Rush’s tenth (!) Live DVD capturing their farewell show in their hometown of Toronto.
Some Progressive Rock and Hard rock fans, myself included, are still a bit unhappy about the end of the band Rush. The band has recently released a couple of DVD’s about the last phase of their career; R40 LIVE and TIME STAND STILL, the documentary about the R40 tour. This month I have decided to review them both as they really are a pair in my mind. It is not surprising that both were directed by the same guy, Dale Heslip.
Unlike the companion DVD, TIME STAND STILL, (which suffered from a couple of huge flaws) R40 is a fantastic representation of a single, iconic point in time of the band. R40 is Rush’s 10th live DVD. Like a lot of bigger name bands (Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Nightwish etc) every single recent studio album and tour gets the full Double or even Triple live CD/DVD treatment and Rush is no different. It is a nice milestone and perhaps even more remarkable that all of those 10 Double/Triple DVD sets have come out in the past 12 years. They are really padding the retirement account!
I get frustrated with these ambiguous packages. Is this a 3CD live album with a bonus DVD? Is it a DVD with a 3 CD bonus? Who knows? It is not packaged like a CD and it is not packaged like a DVD. It is one of those annoying digi-things that fail to protect the booklet and artwork. First word problems I suppose. Anyway, I decided to review R40 LIVE as a DVD. It has four discs (3 CD’s, 1 DVD), a 20 page booklet and the layout and design are in line with most of the other Rush DVD’s on the market, meaning top-notch. There is a nice essay about the farewell tour as well.
I’m going to add a personal note to this review. Back in the summer of 2014, I had injured myself playing football (soccer) two days before the concert and I could barely walk. However, I was not going to miss the R40 show at the Calgary Saddledome because I knew it would be the last time I would ever see them live. I was in a lot of pain but with the help of some too many painkillers and liquid reinforcement, comfortably numb, I hobbled to the show. Good thing I wasn’t driving that night! Running about three hours the show began to take it’s toll and by the end I was spent. I missed a bunch of the little details sitting up in bleachers so this DVD was very welcome addition to my collection so I could catch the show with a much better view than my nosebleed seats!
Again after rambling on like an OCD obsessed fan let’s get to the meat of the review…the actual content of the DVD. The promo sticker says it is the ultimate career retrospective. Well sort of. It’s close but not quite. Four albums are skipped having no song representation while some albums get two or three songs. The show is undeniably massive. A totally professional, multi-camera shoot with crystal clear sound. The DVD was shot over two nights in their hometown of Toronto. We get the full stage production with the much touted ‘reverse-engineering’ stage show where things slowly get disassembled down to a high-school gym set-up. A cool feature of the DVD is all the little bonus videos that were displayed on the big screen. In the home environment you can actually hear the jokes without a roaring crowd and see the videos up close. There are tons of guest stars and lots of little in-jokes for the band and fans. There are some bonus songs, I’m not sure why they were not included in the concert in the first place and fans will want to stay tuned for the ‘Exit Stage Left’ comedy montage closing scene.The set-list is pretty flawless as they run through a nice blend of hits and rarities.
I pretty much have every Rush live DVD and album and this one is as good as any of them, with the added nostalgia and poignancy knowing this was their last. I know they have lots of DVD’s on the market and if you have to choose get this one as it captures an iconic moment (or moments!) in time.
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1. The World Is…The World Is…
2. The Anarchist
3. Headlong Flight/Drumbastica”
4. Far Cry
5. The Main Monkey Business
6. How It Is
8. Roll the Bones
9. Between the Wheels
10. Losing It
1. Tom Sawyer
3. The Spirit of Radio
4. Natural Science
5. Jacob’s Ladder”
6. Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres: Prelude
7. Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage: Part I/The Story So Far (Drum solo)/Part III
8. Closer to the Heart
10. 2112: Part I (Overture)/Part II (The Temples of Syrinx)/Part IV (Presentation)/Part VII (Grand Finale)
1. Lakeside Park/Anthem
2. What You’re Doing/Working Man
1. One Little Victory
2. Distant Early Warning
3. Red Barchetta