Subtlety? Not here, mate!,
This review is from: Live After Death [DVD]  (DVD)
1983/84. Iron Maiden have started to eat the world.The "World Slavery" tour, from which this is taken is a phenomenal success. This shows the boys in all their excessive, spectacular splendour, with a stage show from the KISS school of restraint, and as such is bound to confirm the prejudices of any one who loves OR hates this kind of thing.Pyrotechnics, dry ice by the ocean, spandex, this is '80s Metal writ very very large indeed.
That's not to say it isn't very good.It is.The musicianship is stunning,the stage show is expertly executed, and HUGELY visual,with a massive stage set complementing rather than overshadowing at all times.Bruce-who will be played by Terry Gilliam in the inevitable biopic- jumps around like a tasmanian devil, tells stories,sings like only a heavy metal hollerer can.His opening vocals on the first couple of songs are a bit dodgy, but once he finds his feet he is away.Adrian-dressed like most of Duran Duran all at once, and Dave, (Jane Horrocks?) are superb guitarists who really know their trade.Steve knows the words to every song,(as he should, he wrote them) and sings all the way through, an endearing trait along with the machine gun bass pose he is so fond of.He founded this band, and must be so proud of this. He clearly loves every minuite.Nicko the drummer is just unbelievable. How do you get to be that good?
They do, of course, spill over into the dreaded world of Spinal Tap, and it would be a brave man who could justify the sight of Eddy running around during "Powerslave".It would also be a very humourless man indeed who would look at the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" with a perfectly straight face.The second movement, where to a plodding bass, the guitarists align in spotlights, waist deep in dry ice, before the final instalment erupts in an orgy of smoke and flashbombs is, quite simply, Tap.It's magnificent, it's amazing, but it IS Tap.The very idea of writing a song based on the poem is itself a brilliant conceit.It could not be presented any other way.There is also an instance of Bruce carrying Dave around on his shoulders later on, and the poor man looks TERRIFIED. Rock Gods indeed!
One for the fans then, mainly, although I would say that to anyone who wants to watch this, the secret is to disengage your reservations and just wallow in it. It is tremendous fun on that level, and although some say the songs and the band lack heart and soul, for sheer entertainment it is among the best two hours you will ever spend.