Welcome To The Final Frontier (The Godfatherecords G.R.629/630)
Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moscow, Russia – February 11, 2011
Disc 1 (57:29) Satellite 15…The final Frontier, El Dorado, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Coming Home, Dance Of Death, The Trooper, The Wicker Man, Blood Brothers
Disc 2 (61:37) When The Wild Wind Blows, The Evil That Men Do, The Talisman, Fear Of The Dark, Iron Maiden, The Number Of The Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Running Free
Iron Maiden released the long awaited follow up to 2006’s A Matter Of Life And Death in August 2011. The Final Frontier had the Internet buzzing with rumors it would be the bands swan song but after a few listens it seems that it is just the opposite. Since reforming with singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith in 1999 the band has grown together to become a cohesive music machine. Godfathers chose wisely to wait for the 2011 leg of the tour for this release (The 2010 leg only had one song from the new record and was more of a warm up tour since the record was not yet released) so this American reviewer can savor a complete show from the tour in incredible quality.
The recording from Moscow is an excellent sounding three dimensional and well balance with virtually no crowd interference near the recorder and requires repeated listening’s. The recording opens with the last strains of UFO’s Doctor, Doctor and leads directly into Satellite 15…the Final Frontier, a tail woven with inspiration to David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The songs flow from here, El Dorado and 2 Minutes To Midnight, a song that deserves its place in every Maiden show follow and lead to Iron Maiden’s first road song.
Coming Home sounds like it could have been culled from Dickinson solo records with its themes of leaving loved ones and flying to the next port of call and the enjoyment Bruce gets from piloting aircraft. I took in two shows during the American leg last year and the next song was a favorite from the tour. Dance of Death is a song that pulls you in through its tale of being draw into something that you will never escape from. It also gave Bruce the chance to do a bit of acting with masks and cape, certainly a very effective live track. The first disc is rounded out with a thundering version of The Trooper, the three guitar attack blows you over with ferocity, and two tracks from Brave New World, The Wicker Man (RIP Ingrid Pitt) and Blood Bothers.
The second disc starts off with one of the longest tracks the band has ever done, clocking in a just over 10 minutes the Harris penned When The Wild Wind Blows is lyrically and musically epic in every aspect. The haunting story of a man who see’s the end coming and his reflections of his life and its eventual end is superbly played by the band, it is progressive rock at its best. The last track to be played from the new cd, The Talisman again tells a tale of a man who puts his fate in the hopes of a new land and thematically is at time similar to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner where one is stranded in time, in the words of Bruce “it fucking rocks”.
The end of the main set is started with Fear Of The Dark and is finished with Iron Maiden, the first being ones fear of what follows you and the second the finality of it all, at the bloody hand of a maniac great stuff indeed. The encores are text book Maiden, The Number Of The Beast and Hallowed Be Thy Name but it was the final encore that got me. The dusted of jewel Running Free, Bruce remarks at the beginning “its been a long time!”. It contains the call and response section like on the famous live version from Live After Death record and band introductions, a fitting end to a beautifully played concert.
The packaging is typical Godfathers, adorned with cd and tour graphics and pictures of the band in action on stage, couple the excellent performance and packaging this release is highly recommended. UP THE IRONS !