Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Currently in rotation on the chronological MP3 list is the Death in Pacaembu bootleg, a soundboard recording done of an Iron Maiden concert done in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2004. It's a decent recording, although it could have used some additional mixing in the studio; Bruce's voice tends to overwhelm the rest of the band and the recording does not flatter his high range. Anyway, the reason why I bring it up is the crowd, which sounds like something you hear in TV broadcasts of soccer games in Europe or Latin America: an enormous roaring beast that feeds off of the performers' energy, chews it up and spits it back at twice the size. They chant, they sing along in their thunderous thousands, they make up a presence. It's pretty awesome.

I also have a copy of Scream for Me Brazil, Bruce Dickinson's solo live album, also recorded (if you couldn't tell from the title) in Brazil. As with Death in Pacaembu, the crowd is an element of the performance, a testament to how much better than the original album a live rock show can be. Listening to either selection makes me think that - no matter how difficult it would be to get there and get tickets - the ultimate live Iron Maiden experience might be to see the band play in Brazil, to be a part of a temporary human collective so big and so connected as to overwhelm the individual consciousness. I imagine a bloom of harmony, the product of thousands of souls in momentary concord, flaming up into the night above the stadium like a burning ball of gas.

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