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Rush - A Show Of Hands CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.51 | 425 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This live affair is the culmination of the 4 albums that came after Moving Pictures. These albums are Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire. Rush was at the height of the synth era and they were gaining new fans and retaining their old ones. Their live shows became more of a tight and cohesive affair than ever. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart were at the height of their abilities on this one. The sound is crisp and clean, the keyboards are smooth and clear, the drumming is tasteful and concise, and the guitar work is intricate and yet simple at the same time.

The album opens with their classic intro of the Three Stooges theme. It goes immediately into Big Money, a very faithful version of the studio counterpart. The bass sound, however, doesn't have the punch of the studio affair. Lee's vocals are at his best, and they only get better during the show. Subdivisions follows and is one of the strongest songs on the album. The Oberheim solo in the middle is replaced by some synth choirs instead, but it still retains that feel from 1982. The songs from Hold Your Fire are well represented, yet I still find it hard to enjoy them fully (I consider Hold Your Fire as the weakest Rush album). The two GUP songs are also very well represented, Distant Early Warning and Red Sector A are played with precision and skill, and retain the same mood as the studio counterpart. As a treat, there are two pre-Signals songs featured. Witch Hunt is from the often considered masterpiece Moving Pictures, and it surpasses the studio version. The closing track, Closer to the Heart from A Farewell to Kings, features an extended quasi-reggae outro and it shows that Rush can still hark back to their old roots of jamming.

Overall, this is a good live album from their 80's output. I recommend it to those who want to hear live Rush from the height of their often considered "weakest" era. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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