Iron Maiden-Rock in Rio (2002)

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Released 17-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Interviews-Cast
Easter Egg
Featurette-A Day In The Life
Featurette-Ross Halfin Photo Diary
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 124:09
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:36)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Audio Format Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Dean Karr
Steve Harris
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Bruce Dickinson
Janick Gers
Steve Harris
Nicko McBrain
Dave Murray
Adrian Smith
Case Brackley-Trans-Lipped-Dual
RPI $49.95 Music Iron Maiden
Jerry Goldsmith


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Iron Maiden - Rock in Rio marked the culmination of Maiden's US tour and was filmed for DVD at the third Rock in Rio festival on Saturday 20th January 2001. A sumptuous affair, the festival featured more than 100 bands playing over 6 days to a total crowd of over 1.2 million, and included other rock notables such as Guns 'n Roses, Sting, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Brittany Spears. After an absence of 7 years, vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith return to reform the definitive Maiden line-up together with Dave Murray and Janick Gers on guitars, Steve Harris on bass and Nicko McBain on drums. No poncy keyboards or distracting percussion here, this sound is metal through and through - only axe-hero worshippers and testosterone-charged air guitarists need apply! Readers interested in a quick overview of the band might care to check out an earlier review.

    After the obligatory shots of the enormous venue filling with a capacity crowd of around 250,000 and backstage footage of the band's helicopter arrival, the empty stage is displayed with an enormous backdrop of the band's mascot, Eddie, to the sounds of Arthur's Farewell from First Knight. The set opens with a subwoofer-driven roll of thunder, the strident and powerful rhythm guitar of Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson bursting onto stage. There's no doubt from the very opening bars of The Wicker Man that this band means business. The rhythm powerhouse of McBain, Harris and Smith, the windmilling arms and wild-staccato lead guitar of Janick Gers and the equally adept, yet more fluid, lead guitar of Dave Murray just don't let up resulting in one of the best live stage shows I have seen.

    Meantime Bruce Dickinson has never sounded in better voice. His high-octane performance on stage was vaguely reminiscent of a rock version of Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter) as he perched atop the stage monitors, swung Tarzan-like through the set scaffold and imposed his mastership, dominatrix-like, on the assembled bare-chested crowd. The pace never lets up and was 'pedal-to-the-metal' for the whole of the 2 hour set. I guess at the culmination of a long US tour, the guys were at the peak of physical fitness and as far as I could judge played flawlessly together for the duration of the complex and high-energy performance.

    The set featured several numbers, including the title track, from their last album Brave New World, some early numbers such as Wrathchild and band classics such as Number of the Beast and the band's defacto theme, Run To The Hills. Maiden's music has always been melodic and innovative - the superb swirling reverb of Gers' intro to Ghost of The Navigator, the duelling open duo of Murray and Gers on Brave New World followed by an impressive triple lead and bass and Murray's and Gers' virtuoso guitars throughout are a thrill to watch. There are no slackers in the band - Nicko McBain provides an unrelenting drive throughout the set and founder Steve Harris attacks the bass and belts out unmiked lyrics with gusto. Dickinson's talent at establishing rapport with a huge, sweaty foreign audience is as remarkable as his vocal talent and stage gymnastics. Not to be left out, Adrian Smith provides a solid guitar backdrop to the more flamboyant leads and occasional forays into lead territory, notably on the opening number.

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Track Listing

1. Intro
2. The Wicker Man
3. Ghost of The Navigator
4. Brave New World
5. Wrathchild
6. 2 Minutes to Midnight
7. Blood Brothers
8. Sign of The Cross
9. The Mercenary
10. The Trooper
11. Dream of Mirrors
12. The Clansman
13. The Evil That Men Do
14. Fear of The Dark
15. Iron Maiden
16. The Number of The Beast
17. Hallowed Be Thy Name
18. Sanctuary
19. Run to The Hills

Transfer Quality

Video

    Most of this review contains compliments and superlatives - the major let-down of this feature is the 1.33:1 format that has been imposed on us. If ever there were an event ideally suited for widescreen it would have to be a stage performance. We were treated to a 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced teaser video for Rock in Rio on the Classic Album - Number of The Beast so why oh why didn't we get it for the full feature - a major letdown! The video is quite well done and the back cover blurb tells us that no less than 18 cameras were used for the recording. My main gripe with the edit (sorry Steve Harris!) is that it is as fast and furious as the music with a scene change almost every second. The result is an almost stroboscopic array of changing angles and artists that really doesn't do justice to some of the guitar breaks and solos.

    The transfer is 1.33:1 throughout and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Most of the feature is reasonably sharp apart from some appallingly grainy and noisy backstage inserts (eg 2:39 and 3:31). There's not much shadow apart from the crowd scenes but what there was contained reasonable detail.

    Colours were solid throughout with no appreciable chroma noise or bleed and an overall very pleasing effect from the innovative and extensive stage lighting.

    There were no discernible MPEG artefacts apart from mild aliasing throughout on some of the stage borders and guitar strings but this was definitely better than average. As the whole feature was video-based, there were no film artefacts.

    There were no subtitles.

    The main disc is RSDL-formatted with a transition point between songs at 58:36 that was quite discernible but not intrusive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer on this DVD is superb and sets the standard for future rock performances.

    Two audio tracks are available; full bit rate DTS (1536kbps) or 448kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. The soundstage is expansive in breadth and depth and there is no doubt who is playing what and where. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack had a more prominent centre & vocals/drum mix but I felt that the DTS version was more evenly balanced and pleasant to listen to with a slightly more detailed and fuller sound.

    Bruce Dickinson's dialogue tended to be somewhat indistinct and it was hard to discern many of the lyrics - this is, however, more a characteristic of the high energy vocals rather than any recording shortcomings. There were no discernible problems with audio synch although the high frequency scene changes make these hard to spot!

    The enduring quality of Maiden's popularity, as rightly pointed out by band members in interview, is probably due to a combination of consistency of music, no sudden deviations from the theme, and also a complexity of style with frequent variation in key and tempo to keep interest alive.

    The surround channels were actively used to relay audience feedback whether by way of their appreciation of the performance or in one of the frequent audience participation spots with Bruce Dickinson. Although quite loudly mixed, this was appropriate to convey the atmosphere of an enthusiastic crowd of 250,000.

    The subwoofer rumbled into life during a thunder roll in the opening number and growled and pumped its way throughout the rest of the performance - superb!

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are mostly to be found on the 2nd disc. Disc 1 contains the performance with animated menus to select the sound track, a play list and to start the feature.

Menu

    The menu on the extras disc is animated in 1.33:1 with a leering Eddie and appropriate flames licking the selection of choices.

The Band

    Sub-menu of photos of band members each of which is selectable to find a further submenu with a featurette on how the boys spend their days off and answer questions on such topics as their most embarrassing moment and how they found their way into the band. For those who are interested, Dave and Nicko play golf, Adrian goes fishing, Steve plays soccer, Bruce indulges in a spot of swordplay and Janick hits the town. This is where most of the Easter Eggs can be found.

Featurette - A Day in The Life

    10 minute feature of life on the road for the band. It is interesting that in the copy of the El Mercurio newspaper that Nicko is reading Maiden make the headlines featured above Guns 'n Roses, Judas Priest and Sting!

Languages

    Choice of seven different language subtitles for the extras disc - English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish and Italian.

Photo Diary

    50 stills and commentary from the camera of official tour photographer Ross Halpin in a 7:27 feature of the band on walkabout.

Website

    No DVD-ROM content but a single page with details of the band's website at http://www.ironmaiden.com

Easter Egg

    I could find 5 of these around the Band feature, mostly video snips of limited interest but the shadow-art found by pressing up cursor key after selecting Bruce is quite amusing. Also Kevin "Caveman" Shirley (sound engineer) can be found by pressing the left cursor after highlighting Photo Diary.

Credits

    Single page with DVD authoring credits.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There doesn't seem to be an R1 release of this multi-region disc set at present but checking out the R2 reviews indicates that their release is identical to the R4 version.

Summary

    This is a fabulous concert recording of one of the world's leading and enduring metal bands.

    The video quality was quite good but marred by being in 1.33:1 format.

    The audio quality is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The extras were relegated onto a second disc due to the DTS soundtrack and were of good quality and interest - some DVD-ROM content would have been good and a bit more of the band's history/discography/lyrics would also have been worthwhile additions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Friday, August 02, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon ACV-A1SE. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTheta Digital Intrepid
SpeakersML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.

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Comments (Add)
Another bloody live album? - REPLY POSTED