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1985 In The 21st Century - 90%

infectedsanity, June 22nd, 2009

When Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere Back In Time” world tour was announced, I thought, “They oughta do a live DVD of this tour. It’s going to be awesome having the current line-up playing all classic songs”. Sure enough, a bit more than a year later, that DVD is made a reality, but it is not the main focus. The main attraction is a documentary of the tour called “Flight 666”, made by Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden of “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” and “Global Metal” fame. Knowing how awesome those movies, and Maiden, are, Flight 666 isn’t to be missed.

The premise of Flight 666, as I said before, is documenting the Somewhere Back In Time tour, which brought the band to 16 cities worldwide, playing 23 concerts in 45 days. This was made possible by their customized Boeing 757 jet, nicknamed “Ed Force One” after their mascot Eddie, which carried the band, crew, and gear, as well as family and press. Singer Bruce Dickinson pilots the plane, which I find amazing because I would think that being in a band like Iron Maiden, and doing such a tour, would be stressful enough. But it sure didn`t seem like it, because they made it to every stop, with no threatening complications. Along the way, we see the band offstage/backstage, as well as taking part in recreational activities like tennis, golf, and football (soccer). It`s obviously funny to see lots of this stuff, because they`re all a bunch of characters. But every time the plane touches down, there is the typical pre-show fandemonium, then the show they`ve been waiting to see.

The concert disk is boasted to be "the most spectacular live footage yet seen of Maiden", and that sounds just about right. The stage is an almost complete recreation of the `84-`85 "World Slavery Tour", a most classic period of the band, with some imagery of the Somewhere In Time album. The setlist is comprised of one song from each of the 16 cities on the tour, all being pre-1990, when the band was at their best. Watching the HD footage in surround sound, just like the film, was super awesome. Not just that, but Maiden`s a renowned live band to begin with, so that is great in itself. The only problem I had with lots of the songs is that they aren`t very exact to their originals (different guitar solos, tempos), which I didn`t really like. I know that lots of bands do that, but I don`t really like it. Also, they show much of the concert footage throughout the film, so you know a lot of what's coming.

The only problem I had with the DVD itself is that it didn`t include any special features like deleted scenes, extended interviews, photo galleries, etc. The DVD calls the concert disk a "bonus disk", but I still would`ve enjoyed actual special features. But for what this DVD does have, it does very well, and I think that Flight 666 is essential for Maiden fans wanting to see the band as they are now: as awesome as ever.