"Scream for me, Rio!"
Yes, Bruce is back, and Maiden's never sounded sweeter. This double live CD encompasses a hefty 19 songs (plus an enhanced video section, if you've got Pentium II), with tracks drawn from their last studio album, Brave New World that already blend tastily with vintage material: "Iron Maiden," "Number of the Beast," "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Wrathchild" among other standards.
"The Clansman," from Virtual XI (arguably the lamest thing ever to have Maiden's name attached) comes off, hefted by Dickinson's mighty pipes, as a stirring anthem that all oppressed peoples can take courage from -- the "Freedom" chorus, swelled by the Rio crowd, is simply spinetingling. Welcome indeed is the new stuff: "The Wicker Man," "Ghost of the Navigator," "Brave New World," "Sign Of The Cross," "Blood Brothers" and "Dream of Mirrors" -- this last particularly may be one of the best tunes in the Maiden catalog.
With no less than three guitarists -- Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers -- wielding axe, along with Steve Harris's muscular bass lines and Nicko McBain's crisp, powerful percussion, listeners who weren't fortunate enough to catch Maiden on their last two tours can re-experience their state-of-the-art lineup, the production so clean and transparent you can practically smell the sweat popping on Harris's bass strings as he machine guns the crowd.
Perhaps the best answer to the question, why yet another live Iron Maiden album, is Rock In Rio itself. While the band after all these years has little left to prove, the fact that they do it anyway defines the term "class act." Up the Irons!