Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio (2002)
Director: Dean Karr
After being absent from Maidenâ€™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 â€śBrave New Worldâ€ť tour.
â€śWhen you know that your time is close at hand, maybe then you'll begin to understand. Life down there is just a strange illusion.â€ť -- 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 â€śhorrorâ€ť inclined album covers which displayed a sicko ghoul named â€śEddieâ€ť 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. Wowâ€¦what a show that was. Iâ€™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 â€śmachine gunâ€ť 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! Heâ€™s a genius! Not bad for a couple of guys over 40! They put some of todayâ€™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 â€śDream of Mirrorsâ€ť which showcased many levels tempo-wise, while putting out thought-provoking lyrics. Itâ€™s the type of offering you can get lost in. â€śThe Wicker Manâ€ť is also a favorite of mine in its anthem-like flavor and you just canâ€™t go wrong with â€śThe Mercenaryâ€ť. The chorus from that one always gets me riled up: â€śnowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you have to kill to stay aliveâ€ť. Yeah, bitch! We also got a couple of much welcomed older ditties. I personally went buck wild when â€śThe Trooperâ€ť kicked in. Simple, hard hitting and to the point. It was always one of my numero uno songs. The poignant â€śHallowed be thy Nameâ€ť also rocked my boat hardcore. It should be said that they didnâ€™t play all the tunes I was hoping for (I needed â€śRhyme of the Ancient Marinerâ€ť!), but with so many exceptional ditties in their roster, it was expected that I wouldnâ€™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. â€śParental figuresâ€ť 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 â€śMaxwell Houseâ€ť 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, Iâ€™ll say somethingâ€¦I canâ€™t wait for the weekendâ€¦I need to unwind and get laid!
"Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio" put some of that much needed positive â€śjoo-jooâ€ť 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 â€śDance of Deathâ€ť 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. Iâ€™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: â€śThe Wicker Manâ€ť (Brave New World) / "Ghost of the Navigatorâ€ś (Brave New World) / â€śBrave New Worldâ€ť (Brave New World) / â€śWrathchildâ€ť (Killers) / â€ś2 Minutes to Midnightâ€ť (Powerslave) / â€śBlood Brothersâ€ť (Brave New World) / â€śSign of the Crossâ€ť (The X Factor) / â€śThe Mercenaryâ€ť (Brave New World) / â€śThe Trooperâ€ť (Piece of Mind) / â€śDream of Mirrorsâ€ť (Brave New World) / â€śThe Clansmanâ€ť (Virtual XI) / â€śThe Evil That Men Doâ€ť (Seventh Son of a Seventh Son) / â€śFear of the Darkâ€ť (Fear of the Dark) / â€śIron Maidenâ€ť (Iron Maiden).
And for the Encore we got: â€śThe Number of the Beastâ€ť (The Number of the Beast) / â€śHallowed Be Thy Nameâ€ť (The Number of the Beast) / â€śSanctuaryâ€ť (Iron Maiden) / â€śRun to the Hillsâ€ť (The Number of the Beast).
The DVD also sported interviews with each band member, a documentary called â€śA Day in the Lifeâ€ť 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 â€śCharbel Haekâ€ť 1973-1994. RIP buddy. We miss you.