Saturday, 21 April 2012

En Vivo!

En Vivo is a live concert film from British Heavy Metal group Iron Maiden. Filmed in Santiago, Chile in front of 50,000 fans in April 2011 it was part of their Final Frontier Tour. While not technically a film, it is the most cinematic concert film I’ve seen.

The film starts with a montage that includes the band landing, preparing and arriving for the concert and is interspersed with some pretty poor computer graphics of explosions, planes and the band’s mascot, Eddie.

The concert is nearly two hours long and includes a total of seventeen songs, of which six are from their latest album The Final Frontier. Classics such as Iron Maiden, Fear of the Dark and Number of the Beast also feature. There are many notable absentees though such as Run to the Hills but when a band has a back catalogue stretching back to 1980 there are bound to be a few tracks that could have been included which weren’t. Many older songs have been featured on previous concert DVDs anyway. For my money, the best performed and received songs were Dance of Death and Iron Maiden.

The film uses split screen to great effect which gives the viewer the chance to see several pieces of the action at once. It is a great technique and something I haven’t seen before. It allowed the audience to feel more a part of the proceedings and gave greater insight to what was happening on stage. The editing is superb.

I’ve seen Maiden once, in 2005, and remember being amazed by the amount of energy they bought to their performance. Now, with an average age of around 57 the band still run and jump around like six year olds and its sometimes a bit funny. The band has never been known for their great fashion sense and some of their outfits are also pretty amusing. Iron Maiden isn’t Lady Gaga however and they let their music do their talking and it is incredible to see 50,000 people all jumping up and down in unison to some of the greatest heavy metal music in history. Eddie inevitably makes an appearance but his ‘Eddie cam’ doesn’t really work. His second appearance as a giant head and hands behind the set is very impressive however.

I think this is a concert that can be appreciated on an aesthetic level even if you aren’t an Iron Maiden fan. It looks stunning on Blu-Ray and the split screen editing works marvellously. The old songs still sound great after 30 years and their newer stuff has to potential to become the classics of the future.  


1 comment:

  1. I saw them last June in Aberdeen as part of this tour, the first time I've ever seen them, despite being a fan since about 1985! You're right about their energy, I can't believe Bruce can leap around stage like that at his age!

    I was surprise that they didn't play anything from either Somewhere in Time or A Matter of Life and Death. As far as I'm aware Bruce had said that his favourite album was Somewhere in Time until they made A Matter of Life and Death. Still, it was when they played the old stuff that the crowd really go going.

    I've seen Flight 666 which was facinating, but I don't think I've watched a recorded live concert since Live After Death!