Friday, November 20, 2015

CD/DVD Review: Rush Goes Back In Time With New "R40 Live" Release

This summer, Canadian rock band Rush celebrated their 40th anniversary by embarking on what may be considered their final full-fledged tour. Without a new album to promote, Rush were able to open up the set list for these shows to whatever they felt comfortable with. As their shows approach almost three hours long, Rush made the most of their time on stage, beginning with songs from their most current album "Clockwork Angels" and going back in time, finishing with their break-through single "Working Man." Ask any Rush fan and they will name their favorite moment from every Rush concert they ever attended. Also, Rush has had a tendency of releasing a live album from their most recent tour. So, on November 20th, Rounder Records in association with Concord Music Group is releasing "Rush R40 Live" on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.
The show was captured from their two-night stand in their hometown of Toronto, right in the middle of their 35-date North American tour. The visuals of the show are stunning as 14 high-definition cameras were used to capture everything from Neal Peart's amazing drumming to Geddy Lee's and Alex Lifeson's solos. You can almost feel the explosions of fire during "Far Cry" and have a stage side seat for the rare performance of "Losing It" featuring Ben Mink, who was the original violinist on the studio version of the song from the "Signals" album. Rush closes the first set with the ever-popular concert staple "Subdivisions."
The second set begins with one of Rush's famous video montages that has become almost as much of a highlight of their shows as the music itself. The music starts up again with their iconic single, "Tom Sawyer," the second set is a Rush fan's dream. They take on the epic pieces of "Cygnus X-1" and "Xanadu" with ease. Watching the video, you can see when Alex and Geddy lock in a groove that could go on for hours. The two also bring out a smile or two from The Professor as he leads the way on the set closer "2112."Actor Eugene Levy lends a hand, introducing the band before their encore as if it was the early days when Rush was an opening act. The songs "Lakeside Park/Anthem" and "What You're Doing/Working Man" rocked harder than any of the other songs as Rush rediscover their heavier, progressive metal side on these concert closers.
Rush fans will also appreciate the addition of the bonus songs "One Little Victory," "Distant Early Warning" and "Red Barchetta" performed from the other night. On the 3CD set, you get those three bonus songs, plus four others from the tour, including violinist Jonathan Dinklage from the Clockwork Angels Orchestra performing on a version of "Losing It." This release will definitely please fans as some of the songs are getting their debut live release. This is a solid release for those who may have missed this tour as well as fans who were lucky enough to see their idols, hopefully not for the last time. To find out more about "Rush R40 Live," please visit

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