Thursday, April 23, 2009

Iron Maiden, Flight 666: The Film

Ever since I started listening to Iron Maiden, over 25 years ago…one thing has always been crystal clear. When you see the IM logo, you’re getting quality. Be it an album, a video, boxset (well, we’ll let the “Eddie plastic head re-issue box slide) merchandise, tour etc. you’re always going to get your money’s worth.

Flight 666 is a film by Banger Films, best known for the ‘Metal: A Headbangers Journey’ and ‘Global Metal’ releases, as they document the first leg of Iron Maiden’s ‘Somewhere Back in Time Tour’. If you’re reading this blog, this is all NOT news to you, but the tour was a throwback to the 1984/85 ‘World Slavery Tour’ with a recreation of that famous stage set made even more infamous on the ‘Live After Death’ LP/CS/CD/VHS/DVD releases.

The 2008 version of the tour, I‘m sure it ran a lot smoother and was a helluva lot shorter, that’s a fact. The business of touring couldn’t be more different, but one thing will always be the same it’s all about the show. And what a show it was/is! The tour was done in the bands own 757 plane flown by vocalist
Bruce Dickinson.

I have to admit I suppose when I first heard that Bruce was going to fly the plane I sort of trivialized it. Like no big deal, he’s a pilot, business as usual. However, watching the film, seeing the work that goes into just the planning of the suggestion of flying, it was an eye opener. Call me impressed, Bruce is the man.

Seeing the ‘Ed Force One’ plane on a huge screen, hearing the engines, watching everyone board and get seated…it was all very real and all pretty intense. The band and crew and all their tons of equipment on this massive aircraft and off they went. I had visions of the plane being like Led Zeppelin’s storied ‘The Starship’ with the plush “cocktail lounge in the air” vibe, it was pretty straightforward except for the production cargo area at the rear of the plane.

Some of the cities they visited I can't even spell, let alone even knew existed so I won’t try to come across as National Geographic here. But one thing is for sure, the Metal is alive and well everywhere, I mean every-fucking-where! Countries where the people start camping out a week before the show, these same people brought to tears during the gig. Testimonials from people that not only made me feel lucky to live where I live, but also proud to be a soldier in the Metal War, especially after all these years.

The live footage is very good, it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before on say the ‘
Death on the Road’ or ‘Rock In Rio’ DVD’s, but one of the things that really blew me away was how fucking tight the band is. They were just so aggressive and on the money, it made the soundtrack really enjoyable. I made mention to Carc that I’d read about the official releases planned for ‘666’ and one format included a live album of the music from the film. I was thinking ‘who needs another live album from IM?’ Well, after hearing the live stuff, I do!

Probably the coolest thing was the all-access vibe the movie captured. Of all the Maiden footage, the closest thing you usually got was interview footage, which was cool, but this takes it to the next level. How about that, after almost 30 years Iron Maiden take it to the next level!! Kidding aside, it was really cool to see that side of the band and it makes for some interesting viewing for die-hards as well as new recruits. The vibe of the film seems to be about the Maiden Family, and it’s well represented via the band, management, crew and fans.

This movie comes out on DVD Tuesday June 9th on several different formats and I highly suggest those into this kind of thing to seek and enjoy! The film is just awesome. The sights and sounds captured are both cinematic and Heavy Metal gold.