracted to the band because of their “horror” inclined album covers which displayed a sicko ghoul named “Eddie” in various scenarios. I eventually discovered the quality music behind the "goretoons" and Iron Maiden wound up being the only band that I ever worshipped. Shite, I actually used to own 7 Iron Maiden T -Shirts, one for every day of the week. Maiden was also the first band that broke my live performance cherry via their Seventh Son Tour. Wow…what a show that was. I’ll remember it my whole life.
Recorded on January 2001 in Rio de Janeiro in front of over 250,000 fans, this concert saw Iron Maiden explode on stage and bring the house down with high energy and a slew of their better songs as weapons. Front man Bruce Dickinson was on top of his game running and jumping around like a speed demon while displaying mucho maturity in his vocals. Band founder and bass player Steve Harris was also in stellar form as he played his “machine gun” bass fervently and the same could be said about Nicko McBain who hit those drums with purpose. As for lead guitarists Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Adrian Smith, well, they handled their guitar licks like the champs that they are. Do you remember the sound of a gnarly guitar solo? These guys sure do. Dave Murray, in particular, never ceased to amaze me! Look at that guy go! He’s a genius! Not bad for a couple of guys over 40! They put some of today’s younger bands to shame in terms of delivering a full-on adrenalized show.
The tracks played here were mostly off the "Brave New World" album and lucky for me, I love all of them to death. In addition to being solid musicians, Iron Maiden have thankfully not lost their knack at gripping storytelling via their songs through the years. I have such a soft spot for “Dream of Mirrors” which showcased many levels tempo-wise, while putting out thought-provoking lyrics. It’s the type of offering you can get lost in. “The Wicker Man” is also a favorite of mine in its anthem-like flavor and you just can’t go wrong with “The Mercenary”. The chorus from that one always gets me riled up: “nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you have to kill to stay alive”. Yeah, bitch! We also got a couple of much welcomed older ditties. I personally went buck wild when “The Trooper” kicked in. Simple, hard hitting and to the point. It was always one of my numero uno songs. The poignant “Hallowed be thy Name” also rocked my boat hardcore. It should be said that they didn’t play all the tunes I was hoping for (I needed “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”!), but with so many exceptional ditties in their roster, it was expected that I wouldn’t get them all.
Overall, "Rock in Rio", did exactly that: IT ROCKED! Although minimal in theatrics when compared to past Maiden concerts, we still got our crazy lighting and a couple of kool Eddie appearances. I find it ironic that in the day, heavy metal had such a bad rap. “Parental figures” claimed it encouraged devil worship and suicide. In this case, heavy metal most likely saved this fan from a healthy cup of X-Mas "Drano" (rough night tonight) by providing him with gripping tunes and a return to a positive state of being. Whoever says heavy metal is evil can kiss my white ass! Whoever said heavy metal is dead, has shamefully overlooked Iron Maiden. UP THE IRONS!
Eddie the monster mascot showed up a few times in all of his ghoulish glory.
Sure, they're now older gentlemen, but Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, Steve Harris, Adrian Smith, Janick Gers and Nicko MacBain plowed through this show like “Maxwell House” junkies on a mission. WOW! No wheelchairs for these guys anytime soon!
T & A
Lots of shaggy chest hairs popping out of t-shirts for the ladies to swoon over.
Countless cameras were used to shoot this live performance and they were all over the freaking map. Wide shots, tight shots, POV shots, tilted angles, you name it, and we got it here in heavy doses. Bruce Dickinson, in particular, had a blast interacting with the lens.
Do I even need to say something here? Ok, I’ll say something…I can’t wait for the weekend…I need to unwind and get laid!
"Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio" put some of that much needed positive “joo-joo” back in my life, with songs that delivered pure Metal while, at times, sharing depth-filled stories via thought-out lyrics. Backed up by high octane energy and lighting motifs that can only be described as pure Maiden, this concert gave me quite an ear/eyeful. With their new album “Dance of Death” now among us (it came out on September 8th, 2003) and owning big-time like Maiden should, you can expect me to hit their live concert when they drop by my neck of the graveyard. I’ve been away from my main dudes for way too long. Time to dust off the jean jacket, sow back the patches and unearth the Iron Maiden T-shirts. Time for life to make sense again.
The songs they played in this concert were: “The Wicker Man” (Brave New World) / "Ghost of the Navigator“ (Brave New World) / “Brave New World” (Brave New World) / “Wrathchild” (Killers) / “2 Minutes to Midnight” (Powerslave) / “Blood Brothers” (Brave New World) / “Sign of the Cross” (The X Factor) / “The Mercenary” (Brave New World) / “The Trooper” (Piece of Mind) / “Dream of Mirrors” (Brave New World) / “The Clansman” (Virtual XI) / “The Evil That Men Do” (Seventh Son of a Seventh Son) / “Fear of the Dark” (Fear of the Dark) / “Iron Maiden” (Iron Maiden).
And for the Encore we got: “The Number of the Beast” (The Number of the Beast) / “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (The Number of the Beast) / “Sanctuary” (Iron Maiden) / “Run to the Hills” (The Number of the Beast).
The DVD also sported interviews with each band member, a documentary called “A Day in the Life” where we see what the band does with their spare time and a photo gallery with commentary by the photographer.
This review is dedicated to my friend and comrade in Maiden “Charbel Haek” 1973-1994. RIP buddy. We miss you.