“Live After Death” (DVD) by Iron Maiden

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: “Live After Death”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 2/6/2008
Style: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5/5

I was unsure how to actually start my review for this one because as I popped it into my DVD player I felt the need to shout at the top of my lungs “Scream For Me Long Beach” but as opposed to that I guess I will begin by saying – Thank you. You see ever since the DVD medium began I had hoped to see most of if not all of my sacred stash of Heavy Metal concert and videos VHS tapes transferred to its higher quality and more capacity format. Over the years we have seen a number of these old tapes get released on DVD and some of them even took three such tapes and gave you one nice little DVD of them all. You couldn’t go wrong as you found your KISS, Rush and Twisted Sister stuff all seeing the light of DVD day but where oh where was Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” film? Finally the prayers of Metal heads every where have been answered and the film presented on the DVD format and leave it to Iron Maiden to up the game just a little bit for making you wait so long. If you have only heard the live CD of this same show on the album of the same name then you already know that this show comes from 1984 when Maiden was supporting their “Powerslave” album. The stage was big and the Metal was bigger as Bruce, Adrian, Steve, Dave and Nicko delivered an absolutely incredible performance that presented some of their new album and many of their time honored classics. If you owned this VHS tape like I did, it was one of those things that always found its way into the player when the neighborhood Metal heads came over for beers, I mean sodas and cake. No matter how often you watched it, it didn’t matter, because this was a killer show by a band that was plotting the course for Heavy Metal music for decades to come. Back in the day for us Old School fans, you always had your favorite bands and Iron Maiden was almost always in the top three of them.

With today’s technology the show that was originally shot on 35MM film has been transferred and given the once over in Digital 5.1 audio and when it begins you find yourself reaching for the volume knob to kick it up a little bit more. The video looks cleaner and a little crisper than on the VHS and this is great based on how colorful and ornate the “Powerslave” stage setup actually was. Depending on your television size, it could be like going back in time to the show at the Long Beach Arena to one of the four nights where this footage comes from. Highlights from the performance as far as then new material would definitely be “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” and all its whopping 13 or so minutes along with “Aces High” as the killer opener and dramatic “Powerslave” where the story for the record is lined out and Mr. Eddie makes his presence known. I don’t really need to line out the finer points of the early Maiden stuff since there is nothing less than praise for the whole lot of them as far as I am concerned. At the time with “Powerslave” being Maiden’s fifth album these songs were regarded as favorites more than the legendary classics that they are referred to in today’s Metal world. An absolutely incredible DVD and a must have for all supporters of the early adventurers for the genre. What makes it even better is the second DVD that comes with it.

For the second part of our program we get another show during the “Powerslave” tour when the band was in Rio back in 1985. There are only eight songs presented and Eddie doesn’t come out, but it’s still nice to see some of the tunes done again as the tour continued around the world. We get Iron Maiden “Behind The Iron Curtain” when the group made their first visit over there. It’s quite a bit of fun seeing them interact with their newest fans and there is even some jamming done by guys who were invited to a Wedding while they were there. “The History Of Iron Maiden Part 2” is on this DVD as well and it picks up where the first DVD that bore this same name left off. If you don’t have that one by any strange reason then get cracking because it is a must have for your Heavy Metal Historian side if you know what’s good for you. The second DVD closes with a very brief feature called “Ello Texas” which is some interview footage during the “Piece Of Mind” tour and this also delivers live performances of “Flight Of Icarus” and “22 Acacia Avenue”. This easily could have been a DVD release of it’s own but I was so happy to find it all wrapped up as part of the “Live After Death” package. An eight page booklet is included as well and it is loaded with liner notes and photos. This is one of those DVD’s that fans will watch often as they relive the early years of one of Metal’s greatest superpowers. “Up The Irons!!!”

Track List:
1. Churchill Speech
2. Aces High
3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
4. The Trooper
5. Revelations
6. Flight Of Icarus
7. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
8. Powerslave
9. Number Of The Beast
10. Hallowed Be Thy Name
11. Iron Maiden
12. Run To The Hills
13. Running Free
14. Sanctuary

Official Website: www.ironmaiden.com

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