Up the irons! Iron Maiden are back once again with what, according to Wikipedia, would be their 10th live album EN VIVO. That’s right, they are so good live that they require a live album EVERY time they tour these days. I’m sure they will claim that’s how they can reach those that couldn’t attend the tour. I’ll claim it as milking the diehards. it doesn’t matter though. It’s Iron Maiden, and even though someone like me knows it’s an unnecessary release, I’ll be one of those diehards who’s teet is being squeezed once again by England’s finest.
EN VIVO captures a concert in Chile, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from Maiden. They sound great, as they always do. Working through music from their fairly average release THE FINAL FRONTIER, the band gets a good portion of the required, but unnecessary material out of the way from the start. “Satellite 15”, “The Final Frontier” and “El Dorado” come and go with a lot more energy than their recorded counterparts, thanks in large part to the neverending intensity provided by vocalist Bruce Dickinson. If you’ve seen Maiden before, you know that Dickinson never stops running throughout a show, and yet he sounds great throughout. The now too familiar cries of “Scream For Me, Chile” permeate most of the material as he engages the crowd and plays off the energy they give back. Both he and the band are hitting on all cylinders by the time they work into “2 Minutes To Midnight”, which comes surprisingly early in the set.
On EN VIVO the band are definitely focused and determined to touch on a good portion of material from most parts of their long career. With all their classic material they have to offer, itt was surprising to see so much latter day material performed in this set. Songs like “Blood Brothers”, “Dance Of Death” and “The Wickerman” all mix in surprisingly well with the classics. Overall, Maiden dedicates 8 of the 17 total songs to material released since 2000; surprising when you consider how much history they have. It all sounds good though. The dual or tri-guitar attack of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers (if he’s even plugged in…we all wonder that) sound as strong as ever, although a bit more raw than on many previous tours. They tear through the galloping number “The Talisman”.
Still, an Iron Maiden concert tends to convert itself into a massive sing along when the band hits on any of their classics. No change here, as the Chileans are belting it out full force with the band on songs like “The Trooper” and “Fear Of The Dark”. Drummer Nicko McBrain seems to be literally pummelling the drums on the aforementioned “Trooper”, and they sound booming. By the time they finish with a 4 song barrage of their best work – “Iron Maiden”, “The Number Of The Beast”, “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “Running Free”, it’s clear that they had given Chile another primo show.
PITRIFF RATING – 80/100 – I know that Maiden is now a theme band of sorts with every tour, and they have too many metal classics to play them all and still promote a new record. Still, this tour features nothing from SOMEWHERE IN TIME. It only features one song from POWERSLAVE, SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON and nothing from KILLERS. I’m all for promoting the new album, but those albums demand attention. Still, Iron Maiden is always welcome in my player, and I’m willing to be ripped off every couple of years by them with live releases. As was previously stated, Up The Irons!