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Rush - Rush - In Rio CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.82 | 333 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oh lawdy, lawdy, so much Rush!

After a series of tragedies that threw Rush into a 6 year hiatus they finally emerged back onto the scene with their somewhat controversial Vapor Trails album which delighted fans and befuddled critics. The album was no 'return to the roots' as they proved with their modern approach and heavy themes, but on the tour that accompanied the album they decided that a return to the roots was necessary. Thus, on this live album, which would be the first since 1997's amazing Different Stages they decided to perform just about everything they ever recorded. The tour would show fans that the band was still alive and kicking, while making sure that they knew that there would be more to come in the future.

The set list is a dream for anyone who has followed the band to this point. While some people may be a bit miffed at the absence of certain songs it can't be denied that there really is something for everyone here. Just about every album that the band has ever recorded is represented here, with the exception of 1988's Hold Your Fire. There's a ton of classics, which are considered 'live standards', but there's also a good number of surprises to keep fans on their toes. Going through the set track-by-track would be incredibly pointless, but there are some tracks that really do justice to their studio counterparts. The live rendition of YYZ found on this album, for instance, is probably the best that you can find from the band. Given the energy of the crowd (which you can see in the DVD version of this album) the band seems to be on top of the world. La Villa Strangiato is made particularly fun with band introductions done by ax-man Lifeson, who proceeds to do them in a comic fashion (''On the skins, Mr. Milton BANANA!!'').

Other standouts on the album are not all that hard to find. Of the new tunes performed on the album (3 Vapor Trails tracks make it onto the set) likely the best is Secret Touch whose heavy riff and catchy chorus lend themselves well to the atmosphere of the concert. Natural Science is also given a killer rendition, but this one is in its entirety.

What makes the set particularly nice is that there are a lot of tunes that you wouldn't expect the band to play live. Some particularly nice songs to hear come in the encore in the form of a medley, which even includes an abridged version of By-Tor And The Snow Dog. While Geddy can't hit the squealing notes like he used to, he uses his 'new voice' to the best of its potential, which makes for a satisfying substitute. This segues right into the mean bass riffs of Cygnus X-1, and while a progger may want to hear the entire version of this song, you'll only get 3-minutes of it, but it moves into The Working Man, so it's pretty easy to forgive. The album also features two songs that are not on the DVD, and not even on any live albums from the band to this point. Vital Signs would eventually be released on Grace Under Pressure Live which came with the Replay X3 box set, but at this point it was unique to this album. The Counterparts song which is often overlooked, Between Sun & Moon is also available here and makes for a nice addition.

Fans be delighted and non-fans can probably pass. The CD set of this album is good for people who don't have the time to sit down and watch all 3 hours of the DVD but who still want to hear the set. There are better live Rush sets out there, but this one is still darn good. 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one, fans and casual semi-fans of the band can't go wrong with the album, but non-fans who want to be convinced should go and check out Different Stages or Exit. Stage Left.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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