By Bob Nalbandian

Rock In Rio (Live DVD)
By Fredrik Hjelm

Iron Maiden headlines one of the biggest metal shows on Earth before a sell-out crowd in Brazil - 250,000 metal maniacs go nuts as the latest affirmation, as far as Metal superstardom goes, becomes eternal on DVD. "Infinite Dreams" are not a dream for Maiden anymore, the hardworking Englishmen are already in the hearts of all the fans that attended as well as the millions that watched the global TV-broadcast.

The production of many modern live-concert shows is many times re-recorded after the actual performance due to the so-called "microphone-bleed" and other unwanted noises. This is, however, what makes a live recording "live", and not a glorified studio recording. As I stated to Bruce Dickinson when I met him in Santa Monica earlier this year, "the sound of this concert CD doesn't seem to have been tampered with in any way...it's got the perfectly produced "bootleg" feel which should make the true Maiden-fans happy." There are no re-recorded parts on this production and, even though you can hear a few mistakes here and there, this is what Metal is all about. "I think this one will replace Live After Death as far as legendary performances goes," Dickinson replied. The camera work is good as well - it goes from the long, sweeping shots coming at the stage from afar, to the intense close-ups where you can almost smell Steve Harris' stinky socks as he combats the stage with Dickinson, Eddie and the boys. The Brazilians are going crazy during this concert, and even though the English language is far from the native Portuguese spoken in this country, the fans all seem to know the lyrics to just about every song performed.

The tracklist is better than many other Maiden-tours of the past. The newer songs keep up with the musical quality of classic tracks like "The Trooper", and "Wrathchild". In "The Clansman" and "Brave New World," you get a good feel for what the 2nd generation of Iron Maiden fans like - there is no doubt about the loyalty towards this band and I think that speaks for itself. Some older Maiden fans have criticized this tracklist as not being "classic" enough, which I agree with in a sense. Maiden did play more or less all of the classic tunes as late as '99 on Dickinson's reunion tour and to the new Maiden-generation, there are newer songs that sound just as "Maiden" as "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Sanctuary". After all, it wouldn't make sense to re-record the "World Slavery Tour," would it? The individual performances are great. Steve Harris looks as if he's time-traveled from the "Beast On The Road"-tour of '82. Perhaps he's been preserved in some kind of Michael Jackson-style oxygen chamber. Nicko's still a nut and the three guitar gurus, Dave, Adrian and Jannick, are also giving the crowd all they've got.

Dickinson looks very energetic during this performance, and I agree when he states that "he's in the shape of his life". He goes from the classic mad leaps, to the wacky Russian "Kosack-dance". I have rarely seen him sweatier - you can tell he takes this performance very seriously and gives it his all. My personal "Favorite Dickinson" was during the World Piece Tour in '83, when he had been in Maiden for about a year.

This package also includes a special bonus-DVD, featuring interviews and home videos that show what the band members do on their time off. You'll see Nicko and Dave playing golf, Dickinson fencing, and 'Arry (Steve Harris) playing soccer.

Whether you're an old-school Maiden fan or new to the band, I highly recommend "Rock In Rio." You won't be disappointed! Up the Irons!