Iron Maiden – Flight 666
It’s no secret that Iron Maiden is my all-time favorite band and has been since Powerslave came out in 1984. They always possessed a certain kind of power in their music that stuck with me. I’m not a total fanboy and have been vocally critical of them, as I am with any band that graces my ears, positive criticism or negative. Maiden’s put out some stinkers: Fear of the Dark, Dance of Death, the 2 with Bayley on vox…But generally they always right themselves. They really did a great album with A Matter of Life and Death. To me that was their best album since Somewhere In Time.
Now here we are in 2009. They finished an ambitious leg of the Somewhere Back In Time Tour by having Bruce Bruce fly the band and all of its crew and equipment all over tarnation while being filmed. The result of this being the Flight 666 documentary.
I received my copy Friday and watched some of it before going out and finished it over the weekend. What a power presentation. I am always blown away by a band’s fans of this magnitude. worldwide I think that Iron Maiden may be more popular than Metallica. Since I don’t pay much attention to Metallica I really shouldn’t make such claims, but whatever. This is my party.
The behind the scenes footage of the band going from city to city, country to country is pretty amazing. It’s amazing that no one got hurt. There is one particular scene in the Colombian section where a guy apparently caught one of Nicko’s sticks and he’s standing there in tears after the show with a female friend. You can just see how much the show in general meant to him and even that much more to being home a piece of it from a supposed hero of his. I get it. I really do. I’ve been to a few shows over the years that were really emotional for me, religious experiences even. This last tour was one of those experiences.
One of my best friends came to town from Arkansas to attend the show with me and it made it that much more special. The band was amazing. Bruce sounded great. Nicko seems to have gotten better over the years. Dave and Adrian and Steve and the consistent rocks in the band. I’d never seen them play at such a high level?
…and there’s Jannick Gers.
Since day 1 I have not been a fan. I never will be. It pains me to see him playing some of Adrian’s solos with “H” standing right beside him. I should add how poorly he plays them. He’s completely sloppy, always. He was in 1991 when I saw him and he was last year when I saw him. This video is even more proof of it. Sure Dave and Adrian aren’t perfect, but their playing is fine. VH-1 has been running the concert footage from this regularly so I have been able to see it several times now.
But back to Iron Maiden and this great documentary. My friend Jeff made a great observation about Maiden and it’s best that I quote it instead of paraphrasing it:
And what is the essential element that makes them so successful? Without regard to anyone in the band’s personal politics, the band itself is VERY socially conservative. They don’t have lyrics about getting wasted, f****ng chicks, teenage rebellion, rebellion against society, songs promoting social change, none of that tot. And they’re very healthy, non-destructive, and constructive in their own individual lives.
Up the Irons!