Review: Flight 666

I’ve never paid much attention to astrology, but the notion of “Saturn returns” seems somehow apt for Iron Maiden. The idea being 28 years after your birth, Saturn returns to where it was, and this is Meaningful and stuff. 28 years after their debut album, Maiden are riding a massive resurgence in popularity, undertaking one of the craziest tours in rock history, and hitting the big screen for the first time.

The doco is about the fans as much as the band, which makes sense, in a way, since the band is about the music and the fans. What comes through is the way the band reaches the fans through the music, inspiring a remarkably passionate devotion – and it is startling to see the same screaming devotion in places as diverse as Mumbai, Columbia, Tokyo and Toronto. This has been achieved without radio airplay or much media support. Somehow you hear the music and are converted.

The fan refrain is always the same – there is something genuine in the music, and some integrity the band bring to their work – which inspires great love. They are all about putting on a great show, about playing music they love; and the fans are all about seeing a great show, listening to music that they love.

Random highlights: they go to Costa Rica, where they have never played before, and it turns out to be the biggest gig ever in Central America; Columbian guy crying after catching a drumstick; Lars Urlich acknowledging Maiden were always cooler (that was very sweet, subjectively. 😀 ).

There’s not a huge amount of insight into the band members, at least for long time fans. (Dave Murray as the cosmic wise man was unexpected! Though he always seems so blissed out… And I guess they were conscious of giving everyone equal time rather than being overwhelmed by His Bruceness, as could easily happen.) If you go in knowing nothing you will certainly learn stuff. But they come across as nice, genuine guys, who happen to be totally into what they are doing, and are doing it because they love it.

The framing sequence is the band in concert, which is a good move, since that is what it is all about; where the music, the band and the fans converge. Live they put most other bands to shame. It was certainly fun to see on the big screen. (When the heck did a movie ticket hit $20?)

So yeah, recommended as a movie about music, and about why music is cool, and why people love music.

3 Responses to “Review: Flight 666”

  1.   Scott
    May 5th, 2009 | 10:23 am

    I agree – when the hell did a movie ticket hit $20? Doesn’t encourage me back to the cinema again, for sure.

    However, it does speak volumes that I still did spend that $20 to go see a doco about Iron Maiden. I may no longer be very into the band or their music, but they still move and excite me enough that this I would do.

  2.   Richard
    May 6th, 2009 | 5:29 am

    I’ve noticed during my time here in Central America the preponderance of Iron Maiden t-shirts. Certainly there have been more than any other band.

    $20 for a movie ticket??? They’re taking the piss and have been for a long time. Piracy is practically a duty nowadays.

  3.   Administrator
    May 8th, 2009 | 11:06 pm

    Apparently the $20 may have been cos it was a special short run showing… still a bit shite, Reading.