Round 9 Results:
Live After Death - 1 vote - 7.7%
Maiden England - 9 votes - 69.2%
Rock in Rio - 3 votes - 23.1%
3. Maiden England
4. Beast Over Hammersmith
5. Death on the Road
6. Flight 666
7. En Vivo!
8. Live at Donington
9. A Real Dead One
10. A Real Live One
11. Maiden Japan
Maiden England is eliminated, leaving one album from the 80s and one from the reunion era left standing.
I was definitely anticipating a showdown between these two albums in the final round, and I was not disappointed. These are my top two as well. I think they are the premier Maiden live albums in terms of setlist, performance quality, crowd and x-factor. Honestly, I think both of these are among the best live releases in metal if not in music overall. Honestly, if I someone were to ask me for brief introduction to Maiden, I would send them to these two releases without a moment's hesitation, long before any of the studio albums.
I love Life After Death. I think it's an obvious classic that just insists upon itself as a classic. The opening with Churchill's Speech is spectacular, and they just run from one great song to another. The highlight for me is probably Revelations, which is a favorite for me and is performed so well. One of the best moments in recorded live metal history IMO is "Los Angeles, can you feel it?" right before the second verse. The main set here is a bit short (I think a couple songs were left out?) but the second disc that comes with the CD release is a great set of deeper 80s cuts. 22 Acacia Avenue is the best one here, I think.
That having been said, Rock in Rio just tops it in every way. While I have come to love the raw quality of Bruce's voice on LAD, which I know some don't like, I think it's unquestionable that he's way stronger on this one. Everybody is really on their game here. Arthur's Farewell->The Wicker Man is a cracking opener, one of my favorites ever. And overall, I think the setlist is somewhat stronger on this one. Sign of the Cross and The Clansman are amazing live, as are the 80s classics and Brave New World tracks. We also get Janick Hallowed, which I prefer to Adrian Hallowed (heresy!). So overall, I have to take Rock in Rio as the ultimate Maiden live release. My vote goes to
Live After Death