The Bright Side Of Life (Apocalypse Sound AS 209)
Rock In Rio 2013 World Stage, Cidade do Rock, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – September 22, 2013
DVD (2 hrs 2 min) Moonchild, Can I Play With Madness, The Prisoner, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, The Trooper, The Number Of The Beast, Phantom Of The Opera, Run To The Hills, Wasted Years, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant, Fear Of The Dark, Iron Maiden, Churchill’s Speech, Aces High, The Evil That Men Do, Running Free (with Drum Solo), Interview with Nicko (before the show)
Iron Maiden has a long relationship with the Rock In Rio Festival, they have played it three times and thankfully for us all three performances have been documented in superb audio and visual formats. The band’s inaugural performance happened back in 1985 during the Powerslave tour and the 50 minute footage can be seen on the official Live After Death DVD re issue. The second time the band played the festival was during their 2000 Brave New World tour, this time they headlined the event and were documented on both DVD and CD officially released as Rock In Rio. The bands third and most recent appearance was during this years festival and finds the band on their retro tour dubbed Maiden England World Tour, a throw back to the epic 1988 trek that found the band in support of the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Tour and the resulting live video release called Maiden England.
There has been a prior release of this concert, Rock In Rio 2013 Maiden England World Tour (non label, I write non label to not confuse them with the No Label company). Let’s get to the nitty gritty, the Non Label comes from a different feed, it has an arrow and Iron Maiden at the bottom of the screen that does leave and return every so often and contains more of the introductory shots of ice bergs. The AS has less of the intro and has Rock in Rio Multi Show AO VIVO #Iron Maiden Nomultishow on the screen for the entire concert and has the song titles briefly at the beginning of each song. Picture and sound wise they look and sound the same. The AS menu is simple and easy to navigate, they also have a portion of the post show fire works plus an interview with Nicko prior to the show. Nicko’s interview is fun, he compares the ages of Maiden fans to Doctor Who much to the bewilderment of the host, who smiles politely.
While the tour was based upon their 1988 trek, this current set list is more of a celebration of the bands catalog up to the Seventh Son record but also includes 2 songs from the epic Fear Of The Dark record (I say record because that is whet I used to buy back then). Set highlights for me is the haunting “Afraid To Shoot Strangers”, an absolute killer track from Fear Of The Dark that I have not heard live for some time and when I saw them last summer in during the American leg of this tour I was simply blown away. “Phantom Of The Opera” never fails to deliver, Bruce gives the song a more dramatic feel with his stage movements. Eddie makes his first appearance during “Run To The Hills” dressed as a revolutionary type soldier, towering high above the band there are some great shots of him from in back of Nicko that includes the massive audience.
He makes his second appearance in the guise as the scholar towering above the stage during “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, a song that would slightly alter his appearance by adding a long coat and changing his hair to, well for lack of a better description looks the band The Misfits. The spoken word section is cool, with The Count making an appearance on the keyboards and Bruce high up on the stage reciting the story by candle flame. “Fear Of The Dark” delivers, the massive audience does their typical scat styled chants during the opening notes prior to the vocals, and when Bruce starts singing the audience naturally follow, he even changes the lyrics to “Rock in Rio in the dark” which garners a huge ovation. There are also great shots of Steve Harris and the audience jumping up and down, even on such a large scale Maiden connects with audiences like no other band.
Eddie makes his final appearance in the icy wasteland of Iron Maiden, this time as the disembodied monster on the Seventh Son cover, complete with the seventh son struggling in the womb, very dramatic indeed. It even gets more badass when fire appears on top of Eddie’s ‘Ed. The event concludes with a massive fireworks display, the audience stay and cheer throughout, making a fitting conclusion to an excellent concert, or better described as an event.
The packaging is simple yet effective, tri gatefold sleeve wonderfully adorned with pictures from the gig, the menu is simple and easy to navigate and is, of course, a region free DVD for all to enjoy. For those who have the non label release, no need to have both but for those who are looking for a great live document from the tour, this is a nice alternative. With Maiden already releasing the old 1988 Maiden England DVD, I doubt we will see an official release from this tour, this is an excellent alternative.