It’s inevitable - another Iron Maiden world tour, another double live album documenting it. The legendary heavy metallers don’t have a history of releasing shabby quality though, and the excellent production values and presentation of new live set En Vivo! don’t buck this trend.
Recorded last year in front of 50,000 mighty passionate fans in Santiago, Chile, this understandably doesn't displace the career-defining Live After Death or Rock In Rio as representing the apex of their live powers. The set list varies enough from previous releases to sate diehards who, to be blunt, will buy this anyway. A handful of the stronger songs from patchy 2010 LP The Final Frontier (including the classic Maiden gallop of El Dorado, ten-minute opus When the Wild Wind Blows and anthemic Coming Home) and clever re-introduction of modern favourites like The Wicker Man freshen things up alongside the usual suspects. It certainly must be gratifying for the sextet that, after 30-plus years in the game, in that part of the world many of their newer cuts are greeted with almost as much fervour as some of their stone cold classics. That arguably says more about the fanaticism of South American metal fans than it does the quality of the material, but the audience's adoration for the band, as well as Maiden's connection with them, are readily apparent.
The entire show is also available in Blu-Ray and DVD formats, although the documentary feature may test the patience of those who aren't enthralled by the prospect of watching countless palettes of equipment being loaded on to the band's much-vaunted Ed Force One. Up the irons!
This week's new sets include tunes from locals Little May (our Album Of The Week), Art Vs Science, Dan Kelly and Boy & Bear, plus releases from Tom Jones, The Decembrists and Mayday Parade.