Rush - Rush In Rio

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Atlantic
Catalog Number: 83672-2
Format: CD/DVD
Total Time: 158:44:00

Back in 2002, I was smart enough to catch Rush at the Arco Arena in Marysville, CA at the start of the second leg of their Vapor Trails tour. It had been twenty-one years since I had last seen Rush live - on the first night of the Moving Pictures tour back in 1981! - and I was really looking forward to seeing how my favorite band had progressed over those two decades. As soon as I got to my seat and took a look at the stage, I knew I was in for a real treat because set up at Geddy Lee's spot at stage right were three clothes dryers! "Yep," I thought to myself, "the guys are still nutjobs and this is gonna be one show that I'll never forget." And, of course, Rush came out, put on a super performance, and proved me right. Fast forward to 2003 and, when I heard about the release of Rush In Rio, my first thought was "Who could forget those dryers?" Well, now the answer is "anyone who owns Rush In Rio (the DVD) can't!" How cool is that? Pretty damned, I say.

But I digress; down to the meat and potatoes. Rush In Rio is Rush's latest live release that documents the last concert of the Vapor Trails tour in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, available in 3-CD and 2-DVD sets. Nutbag that I am, I went straight out and got both sets, and I'm glad I did. Both sets are great, each in their own way, but mostly as a record of Rush's inspired performance that night - the guys really rocked!

Each set contains a couple of gems unique to its format; the CD has two "board bootleg" songs recorded at other concerts during the tour ("Between Sun And Moon" and "Vital Signs," which I heard in Marysville in lieu of "New World Man" and "Closer To The Heart"), while the DVD has two "easter eggs" to be hunted down (the "By-Tor & The Snow Dog" animation and a 1975 performance of "Anthem"). The DVD also features the "Boys In Brazil" documentary of Rush's three dates in Brazil. Intimate and informative, "Boys In Brazil" includes interviews and travelogues from Lee, Lifeson, and Peart that provide an "insider's view" of the events that transpired during the Brazil stint and a further glimpse into the band's personalities. Extra kudos to Rush for their "can do" attitudes by playing during a tropical storm - you can actually see the rain and the wind - at the Sao Paulo show!

I do have a couple of gripes with Rush In Rio. First, the sound on the DVD set actually surpasses that of the CD's. For some reason, the CD sound is murky and bottom heavy, and takes some of the edge off of the guitars and drums. But the DVD is a completely different matter, as the sound is mixed (probably due to the DTS recording equipment) more in the mid range. As a result, all instruments and performances are crystal clear, and the overall sound is genuinely representative of a concert experience. Second, the editing is occasionally baffling. The quick cuts between Lee, Lifeson, and Peart nicely support the momentum of the performances, but there are several instances where the shot is not fixed on the appropriate player, such as focusing on Neil Peart during a crucial Alex Lifeson solo.

Conspicuously absent is any complaint about Rush selling us the same old set list. Yeah, almost all of Rush In Rio was heard on prior live releases, but never like this. That's because Rush found a previously untapped fan base in Brazil, an incredibly enthusiastic multitude that demonstrated their love for Rush by showing up in huge numbers (60,000 in Sao Paulo, the Rush attendance record) and in turn inspired the band to really play their hearts out. Which probably wasn't hard to do; the fans practically worshipped the band, were quite vocal in their appreciation that Rush chose to visit Brazil, knew the words to all the songs - even the girls, for crying out loud - and even sang along during the instrumentals "YYZ" and "La Villa Strangiato." Now, who wouldn't be inspired by that? A very special night, indeed, and the Brazilian throng had no problems with the "old standards" (so what if it was the first time they'd heard Rush live?), so why should we? A non-issue, sez me.

Rush fans like me, are already streaming into the stores to get Rush In Rio and, entre nous, you should, too. During a candid moment in "The Boys In Brazil", Alex Lifeson admits that this might have been "the last time (he) get(s) to play these songs" and given Rush's long history, there might be some truth in that statement. If that should prove to be the case, then Rush In Rio might just be the finest of swansongs - but let's hope not. Instead, look at it this way: Rush In Rio is a gloriously rocking document of what might just be the pinnacle of Rush's career and, to my mind, the best rock release - prog or otherwise - of 2003. Truly, a Must Have!

DVD released by Rounder (011-431-040-9)

Disc One: Tom Sawyer (5:04) / Distant Early Warning (4:50) / New World Man (4:04) / Roll The Bones (6:15) / Earthshine (5:44) / YYZ (4:56) / The Pass (4:52) / Bravado (6:18) / The Big Money (6:03) / The Trees (5:12) / Freewill (5:48) / Closer To The Heart (3:04) / Natural Science (8:34)

Disc Two: One Little Victory (5:32) / Driven (5:22) / Ghost Rider (5:36) / Secret Touch (7:00) / Dreamline (5:10) / Red Sector A (5:16) / Leave That Thing Alone (4:59) / O Baterista (8:54) / Resist (4:23) / 2112 (6:52)

Disc Three: Limelight (4:29) / La Villa Strangiato (10:05) / The Spirit Of Radio (5:28) / By-Tor & The Snow Dog - Cygnus X-1 - Working Man (13:34) / "Board Bootlegs": Between Sun & Moon (4:51) / Vital Signs (4:58)

"Easter Eggs" (DVD): By-Tor & The Snow Dog (movie) / Anthem (1975 live performance)

Geddy Lee - vocals, basses, keyboards
Alex Lifeson - guitars, vocals
Neil Peart - drums, percussion

Rush (1974)
Fly By Night (1975)
Caress Of Steel (1975)
2112 (1976)
All The World's A Stage (1976)
A Farewell To Kings (1977)
Hemispheres (1978)
Archives (1978)
Permanent Waves (1980)
Moving Pictures (1981)
Exit ... Stage Left (1981)
Signals (1982)
Grace Under Pressure (1984)
Power Windows (1985)
Hold Your Fire (1987)
A Show Of Hands (1989)
Presto (1989)
Chronicles (1990)
Roll The Bones (1991)
Counterparts (1993)
Test For Echo (1996)
Different Stages (1998)
Vapor Trails (2003)
Rush In Rio (2003)
Feedback (2004)
R30 (2005)
Gold (2006)
Snakes And Arrows (2007)
Snakes And Arrows Live (2008)
Retrospective III (2009)
Working Men (2009)
Grace Under Pressure: 1984 Tour (2009)
Icon (2010)
Time Stand Still: The Collection (2010)
Icon 2 (2011)
Rush ABC 1974: The First American Broadcast (2011)
Sector 1 (2011)
Sector 2 (2011)
Sector 3 (2011)
Moving Pictures: Live 2011 (2011)
Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland (2011)
Clockwork Angels (2012)
The Studio Albums 1989-2007 (2013) (boxset) Clockwork Angels Tour (2013)

Exit-Stage Left (VHS) (1982)
Through The Camera Eye (VHS) (1984)
Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984 (VHS) (1986)
A Show Of Hands (VHS) (1988)
Chronicles (VHS/DVD) (1990/2001)
Rush In Rio (DVD/VID) (2003)
R30 (DVD) (2005)
Music In Review 1974-1981 (2006)
Replay X3 (DVD) (2006)
Snakes And Arrows Live (DVD) (2008)
Working Men (DVD) (2009)
Beyond The Lighted Stage (DVD) (2010)
Classic Albums: 2012 - Moving Pictures (2010)
Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland (2011)
Clockwork Angels Tour (2013)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin CA

Added: November 2nd 2003
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website:
Hits: 1966
Language: english


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