Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL, USA – March 11, 1987
Disc 1 (45:54) Intro: Theme From Blade Runner, Caught Somewhere In Time, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Children Of The Damned, Stranger In A Strange Land, Wasted Years, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Disc 2 (54:41) Guitar Solo, Heaven Can Wait, Phantom Of The Opera, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden, The Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills, MC & Member Introduction, Running Free
Zodiac 105 is a companion piece to Caught Somewhere In Milwaukee (Zodiac 104) and rightfully so. Both shows where recorded within days of each other and offer collectors a comprehensive view of the band during the North American tour. It seems like the majority of the documents from this tour are from the UK / European leg but these two releases show there were some excellent recordings from America, one thing that the American gigs also have in common is the band is in full stride, they play the new material with a confidence honed by months of touring and the band were again playing to capacity crowds, something that they would see dwindle over subsequent tours.
Like the Milwaukee gig there exists a very good to near excellent recording, but unlike that gig the tape from Chicago is complete, there is a tape flip between Rime and the Guitar solo but no music is lost. The recording is slightly distant and is clear and well balanced. It seems the taper found a sweet spot as there is zero crowd noise on the tape and that is why in many trading circles it is listed as a soundboard. The audience actually sounds like they are off in the distance and that is the only negative of this recording as it does not have the feel like your there ambience that the Milwaukee recording has. There has been a single release of this show Fiery The Angels Fell (The Godfatherecords G.R. 322), when both titles are compared this new release is just a bit clearer and has a slightly more crisp sound but is just a minimal upgrade. Where Zodiac wins is they present the complete tape, the Godfather title was missing the encores.
The performance is excellent, the band seem to bring a little something extra for Chicago, Bruce tells the audience between 2 Minutes To Midnight and Children Of The Damned that this “One of the biggest shows in North America….first time we ever headlined anything real big was in Chicago land along long time ago….Chicago has been very special to us” and he dedicates Children to them. Bruce’s stage banter is similar to the Milwaukee gig as is the performance so there is no need for another concert play by play save for the encores. After standard kick ass versions of The Number Of The Beast and Run To The Hills, Bruce again gives a nice speech to the fans for the support as well as a shout out to Z-Rock (an FM radio station that played metal) and then tells them its Steve Harris’ birthday today, well actually the next day (March 12) and leads the audience in singing Happy Birthday to him! Great stuff.
The packaging is again excellent, the artwork is most similar to Caught Somewhere In Milwaukee. The Eddie’s are different which is nice, both covers feature all five members and the rear of both features just the guitarists. The CD’s have the same pictures on them, Milwaukee has a blue hue, Chicago is green and both inner trays feature shots from the same desert photo shoot and both come with a numbered sticker. I did ask myself if I needed both shows, it turns out I did as both have been in regular rotation on my player for the past month. We now have the definitive Chicago 1987 release and another fine effort by Zodiac.