After already catching Iron Maiden's 1982 Beast On The Road Tour, where they opened for Judas Priest, and then their 1983 World Piece Tour, where they first became legitimate arena headliners, I then had to pass on the next tour, their legend-making World Slavery Tour of 2004-2005, thanks to being shipped off to Navy boot camp right before I had the chance.
Iron Maiden are one of those rare bands that I have actually grown to like more and more with each passing year and album. They are still making some of the best new music of their career, and as this new DVD will attest, they are still performing better than ever. I can list on one hand other bands that have been around as long as Maiden, where that same sentiment applies.
Flight 666 is a fascinating two-hour documentary that takes you behind the scenes of Iron Maiden's globetrotting Somewhere Back In Time World Tour of 2008. This was not just your average tour, in more ways than one. For starters, Iron Maiden frontman/airline pilot, Bruce Dickinson, came up with the idea of using a customized jumbo jet to carry the band, crew, and equipment to all of the stops on the tour. Oh, and he also piloted the damn thing – a massive Boeing 757 that was appropriately christened "Ed Force One," after their endearing mascot.
What a site that must have been to see this plane, with a huge Iron Maiden logo and pictures of Eddie emblazoned all over the place, touchdown at your airport.The luxury of having your own singer fly you and your entire crew and stage show around, is that it allowed them to play more remote places, such as India, Costa Rica, and Chile, that are usually deemed too costly to play. Dickinson basically told the tour manager to string together all of the countries that accountants say "you can't go there, it cost too much." During the six-week, first-leg, of the tour, from which this film was recorded, the band would play an amazing 21 cities, in 12 countries, on 4 continents.
The Somewhere Back In Time World Tour revisited Iron Maiden's ancient Egyptian themed World Slavery Tour stage set of 84-85. The setlist also focused on the band's 1980's material, with 1985's Powerslave album getting the most play with four songs. The only post '80s song performed was the always excellent "Fear Of The Dark," from the 1992 album of the same name. Dickinson was adamant that this tour was not undertaken for the sake of nostalgia, but rather as a gift to all of the younger fans that have been turning out in droves on their recent tours, and have not had the pleasure of witnessing a lot of their older material.
The DVD also features an incredible 16-song concert performance, with each song coming from a different night/city on the tour. Put it this way, if you think that the World Slavery Tour was Iron Maiden's pinnacle, and you still find yourself watching Live After Death on a weekly basis, then you will be tickled pink by this new addition to the Maiden catalog. Hell, they even opened the shows the same way with Churchill's speech, followed by the two Powerslave classics, "Aces High" and "2 Minutes To Midnight."
The documentary film really captures just how incredibly popular Iron Maiden are throughout the world, especially in South America where it was absolute madness before, during, and after every show. Every time the band arrived at the airport or their hotel, it looked like they were ready to shit their pants at the site of some of the mob scenes that were there to greet them. But hey, its nothing a few hundred armed soldiers can't take care of.
One of the funniest scenes was of a young fan in Mumbai, who after getting his guitar autographed by the band, was asked if he was happy. With a beaming grin on his face, he replies in that distinct Indian accent, "Ho, ho, ho, it's not even funny man!" I nearly spit my drink all over myself.
Flight 666 was filmed in stunning Hi-Definition, which really does justice to all of the awe-inspiring shots from around the globe, the concert stage, and from the Ed Force One cockpit. Many of the shots almost look like you are watching an IMAX film they look so good. The overall consistency was very impressive, considering that they had to film all of the concerts for this DVD.
Although the camera editing was a bit too choppy for my taste during the concert film, it was still much less frantic than most of the other Iron Maiden DVDs. Audio is provided in both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround as well as PCM stereo and they are all winners.
Flight 666 is a required purchase for all Iron Maiden fans. Now excuse me while I go pull my foot out of my own ass for missing the tour last year. Up the Irons!
01. Aces High (Mumbai)
02. 2 Minutes To Midnight (Melbourne)
03. Revelations (Sydney)
04. The Trooper (Tokyo)
05. Wasted Years (Monterrey)
06. The Number Of The Beast (Los Angeles)
07. Can I Play With Madness (Mexico City)
08. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (New Jersey)
09. Powerslave (San Jose)
10. Heaven Can Wait (Sao Paulo)
11. Run To The Hills (Bogota)
12. Fear Of The Dark (Buenos Aires)
13. Iron Maiden (Santiago)
14. Moonchild (San Juan)
15. The Clairvoyant (Curitiba)
16. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Toronto)