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Rush - Snakes & Arrows Live CD (album) cover



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4 stars This live document from the 2007 tour is an excellent souvenir for RUSH fans. The program has many old favorites mixed with new material. Happily, the Band has negleted the lame cover tunes included in their other recent release of LIVE RUSH. The band is putting out live recordings more frequently now, which may indicate an increased appreciation from prog fans. Perhaps the market is expanded for this great group after making a comeback with Vapor Trails. RUSH is a band that has treaded the fringes of mainstrain rock without stepping into the morass of commercial mundane muzak. This album continues the journey, and should be appreciated by consumers of intelligent music.
Report this review (#167681)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
2 stars As much as I love, adore, marvel, am energized by, and [insert gushing verb here] RUSH-- this new live album is about as unnecessary an entry into their catalogue as one can imagine; it offers the same-old- same-old live sound we've heard on their previous 3 (!) concert offerings, and in most cases is not as good as any of those.

It isn't that Snakes and Arrows Live is a bad recording. The band is a finely tuned music machine, precise and earnest in their delivery which only gets better with age; however, there is just something about this album which doesn't sit well with me.

It's not the group's playing, nor the set list: It's the lack of energy I felt throughout most of the songs-- something which was positively overflowing on Different Stages/Rush in RIO. Although Geddy plays his bass with surgical precision, his voice is disappointingly bland throughout, which seems to suck the life out of the tunes. Neil gets a new drum solo in here, but otherwise he and Alex sound like their running through the motions. Listeners coming from the group's other live albums will notice the difference immediately.

Moreover, releasing ANOTHER live album so shortly after the previous 3 (with only 2 new albums in between) makes Snakes and Arrows Live an exercise is redundancy. I would much rather the band invest their energy into making new music than on this incessant touring and concert releases.

I don't want to discourage RUSH fans from checking this one out-- especially those who dig the new album- - but for those newly investigating the band's live library I highly recommend that they NOT start with this one; it simply isn't as exciting or impressive as the other options.

3 stars for quality...

... but knocked down to 2 because of ethics. Get back to the studio, guys!

Setlist 3 Instrumental Performances 4 Stage Energy 2 Live Experience 2

Report this review (#167830)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well another Rush live album one might say. Why so many? Looking at the huge amount of bootlegs from the last tours, it seems that there actually IS a need for another one. Many classics that were on several live albums before, but also 12 songs never released on any live album (allthough nine of them are from their latest studio offering). But I'm thrilled to get a live redention of DIGITAL MAN (one of my favourites), ENTRE NOUS and CIRCUMSTANCES. The sound is crisp and clear. The performances aren't that stellar as on ESL or ASOH, they slowed down some of the tunes to make them heavier (which sounds interesting), but it's a complete concert (extracted from 2 nights) that is marvelously delivered by three of best Rock musos that walk the planet. A great and different setlist and a brave choice to include so many new songs. I am having great fun listening to these 2 cds, there are a lot of goosebump moments and some great playing as usual too. I think that this album is their most accomplished live album to date, which will give me some great listening sessions during the next years, until there will be an even better one. Highly recomended.
Report this review (#167847)
Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Do we really need another live Rush album? Six so far (including this one), seven if you bought the expanded version of the R30 DVD. Well probably not but here it is, the live document of their 2007 Snakes & Arrows tour. So the question is, does it add anything to their live legacy that the others didn't? Well, yes and no. There's plenty of tracks here making their live album debut but do we have to have Dreamline again! Having said that, nine of the tracks are from their recent Snakes & Arrows album. Okay it is called Snakes & Arrows Live but nine is a bit much from such a recently released album, as good as it was, Rush obviously having much (well founded) faith in it to feature it so heavily on the last tour.

Having got the minor gripes out of the way, taking it on its own merits it's a very good live album. I doubt Rush are capable of putting on a bad performance anyway, they play excellently here throughout and the sound is good and lively in the main. So where this sits in your list of favourite live Rush releases is probably going to depend on how much you like the latest studio album. Fortunately I really like it and the versions here, if not as enjoyable as the studio performances (but how many live albums are?) are all very good. Very welcome is an excellent version of Entre Nous, even more so Circumstances and Witch Hunt. Freewill is also excellent and welcome despite already featuring on three live albums.

So not the best Rush live album, that honour still goes to All the World's a Stage for me (Followed by Exit..Stage Left), but far from the worst. A Show of Hands from my least favourite Rush era is the worst for this fan, In Rio was marred by to much crowd noise despite a good performance so this one sits in the middle alongside R30 and Different Stages.

If you saw them on the last tour, still continuing at the time of writing on its second leg then this album will be a nice memento of a great gig, if you didn't, unless you have to have everything by the band then you probably don't need this cd if you already own a couple of live Rush albums. Verdict; very good but unnecessary. 3 ˝ stars.

Report this review (#168093)
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More monkey business

After the highly successful album Snakes & Arrows and the even more successful resulting tour Rush decided to release this live album, as they have after every studio release in the new millennium. Now, let's just get this out of the way right now - As a devoted Rush fanboy, lover of the studio counterpart and attender of two shows in the tour I can say that I honestly adore this new live album. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that between every album by another artist that I play this one manages to sneak in there.

But this review isn't for the devotees - it's for everyone else.

Biases aside, this album does seem rather unnecessary in the big scheme of things - being that if you count all the live disc and DVDs that have been released since Vapor Trails you'd have well over 10. That being said, this album has a lot going for that others don't. On the Rush In Rio live set, for example, the world simply needed to be reminded that the band was still alive and kicking, so the band played a kind of reunion set that included a couple of tracks from the new album along with a ton of material from older albums. R30 was similar in that since it was an anniversary tour they needed to represent all their albums (even if they missed Presto) and so played a set accordingly.

With this set the band's reputation and knowledge of them still existing is enough to get them to play more new material. Snakes & Arrows Live is a very appropriate title for the album as 9 out of 13 songs from the studio album are represented. All of the best tracks from the latest album are here -- and all grouped fairly close together. Older songs also appear on the set list, and again, there's some new stuff here.

The addition of songs like Entre Nous, Digital Man and Circumstances during the actual show was something marvelous to behold, and to see them on the show is something else completely! These are a group of the band's best little-known songs that finally get to see the light of day -- and the band performs them stunningly. It's nice to see the same kind of energy from the band that was present years ago, even if they've slowed down a bit.

One of the biggest standouts on the record, however, is Neil's drum solo, De Slagwerker. Going this time with a more industrial feel to his normal solo with a bit of a twist the solo is one of the best in the entire Rush catalog! Even those who don't really appreciate the drummers of the world will get a kick and a half out of this.

The rest of the songs on the album are quite familiar, but all very well performed with a kind of modern vibe put to the classic music making them seem fresh even to those who have heard it so many times.

For an excellent performance from an excellent band with a lot of new stuff to hear I award 3.5 stars. This is certainly one to get for any Rush fan - especially those who loved Snakes & Arrows. Those who didn't will still appreciate hearing them in a live setting (where Rush always excels) and get a kick out of the previously un-recorded-live tracks. For everyone else -- this is an excellent addition to your collection.

Report this review (#168354)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rush have released quite a few live CDs and DVDs recently, the question is do we need another one? Well, I'm not too sure in all honesty. One of my major criticisms of Rush live is that they tend to stick too rigidly to the studio version, especially Peart who often reproduces his drum parts note for note. When they do occasionally let rip and improvise a bit, they are fantastic, but there's not a lot of evidence of this here. There are a few welcome additions which haven't featured on live recordings before, such as "Entre Nous" (one of my personal favourites) and "Circumstances" and the tracks from "Snakes and Arrows" work well in a live setting. The sound is of the cavernous variety as you might expect and reminiscent of Rush in Rio. Overall, nothing earth-shattering here and I just wish they'd let rip a bit more.
Report this review (#172242)
Posted Monday, May 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars yes, i know its their umpteenth live album in quick succession, but that aside this really is a great sounding album, and really shines when compared to the incomplete R30 and the muddy sounding Rush In Rio. Great setlist with a couple of rarities, and fantastic renditions of new material. lets hope the dvd is just as good.
Report this review (#173012)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favorite live album, maybe it's because it's the first tour that I saw them, twice! They were great the night I saw them in Chicago, anyways, back to the review. This live album is amazing because of the massive setlist, and it's probably one of the best besides the R30 and Rush in Rio setlist coming really close. The bass is really high in the mix on this one, and so are the vocals. Speaking of, Geddy sounds really good on this whole concert, his voice is crisp and very high as usual, sounding good. Alex sounds really nice and distorted with his cool effects and upfront riffs. Neil, of course sounds amazing, his drum solo is the best that he has ever done in years. Geddy's keyboards sound really good here too, but probably the least prominate in the mix. This is one of the best live albums because the performance and sound quality being amazing, and because it shows everyone that grandpas like Rush can still play the hell out of a full arena.
Report this review (#252236)
Posted Sunday, November 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars There was a time when Rush released a relevant live album after each batch of 4 compelling studio albums. That has been turned around now to 4 live albums after each studio release. Am I exaggerating? Sure, but so is Rush!

This is a live registration of the concerts Rush did in Rotterdam Ahoy, Oct 16 and Oct 17,2007. I was there on the first night and it was my first Rush concert after being a fan for 24 years at that point. Can you believe that? Well, they never hung around in this part of the world all that much. Anyway, the experience was magical, so was the setlist.

Unfortunately, the sound was awful. (never again will I visit this venue). On the album, they managed to make it sound ok. You can even make out the bass, which was impossible in that reverby hall. The good production also reveals a major flaw though, Geddy's voice. He sounds strained on this recording, having real trouble to deliver the dynamic vocal lines of some of the songs. It's not painful yet, but it's a certain decrease since the R30 album. It is even noticeable on newer material like Secret Touch but the classics sure suffer the most.

Highlights of the evening were Between the Wheels and Natural Science but they hardly justify a purchase. I have very happy memories of this concert but the live registration didn't bring them back. I can't see any relevance of this album for anybody but Rush collectors.

Report this review (#257399)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars What can I really write about this offering ?

It is now starting to be pretty pointless reviewing the mountain of live and compilation albums Rush is releasing. Not to mention; buying their releases. That makes me a fanboy and a serious one too.

Yes, Rush have a point when they release an album like this. A good point indeed. I have seen countless bootlegs from this tour. The internet is here, but the bootleggers are not dead. They were around in the analog age and they are still around in the digital age. And they would had made some serious money if this double live album had not been released. Bootlegs are the real rip offs here. Not the band.

When it comes to the two discs itself....... Well, it is obvious that this live album has been doctored in the studio. The bass is too much in the front of the mix to be taken from the live tape. The vocals seems tired and forced. The music and the tracklist is good though and it cannot be faulted. But does we really need this live album ? I prefer it to the bootlegs and it is with resignation and a sigh that I give it three stars.

3 stars

Report this review (#369790)
Posted Saturday, January 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
3 stars It's about time.

As just about every review of this album has said - here we have another live release from Rush. Recorded at a two day festival in Rotterdam, the album is, as the title suggests, in support of the band's latest studio album, Snakes & Arrows. Nine of the thirteen tracks of the album appear on this live release, as well, with an obvious emphasis on the material. Most of the greats in the Rush catalog appear on the release, such as Limelight, Freewill, The Spirit of Radio and other timeless Rush hits, as well as ones not seen on every Rush live release, such as Passage to Bangkok. The production is crisp and the performance is spot on, but, as I implied before, it really is a non-essential release. Although the new live material is great, including a new Peart drum solo attached to the fantastic Malignant Narcissism, the remaining 18 tracks are really much of the same. It's not a bad live album to start off with, seeing as it covers a lot of Rush's history (of course they always cut off the classic prog period for the most part), but is not a needed addition to a seasoned Rush collection. 3+ stars.

Report this review (#435395)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars RUSH used to be very predictable with their live albums, releasing a live record after every fourth studio album.That is until their prolonged hiatus where they have now almost flooded us with several live releases on cd and dvd. I wasn't even going to bother with this one until King By-Tor convinced me that I needed to, and he was right.There's a ton of music on here over two discs and 27 songs but for me the time flies by. Honestly I haven't listened to my favourite band for quite some time so I was blown away all over again by many of these tracks.The sound quality is superb and Geddy's bass is shaking the floor boards. Neil and Alex are in our faces as usual showing why they are the best at what they do on this planet. It's difficult to pick highlights because every single track impresses me (fanboy !).

The first track to really move me was "Entre Nous" from my all time favourite album "Permanent Waves". I don't know what to say to be honest. Even after all these years this song takes me back to when I was in my late teens driving around the beaches in the summer in the green machine. So emotional. "Mission" was interesting because it made me think of going to the "Vapor Trails" concert in Toronto right away. I listened to a lot of RUSH albums before that concert that I didn't own up until then including "Hold Your Fire". "Freewill" has been my favourite song for as long as I can remember.The power and words and performance by each of the guys is incredible even after all these years. It still gives me goose bumps.

The reason i'm giving this 4 stars is because of the tracks off of the "Snakes & Arrows" studio album that they do here.They take up about a third of this recording so if your not into that album chances are this will be an average album for you. I love the new stuff. Sure it pales when compared to their 1977-1981 output but it's a lot better than their synth years. And again it all "sounds" so good.They just kill on the "Main Monkey Business". Incredible ! Great to hear a track from "Vapor Trails" as well in "Secret Touch". Check out the heavy rhyhm section on "Circumstances". Man I listened to "Hemispheres" a lot back in the late seventies. Great to hear those pulsating synths to opens up "Subdivisions" on disc two but the next two tracks in "Natural Science" (one of their best tracks ever) and "Witch Hunt" are even more impressive. An amazing instrumental display on "Mailgnant Narcissism-De Slagwerker" my God ! "Tom Sawyer", "A Passage To Bankok" and "YYZ" all kick ass to end the recording. And I love barbeque chicken ! Keep it going boys !

Report this review (#449256)
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars The best way to revisit "Snakes and Arrows".

This "Snakes and Arrows Live" concert is a great experience showcasing the best of the studio album and also incorporating tons of classic rush songs. The excellent sound quality captures the power trio crunching out some amazing compositions to an appreciative crowd.

Neil Peart is sizzling on drums and his solo features effects and is well above the norm for a drum solo. He uses gamelon style blocks and sound effect drums to enhance the solo. I love when the jazz band kicks in and he plays full blown jazz metrical patterns. There are no lengthy lead solo sections where Lifeson plays by himself but there is a nice acoustic piece following the drum solo. Lifeson effortlessly plays all the songs with precision and finesse, surely one of the greatest guitarists in the world.

Lee's vocals are excellent and as clear as ever and his bass pounds on every track. I noted its all mostly hard rock on this live show. The band play old favourites that every Rush fan adores such as 'Spirit of Radio' and 'Tom Sawyer' but they focus on "Snakes and Arrows" album, virtually playing every song. This could have been problematic but I find these live versions even better than the studio versions. I was never a huge fan of S&A but this live concert really brings something special to these tracks.

I recommend this live album but it is far more beneficial to get hold of the superior 'Live In Rio' and 'Different Stages'. It is, however, the best way to revisit the "Snakes and Arrows" songs as each are played with more depth and passion in this live set. Having said that, it is well advised to opt for the DVD version as it is identical music and a better way to experience the live Rush concert.

Report this review (#764275)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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