on 5 March 2003
Reviewing this DVD is going to be hard, for the simple reason that how do you fairly review the first DVD by a band that, in terms of talent at least, quite seriously be considered to be the best in the world?
But fortunately, this DVD has enough flaws to constitute a fair review without just going on about how good Maiden are (although there will be plenty of that as well). The DVD, recorded in Rio before a crowd of 250,000 and lasting 2 hours, is every bit as explosive as you'd expect. Opening with the operatic 'arthurs farewell', you can literally feel the energy of the crowd as the lights shine on Nicko (drums), before Adrian (guitar) strides on and begins to blast the intro riff to set opener 'the wicker man'.
The sound quality, although not perfect, is still excellent, you can place each and every note as it is played. Although this is a review of the DVD, a word must be spared for the amazing quality of the show itself. Maiden are, as always, on top form since the return of Adiran and Bruce (vocals) after their prolonged absence, and it shows. Maiden have never been about fancy, emotional sets (how different from bands trying to be 'dramatic' and looking stupid) they just go for pure rock-your-socks-off metal, no themes (beyond maybe a picture at the back) just the most powerful metal this side of titanium alloy. Blistering solos have always been Maidens trademark, and with the return of Adrian, it just gets better.
But enough praise (for now), this DVD is by no means perfect. The editing was all 'in-house', done by Steve (bass and band leader) and it is, at times, excellent but equally, at times it is shoddy. The shots naturally focus on Bruce, but all the musicians are represented and there is no notable bias (in fact Steve often seems to delibrately keep the camera off himself) even Nicko the sticksman gets a good amount of camera time, something that most DVDs seem to be missing. The editing is often a bit over-the-top when it comes to shot changing. Most notably this is in the opening track, where the cameras change almost every second in places. Another good example is in the track 'Wrathchild', the post chorus camera changes are synched with the drums which really makes your head spin. This is the DVD's major criticism, but also, the sound editing sometimes plays up and the volume levels waver, which tends to ruin the experience somewhat. The feeling is that if Steve had left the editing to a proffessional, the experience would be more enjoyable.
That said, there are massive amounts of enjoyable moments in this DVD. As said before, the music itself is superb, blasting out a wealth of new material from the top class 'Brave new world' (Blood Brothers-most emotional solo ever?) as well as old favorites from years gone by. But of special note is the closing performance of 'run to the hills' which was performed impromptu and unrehearsed after not being played by the band for years, and it was every bit as energetic as the sets opener-testimony to the power and strength of a band who can play 2 hours without flagging (also look for Bruce's reference to Hamlet during the closing chorus). The songs are littered with moments both great and funny, and yes, Eddie is there, stumbling onstage during 'the evil that men do' to get in a fight with Janick (guitar). Every member of the band adds something to the show, from Nicko's constant face-pulling (and chuckle inspiring highland dancing during 'the clansman) to Adrian's effortless and constant cool as he stalks the stage. Bruce, of course, is his usual crowd pleasing self with his between-song comments and little sideliners ('shall we burn our little wicker virgins, how shall we have them, nice and crispy?' is a particular favorite of mine).
There are an infinite number of more things I can say, but I wont since I've said all that needs to be said and you'll either buy this or wont, hopefully, you will. Finally, a freind of mine saw this DVD and pointed out one final thing. 'all the sets are pretty much the same, isn't that a bit boring?'. But isn't this the joy of Maiden? No complications, no special track order, just metal, all the way through. The tracks can be played in fairly much any order and sound perfect, you can skip straight from 'the wicker man' through to 'run to the hills' and still feel the same energy, the same power that was there at the start. Buy this DVD, and you can watch it all the way through and marvel at some of the worlds best music. Or skip straight to your favorite song, and it works. The extras are interesting, but only a divertion from the main feature. Although my favorite moment of the whole package was the sight of Bruce standing in a hotel room, chair in hand, turn to the camera with a questioning eye and saying 'rock and roll?' before slamming the chair into a table and walking off.
Moments like this, not to mention the sight of Dave Murray (guitar) pulling of that classic solo from 'number of the beast', are enough to make you want to cheer at your TV.
on 29 June 2002
I am a Maiden fan of some 20 odd years and I am aware of the high standards they have set themselves. I don't enthuse about everything they do because I am patently aware when they fall a little short. They've had their peaks and troughs, but since the release of Brave New World Maiden have been on quite a high. This DVD captures that high quite nicely, even if it is a little rough around the edges. I agree that the editing is a bit frantic, particularly in the opening number 'The Wicker Man', which does make for dizzy viewing. It seems to settle down a bit as the show progresses, whether because Steve Harris is in a learning curve and is able to pace the edits better, or because the viewer gets accustomed to the pace of the editing and notices it less. However one cannot doubt the quality of the performance. Songs like 'Blood Brothers' and the colossal 'Dream of Mirrors' are magnificent live. Even old faves like 'The Trooper' and 'Number of the Beast' are injected with a vigour that belies the fact that Maiden must have performed them a million times over the last 20 years! Bruce's lay off from the band seems to have done him and the rest of the guys a power of good. The superb performances of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' and 'Run To The Hills' on this DVD are in total contrast to the weary performances of these songs on the 'Videopieces' video EP from 1984. A fine document of a return to form.
on 8 December 2015
On a practical level I've found this DVD problematic, certainly the first disc with the gig on it. Of the 4 devices I've tried to play it on, it's only worked properly on 2. It's been problematic on my main player (a Sony BDP-S185 Blu-Ray/DVD player) and also on my Xbox 360 but played OK on my computer and on a Philips DVD Recorder/PVR device in another room. On both problematic machines it seems to falter during 'The Evil That Men Do' whereby everything stops or stutters and becomes unplayable. This continues through to and during the following track 'Fear of the Dark'. The disc is clean and the devices have no issues with any other of my DVDs. I'm not sure why this occurs, I'm guessing it's when the device tries to read from the 2nd data layer. As a result I'm not that happy with the product on a base level.
As for the gig itself, it's rather good. I wouldn't say I enjoy it as much as either 'Live After Death' or 'Maiden England' but the band put on a spirited and energetic performance in front of a huge crowd at Rock In Rio 2001.
The track list is good, highlighting some of the more recent tracks (at the time) from Brave New World and it's great to see Bruce wrap his pipes around these alongside both 'The Sign of the Cross' and 'The Clansman' from the Blaze era. I'm a bit tired of hearing 'Iron Maiden' and 'Sanctuary' towards the end of the set though. With such a large catalogue of classic tracks to choose from it would have been nice to hear something different but that's just my personal preference and there's always the other aforementioned live releases to turn to.
As has already been mentioned numerous time before, the editing is rather hyperactive and dizzying at times and the pacing of it doesn't always work as well as it could - maybe an ADHD Eddie got involved?. Want to see what fretboard magic Adrian, Dave or Janick (when he's standing still) are weaving during a solo or lead part? Good luck as the chances are it will rapidly cut away to Nicko or some other shot. It's a bit too much at times and can't keep still for too long. I think Steve could have done with some help and advice on the pacing/flow etc. Some folks might think it helps convey the energy of the band but I find it a tad distracting and annoying.
As for the sound, well it's a Kevin Shirley mix - it's OK, kind of loud and a bit muddy, much like their studio albums with him. It's not always easy to hear what each guitar is playing and it lacks a sense of space. Much of this can be forgiven with a live mix and maybe it sounds better in 5.1. I don't know as I've had to listen to it automatically downmixed to stereo.
All in all I've enjoyed it (the times when I've been able to play it anyway) and it's great to hear them play some of the reunion-era tracks live. That said I wouldn't rate it as highly as the other live releases I've mentioned which I think have better performances, editing and sound quality.
on 24 September 2015
Really good gig of the final performance of BNW tour.The band play well,Bruce's vocals are quite strong considering how late in the tour this was shot.Negatives;The film editing is annoying at times(guitar solos missed by cameras on occasions,Adrian seems to change guitars back & forwards mid-song),the sound fluctuates later on being quite muffled on some tunes.As for the band well it's a strong performance,but I think they overdo the new stuff by about 2 songs.Just my opinion,good on 'em for NOT being a heritage act,constantly churning out the old stuff.No,you can't please everyone,but I think there should've been more of 7th son or Piece of Mind,even Somewhere In Time,but you'll never please everyone!!!!Bruce's stage patter between songs is irritating & peculiar,compared to previously.And then there's Jannick....Personally,I'm not a fan of the quality his playing at all,or his stage demeanor,shall we say.Again,just my view.This is a strong debut for the 6 piece line-up,but not as good,or as definitive as Live After Death,or as varied as Maiden England.
on 16 June 2003
What? I was reading a review of the item and someone said that they thought it was rubbish. I mean what????? And poor editing???
I must say i bought the dvd and was amazed, i also have the cd (amazing also). I think that the sound if perfect, yes the fans are loud but what do you expect it's Iron Maiden for God's sakes, wouldn't you be screaming like a baby that's lost it's candy, jeezus. It also comes with a bonus dv "A Day In The Life" which has a brilliant selection of interviews and a look at what the band do during a day, hence the tile. I would strongly recomend to new comers to the band as it contains some of maiden's best. (the only down side is the songs there are so many they should have done, but then again the show can only go o for so long!). The concert is amazing, the stage setis brill and the band are on top form. Get this then get "Vision's Of The Beast". I must add Maiden ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
on 26 November 2003
I try to be as short as possible.
First of all I am really a stickler in audio quality point of view. :)
Rock in Rio became my favourite due to the sound and visual qulity.
The camera work is nice, You can feel the concert atmosphere while watching it.
About the audio part:
The center channel is for Adrian`s guitar, which was a good idea. The surround channels makes the concert totally live.
The sound is dynamic, loud, unified and clear. The DTS sound is better, than Dolby. And You can hear the difference, and I mean it.
This concert-sound differs a bit from the well known maiden sound. Better, much better. It is outstanding.