Iron Maiden – Rock In Rio

Iron Maiden – Rock In Rio

Edited by Steve Harris

Sony Music (Video)

When I reviewed the Rock in Rio live CD, I said it was the closest experience to live without being there. I stand corrected. This new DVD contains the same tracks as the CD, but complete with expertly cut video from 14 different cameras, and sound mixed in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS surround sound. This is a totally different experience than the pay-per-view version of the concert, as bassist Steve Harris has re-edited the entire show.

The sound mix is incredible, with just the right amount of crowd noise coming from the surround speakers to make you feel like you are in the front row. The 250,000 person crowd sing-along during “Fear of the Dark” absolutely envelops you. The music thunders from the stage, rumbling the subwoofer and testing the high-end limits of the satellite speakers. The band is positively hyperactive throughout the two-hour set. The triple guitar attack on most songs is visually striking, as is Bruce Dickinson’s gymnastic escapades around the set and onto the different camera rigs. It is even more impressive when you realize how long these guys have been doing this: Iron Maiden was released in 1980.

The extras on the second include interviews with each of the band members during their days off on the tour, a still gallery of photos form the tour, and a short called “A Day in the Life” that follows the band around before the show in Rio. All of this helps the fan that doesn’t get a chance to meet the band really get to know the guys beyond their performances.

The only negative I can really find to this DVD is the editing. I realize that the current generation has been weaned on rapid-fire cuts from MTV and Michael Bay, but I really wished that a few of the shots would last more than one or two seconds each. Honestly, the cutting from camera to camera was nonstop. In the promotional material, they say Harris included more cuts than in most major motion pictures. I don’t doubt it after seeing the finished product. With these resources, a multi-angle feature would have been quite welcome on this DVD, but alas, that is one of the features that is not to be found.

At this point, the only advantage the CD has is portability. I cannot listen to the DVD in my office. Well, I can, but when I turn it up that loud, it tends to irritate my wife. If you are a Maiden fan with a home theater system, stop reading this and go out and buy this DVD (or open a new browser window and order it rush delivered to your home) now. If you do not have a home theater, the DVD is still an excellent presentation of the live show. I cannot recommend this highly enough for heavy metal fans in general, and Iron Maiden fans in particular.

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