L.S. Media Rating *****

There is nothing at all as artistically satisfying as catching a band at their absolute best, perhaps seeing your team finally win a cup comes close but it still doesn’t compare to witnessing at first hand a group or even a solo singer nail every song they have gone on stage to perform as perfectly as they can and then some.

Depending on your point of view, you should also be surrounded by as at least 10,000 like-minded people all in the bands numerous T- shirts and all chanting out the songs that you grew up loving just as loud as the lead singer is manfully doing. A foreign country perhaps, even another continent and the nearest food looks as though it’s been there for a few days stewing under the local sun and finally at the end of the night, you get the biggest and friendliest hug by someone you wouldn’t even think of talking to if they knocked on your door for a cup of sugar. Take all these ingredients and this is the feeling you get when you listen to Iron Maiden’s latest live album En Vivo.

For any fan that caught Iron Maiden on the last tour, the set list will come as no surprise and from the onset it has to be said this is no Live After Death, but then again nothing really could ever capture that particular mood. En Vivo though gives it a damn good go at emulating an album that still gets nods of approval when fans of heavy metal get together to discuss their favourite live albums of all time. This live offering from the band sees them on stage to a rabid and excitable crowd in Santiago, Chile and although it’s arguably not as good as the night at the o2 Arena, London the music is an incredible celebration of the band’s finest music from the last 30 odd years.

Spread over two discs, the music takes in tracks as clinically Maiden as The Final Frontier, The Trooper, Fear of the Dark, The Number of the Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Running Free. No matter how you listen to the music, the stunning guitar solos or even Bruce Dickinson’s over-zealous and brutally powerful voice it will whisk you to the other side of the world and for a time you will be jealous of those fans that were in that stadium on that day witnessing a very special performance. You may well have seen every gig in Great Britain, you may have even caught the band elsewhere in Europe but to be in Chile, in Santiago whilst the band sounded this good will leave you a little green, and it won’t be from the hot dogs.

En Vivo captures Iron Maiden at their stunning and dedicated best. A must have for all fans of the best British metal act of all time.

Ian D. Hall