Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD
Heavy Metal/Documentary
Disc 1: 1 songs (1:53:00) Disc 2: 16 songs (1:32:00)
Release year: 2009
Iron Maiden, EMI
Reviewed by Goat

Part of Metal’s global appeal, as Sam Dunn explored in the Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey documentary, is the spirit of brotherhood that exists in the worldwide scene, bringing together people of all ages, races, spiritual and political beliefs in their shared love of the riff. Few bands can command this like Iron Maiden, probably the one single band that each and every last reader of this webzine can be assumed to be a fan of, and Flight 666, ostensibly about the band attempting a worldwide tour, 23 concerts on five continents in just 45 days, actually does better as a look at the band’s worldwide fanbase. Aside from a small part at the start of the film we get very little information on the technicalities of refitting a Boeing 757 to carry 12 tons of stage equipment as well as the band and crew. Instead, the film seems to focus on the fans in the various countries that are visited, the people that have loved Maiden all their lives but have never had the chance to see them play live.

Of course, there’s plenty of backstage and concert footage – all of the band coming over as nice people who are much happier playing golf or tennis than drinking all night and who are absolutely devoted to making the tour go as perfectly as possible. There’s a certain amount of privacy and reserve to each band member, the exception being drummer Michael ‘Nicko’ McBrain who is, as the others say, the life and soul of the party. He comes across as one of those genuine, cheerful souls who is automatically friendly and always leaves you with a smile on his face whenever he’s onscreen, but then Maiden do give the impression of a big happy family here. Even the assorted roadies and crew do often seem like part of a big family rather than employees of a business, and it’s here that the documentary stumbles. No-one was expecting a Some Kind Of Monster-esque breakdown from any of the band, but is there a fan out there that wasn’t aware that, well, Maiden are Maiden, and watching them be themselves here is oddly dull at moments.

Thankfully, the fans are soon along to set that right. From the celebrities at the band’s LA show, including Dio, Lars Ulrich and Kerry King to the rather creepy Japanese girl who tells the camera with psychotic eyes that she wants to be “Steve Harris daughter!” it’s they that divert your attention from the band. Mobbing hotels, going through security checkpoints in Colombia, queuing for up to a week... these are the ones whose story is really being told, just what they go through to get to the concert and see Maiden for what is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after having been devotees for so long. The priest who gives sermons based on Maiden lyrics is one highlight, having over 160 Maiden-related tattoos, but one moment stayed with me, and really sums the film up; a lingering shot of a fan after a concert, clearly emotional as he breaks down and cries. Not to sound like anything less than the cynical git that I am, but it reminds you just how powerful Metal can be.

The bonus disc is concert footage of all the songs that you saw clips of in the film, and whilst getting one complete set would have been preferable, all the songs as shown are, of course, great. Personal highlights were Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, performed in New Jersey with the smoke machines working overtime, and Fear Of The Dark in Buenos Aires, the crowd conducted by Bruce in such an infectious a mass-singalong that it’s impossible not to join in. It’s live Maiden, solid as ever, and although an actual concert DVD may be better, Flight 666 also shows the people who love Maiden, not just the reason why. Not quite a vital purchase, but fans will love it, and who isn’t a fan?

Killing Songs :
All, esp. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner & Fear Of The Dark
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Iron Maiden that we have reviewed:
Iron Maiden - Senjutsu reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Iron Maiden - Killers reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
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