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Rush - R 40 (DVD Box Set) CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.85 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars 'Concert halls!'

In 2014 I read about this huge box set and conclude that I already own 9 of the 10 discs, only not the R 40 Bonus Disc featuring 'over 2 hours of previously unreleased live footage'. Suddenly I hear the Anthem Sirens singing 'Dear Rush fan, this is incredible footage, buy it, you may not miss this, buy it, show us your are a true Rush fan, buy it!' I can't not resist these seducing and demanding words by the Anthem Sirens, I need to buy it, right now! And so I turn into another victim of Anthem record company their 'wallet plundering' R 40 release. But how about that R 40 Bonus Disc?

First a very brief look at the other concert DVD's in this box.

Rush In Rio ' 2003 : This is a moving match between skills and emotions, Rush playing for a rain soaked, dancing, yelling and singing Brasilian crowd, an extra dimension, perfectly registered, especially YYZ, goose bumps!

R 30 ' 2005 : Recorded in Germany, a magical return to Europe after many years, especially the R30 Overture, awesome music and great animations.

Snakes & Arrows ' 2008 : Rush presented their highly acclaimed new album and a lot of work from the 1977 and 1984 era, supported by splendid animations and a breathtaking lightshow.

Time Machine ' 2011 : The Moving Pictures 30th Anniversary tour, after the break Rush performed the entire Moving Pictures album, again embellished with awesome visuals, this is progrock history!

Clockwork Angels - 2013 : Featuring the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble, great shots from the warm and enthusiastic interaction between the ensemble members and the Rush musicians.

Finally, the R 40 Bonus Disc. The first 8 tracks on the R 40 Bonus Disc are from a 1974 recording at a secondary school near their hometown Toronto, in colour, good bootleg quality, and very interesting. It's the era of their eponymous debut album, with their first drummer John Rutsey. He is an archetypical rock drummer and does a good job, and also the conversation with the crowd. Looking at this very early Rush I am impressed, the band sounds powerful (with obvious hints from Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Yardbirds and Cream), tight, professional, self confident and they play with passion and pleasure. Geddy Lee his bass work is strong and he sings powerful, with that distinctive high- pitched (at moments screamy) voice. Alex Lifeson is a joy to watch, his outstanding guitar play is in the vein of Jimmy Page, but also bluesrock like Rory Gallagher (in the unknown I've Been Runnin', even the use of a bottleneck) and Black Sabbath (Working Man, long and exciting improvisation by the band). Rush their powerful melodic rock is appreciated by the young audience, watch their delighted faces!

Then 5 songs recorded during the 2112 USA tour in 1976, the footage is in black and white but the quality is very good. Now Neil Peart is the drummer, with a huge drumkit. Geddy has switched from a Fender to the distinctive Rickenbacker (like his hero Chris Squire). It's only two years later but Rush has turned into a very tight unit, they play more dynamic, the interplay is amazing and every member has matured. Rush survived from bad times (close to a demise around 1975), the new album 2112 sounds fresh, dynamic and powerful, as Rush during this concert. Especially the classic epic 2112 is jawdropping, what a creative powerhouse! This is very nice footage, Rush is on their way to become a top rock band, and this is their awesome bridge from progressive hardrock to heavy progressive. You see this development during the entire composition (7 parts). And Alex Lifeson is delivering more and more of his trademark guitar soli: fiery, biting, blistering, with spectacular use of the wah-wah (in Anthem and especially 2112, he really shines). Also worth to watch is Neil Peart in his early days with Rush, his contribution to Rush is already huge, in several ways (drums, compositions, lyrics). And how dynamic and inventive is his work on the drums, often with his head downwards, full concentration.

Next the year 1988 with the live track named Lock And Key (from the Hold Your Fire album). Rush is now a 'High-Tec 'Heavy Prog-Orchestra', just look at their equipment in this live footage, breathtaking. And what an incredible contrast with the 1974 footage, now Geddy Lee is surrounded by keyboards and Neil Peart with assorted percussion! Rush plays a wonderful version of Lock And Key, the lightshow is amazing.

And then an open air concert from 1997 (Test For Echo era) in their hometown Toronto, this registration contains 8 compositions. Rush their sound is obviously more song oriented and more guitar based, like in Limbo and Virtuality. My highlights are Leave That Thing Alone (exciting interplay and lots of catchy and swinging shifting moods) and 2112, a strong version(not the best), halfway a surprising and long guitar improvisation, very tasteful and great rhythm guitar work. The crowd loves it and Rush play inspired. Although the sound quality is not optimal and at some moments Geddy lacks a bit power in his voice. But it's very special footage, for the first time in many years Rush performed the entire version of 2112, and it remains a captivating classic epic!

Next I Still Love You Man, the funny closing film from the Time Machine tour in 2011.

Finally the 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction, first the verbal part, my highlight is a hilarious act by Lifeson . Then the musical part. First an awesome live version of the 2112 Overture by Rush diehards Grohl and Hawkins (Foo Fighters) and Raskulinecz (producer), in the end joined by the Alex, Geddy and Neil. This is a perfect demonstration of the strong relationship between the fans and the band. In the conclusion of the musical part Rush deliver excellent versions of Tom Sawyer and The Spirit Of Radio, both tracks epitomize the highly acclaimed Rush sound, an unique blend of outstanding skills, ideas, power and lyrics.

My conclusion about the R 40 Bonus Disc. You can literally watch the stunning development (between 1974 and 2013) of the band (from a promising local rock band to a 'biggie'), the musicians, the music, the lightshow, the animations, the strong connection with their audience, really awesome.

My conclusion about this 10 DVD box set: a Big Plus are the 56 page booklet (wonderful and funny colour and black- and-white photos, often very creative shots and super quality) and the Bonus Disc. And if you do not own most of the live DVD's, this is the best progrock you can get from the last five decades (my personal rating: six stars). But if you own, like me, al those previously released live DVD's, this is an expensive purchase, with lots of doublures. But I don't regret to be seduced by the Anthem Sirens!

In case PA keep on mentioning zero social comments, this review has 2 social comments.

TenYearsAfter | 5/5 |


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