REVIEW OF SPECIAL SHOWING OF THE FILM TUESDAY 21st APRIL HATFIELD GALLERIA
When many people see the title of this DVD they could expect 2 hours of non stop head banging to Iron Maiden, and in that respect may be disappointed. There are numerous snippets from their 2008 world tour in venues as diverse as Mumbai and San Jose, but overall the film provides an insight into the workings of a unique piece of rock history.
In Bruce Dickinson Iron Maiden have a leader who is not only a musician, world class fencer, radio presenter, but a fully qualified commercial airline pilot, and it is his flying prowess which laid the basis for the tour. Several documentaries have been filmed about rock tours and generally comprise endless shots of black flight cases with fleets of Edwin Shirley trucks (other trucking companies are readily available) criss-crossing motorways in the UK and Europe.
It was decided that by modifying a Boeing 757 jet the group, management, and road crew together with staging, lights, and sound equipment could fly around the world perform a show, then take off the following day to the next venue. Perhaps this all sounds tedious but from the first sight of their beautifully sign written plane at Stansted, to the final chord struck in Toronto Canada the film keeps your attention without flagging.
There was a very human element to this documentary and what came across to me is the great family atmosphere the whole touring party created between themselves. The production director deciding he was retiring "again", the comment from the roadies that they can party as hard as anyone but at 7am or before if necessary they will all be ready to work without fail, the friendly banter with the air stewards never getting malicious.
In some ways the film is also a travelogue with stunning shots of cities, and the chaos from when their plane touched down until they were safely inside their hotel. The sickness the group encountered in India, perfect organisation of the shows in Melbourne and Sydney contrasting with the disturbing scenes in Bolivia showing fans camped out on the road for 10 days to see their heroes perform only to have their basic possessions stolen by the police.
There is plenty of stage footage to please die hard fans and interviews with band members who I felt gave a well balanced view of life on the road. Many of their entourage have been with the group since the early days of transit vans and motorway service stations so comfort levels have certainly increased. Perhaps the most revealing statement regarding media/fan pressure was the comment that once in the sanctuary of their hotel complete privacy should be given ... you would not think it from the hundreds of fans storming the reception area in Santiago.
There is a very fine line between success and failure in the music business so to remain in the top flight for nearly 30 years is a remarkable achievement. Iron Maiden still attract fans worldwide from ages 7 to 70 and I feel this DVD will appeal to anyone whos interest goes beyond buying their latest CD and attending the odd concert.
(Review by "Frank")
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