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Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland CD (album) cover



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3 stars ..... On first listen I thought this was mastered at the wrong speed, so LOW are Geddy Lees's vocals .... actually my first thought was "Who is this awful bar-band singer pretending to be Geddy? Yes, I know he had a cold ... but honestly ... i think it's time for Rush to call it a day if this is how the once great man now sounds ... It hurts me to say it, but this is easily the worst official Rush live recording on the market ... it's not just the fading vocal abilities ... the whole grungy sound of this recording does not do the band any justice ... I went to one of these show (Glasgow), and it is not without irony that I tell you the sound was dreadful there too! It is a real shame this has been released - but, I suppose, it had to be released given the enthusiasm generated by the initial anouncment to film the Cleveland show. This is emphatically NOT Rush at their best. Geddy had a cold, the sound is rough, the visuals are less than pristine too. ..... eventhough the band look like they are having fun. I love this band. Always have .... but have to award a shocking 2 stars for this ......... AFTER A FEW MORE PLAYS .... I THINK I'VE BEEN A LITTLE HARSH!!! LETS CALL IT 3 STARS - BUT IT'S STILL THE MOST DISAPPOINTING LIVE RELEASE FROM RUSH - BEARING IN MIND I CONSIDER THE OTHERS AS 4 STAR RELEASE
Report this review (#567737)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, another tour and another Rush live album, and as a Rush fan I bought it on the first day of the release. So is it any good, and how does Geddy sound? Well, Geddy's voice is fine. He still nails the notes of Freewill and the the whole band performs fantastically in the style that we Rush fans have become accustomed to. The two new songs sound good if slightly slower to my ears than what I was expecting.

Highlights include Faithless, Marathon, YYZ, The Camera Eye and Working Man. Maybe it is not the best place to start for someone to explore the band for the first time, but the band still sound fantastic and show that they have a number of years left to roll.

Roll on Clockwork Angels!

I would give it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Report this review (#567800)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars I hate to give this album one star, but I couldn't get to the end of it, it was a torture to listen to. At first I thought my copy was defective as the overall sound is muddy and of bootleg quality. The crisp sound of R30 and Snakes & Arrows Live is absent from this record... Then there was Geddy's voice, and no, he was NOT FINE. I actually felt embarrased to listen to one of my heroes. I had to go back to the studio albums to get a Rush's fix, and I had to cancel my order for the bluray... Snakes & Arrows was an excellent record guys, please retire with honour...
Report this review (#568984)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Tape salad. The stage just before the tape in the cassette is giving up the ghost and gives you a tape salad is what this album reminds me about. I did not expect to get a tape salad from a CD though. But I am starting to wonder what's next from my CD player now.

The reason for my worries is Geddy's vocals. Or has Cher taken over as the new vocalist in Rush ? Geddy's vocals is just utterly horrible in the respect that they are mostly atonal and as stressed out as a Lehman Brothers banker the hours before bank went bust. This is not Geddy Lee as he should be remembered. I think it is obscene, sadistic and absurd to release this live album at all. Also taken into account that some of the songs had to be changed to suit Geddy's extreme limited vocal ranges during this or these gigs. The overall sound is not that good either. The songs are OK. But it is very sad to witness these amended songs. The show must go on. But do not record it and put it out as this piece of junk.

I cannot bring myself to give it one star due to being a Rush fan. But frankly....... Well, a weak 2 star from a big fan of Rush and a get well soon card to Geddy Lee has been awarded to this sadistic, obscene and absurd double album.

2 stars

Report this review (#605753)
Posted Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'd like to start by saying that I saw Rush three times on their Time Machine Tour and the dates were all spread apart. I saw them in Atlanta, GA, Greensboro, NC, and Greenville, SC. The Greensboro show was actually a day or two before this concert was recorded. That being said, let me continue on...

Yet again we have another Rush live album. Overall this release is average at best. It has it's problems but they will be addressed later. Let's begin with the good news first. Musically, this album is wonderful and really shows that Alex, Neal, and Geddy can still rock out and play with technicality and precision that is remarkable. And having seen all of these songs performed on three separate nights I can say that they still have the energy on stage and were quite entertaining to watch as well as listen to. Any Rush fan knows what to expect from this, but for those that for some unknown reason know nothing of this power trio then simply expect to be blown away by three guys in their mid to late 50s rocking out as if they're in their mid 20s. Lifeson was on fire especially and his solo during "Working Man" was really energetic and electrifying.

Aside from the level of musicianship, there are quite a few things that could be said negatively about this album. There are two big ones that everyone has already mentioned. The mixing isn't that great and Geddy's vocals sound kind of bad. The mixing seems to be a running issue with Rush live releases, but even so there are times when it's difficult to hear Geddy on bass (which was surprising). Regardless of the mixing issue on whichever live release you care to look the fact of the matter is that it's fairly easy to overlook and really doesn't hinder the album overall though it could be slightly annoying to some. Now on to the issue of Geddy's vocals. As I mentioned before, I had seen them several times and Geddy is obviously sick or something else was ailing him because at both the Atlanta and Greenville show he sounded fine! I thought at the Greensboro show the mixing was bad which was why he sounded as he did, but this confirms that something was wrong with Geddy. Do not take this release as a good representation of what Geddy sounds like nowadays!

My biggest issue with this live album is the track listing. I'd love to hear some really random songs from days past or even from more recent releases. I just feel like they cycle through a small selection of songs with each tour. They also could have teased the audience with something other than the singles they released from way back over a year ago. Also, why on earth did they split up Moving Pictures on the CD release?! Seriously? The big selling point of the tour and you split it up on the album? That's a barrel of bananas if I've ever heard of one. Speaking of Moving Pictures, the fact that they play most of the songs on here anyways really killed the special value of seeing it performed start to finish. Seeing "The Camera Eye" was probably the most "special" from the album and personally it bores me to tears from the studio and on the stage.

Overall I'd say this album is average. The mixing and Geddy's vocals are the worst parts but both are fairly easy to overlook in my opinion. The track listing isn't anything to get overly excited about unless you don't have any other Rush live album, in which case immediately pick up Different Stages. Decent release but don't blow the doors of the store trying to get in and pick up your copy.

Report this review (#610867)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yawn. Lacking a new album to tour (a couple of tracks that would later make it onto Clockwork Angels appear here, but they're not the focus), the band decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Moving Pictures by doing that album in its entirety (with the rest of the album filled out with a mix of standards and slight surprises). Quite honestly, I don't understand why that's such a huge deal; it's kinda neat that the band brought back "The Camera Eye" (done every bit as "pretty good" as the original was), but five of the other tracks had been done at least once in the last two live albums, and the band had done "Red Barchetta" on a leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour. It's not like the band was especially stretching itself by doing all of the MP tracks, and the album never had any tight conceptuality that would make it flow better as a unit, and it's not like the album performance ended up fitting on one disc, so all I can do is shrug my shoulders at the decision. "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" still sound great (though, as on the last live album, they're slowly creeping towards sluggishness), the rest sound good (though "Vital Signs" is still an underwhelming closer), and there are bunches of movie and TV clips sampled in for whatever reason.

The band makes some interesting choices in terms of older material they choose to resurrect; I've never liked "Time Stand Still" as much as "Force Ten" or "Presto" as much as "The Pass," but they both sound ok here, and I'm rather pleased that "Stick it Out" makes a return (I would've preferred "Animate," but I guess they were making a concerted effort to pull in some less obvious choices). The band totally ditches Vapor Trails and Test for Echo, but three Snakes and Arrows tracks make it on, and while I still don't like "Working Them Angels," I've always enjoyed "Far Cry," and I'm very pleased to hear "Faithless" get a live treatment. Elsewhere, aside from a slightly surprising revival of "Marathon," the material is all familiar; aside from a brief acoustic solo, and whatever variations Neil threw into his endless drum solo, everything else here either appeared on Rio or Snakes and Arrows Live, and all of it is done in a way closer to the latter than the former.

I suppose there's nothing especially wrong with this live album (though there's nothing especially great about it either), and as secretly half-assed as the gimmick for this live album (doing Moving Pictures straight through) may be, it's still better than having no gimmick at all. I guess that if I had to choose between this and Snakes and Arrows Live I would take this one, but that's a pretty silly decision to have to make.

Report this review (#825084)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Helloooooooooooo Cleveland! Sniff sniff

Rush are definitely in my top 3 favourite bands, and I have been putting off this review now for a year. Okay now for a true confession. This is Rush's worst live album. This is not going to be pleasant coming from a huge Rush fan. I have been listening to this latest live Rush for some time and everytime it starts I shake my head in dismay at how bad the sound is, the production is TINNY! It is beyond belief, the guitars jangle and the cymbals shatter throughout, the bottom end of bass is trebled out and then there is Geddy's voice. I have heard all of the past live release and he is a dynamic presence on every song. Here on the Time Machine Tour he is off key, flat, and struggles to hit any high notes, sometimes squeaking or whispering the high notes. Surely he could bring some of the melodies down a tad if that were a problem. He sounds like his nose is blocked when he sings 'if I could wave my magic wand' on 'Presto', and of course it became common knowledge that Geddy had a cold that night. That is okay, it happens to rock stars and they get through concert tours the best way they can. But why do we have to sit through an official live release when the band are not in peak condition, that is just wrong. Furthermore, the concert was filmed and I have watched that and admittedly Lee's vocals are overshadowed by the stunning visuals, so that is definitely worth getting despite the awful sound and caterwauling vocals.

This concert could have been brilliant as it features the entire 'Moving Pictures' album and that is certainly a drawcard worth checking out and earns an extra star on its own. There are some wonderful choices on the setlist with songs rarely heard if at all. It is great to hear 'Presto' for a change, and 'Stick It Out' the rocker from one of my favourite albums.

The classics are here as always and I always look forward to the incredible musicianship on live staples 'Tom Sawyer', 'Limelight' and the finale, the last 27 minutes, is incredible with '2112 Overture/The Temples Of Syrinx', 'Far Cry', 'La Villa Strangiato' and 'Working Man'. Alex Lifeson absolutely has a killer time with fret melting lead breaks and trademark chord structures, simply genius playing, so I will add a star for that. Of particular interest are songs from the 'Clockwork Angels' album though they are only the 2 from the single, it is still terrific to hear them live. Peart gets to attack his drums in his infamous drum soloing with odd music thrown in to jazz it up, such an incredible drummer. So another star awarded for his virtuoso playing, what are we up to now, 3 stars?

Overall this live album is disappointing due to the sound and Lee's voice but here it is, with the good and the bad in full public view. Perhaps as a bonus CD this would be forgivable or as a bootleg but this is quite painful at times, and it makes me sad to hear every time, but it is deserved of the scathing reviews it has received. Grab the DVD if you see it cheap. Now, roll on 2013 and they deserve to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame!

Report this review (#851413)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars So, on Thursday last, after a shopping session with the wife, I was asked if there was anywhere I wished to go before picking my Mother up. Yes, I said, let's go to Tangled Parrot (the local independent record shop). Incredibly, she graciously agreed to this suggestion!

At said shop, I purchased this for the princely sum of Ł13. Even at the time I parted with said cash, I was asking myself; "do I really need another Rush live album?"

I have only seen this great band once, this on the original Moving Pictures tour. Fate, and other disasters, have meant that was the one and only time. So, to get my fix, I have brought virtually every live opus released since. My favourite remains the incredible Live in Rio, which is probably as close to the archetypal later Rush live album as you will get, in much the same way as Exit Stage Left was the archetypal early live document.

The selling point of this, in truth, was the fact it had the whole of Moving Pictures live. That album remains one of my favourite records of all time.

Sitting down to write this review brings a sense of disappointment. Is it a bad album? Well, no. As I have said in my reviews of latter day Rush albums, they are incapable of doing bad. It is, though, disappointing. The production is quite terrible, and Geddy, in particular, sounds quite awful in places. I also get the impression, especially in the period between the close of the Moving Pictures album and the "classic pieces" sequence, that we have a band merely going through the motions. Dare I say it, but Peart's drum solo verges on the boring.

Really, though, aside from the inclusion of a couple of tracks from Snakes and Ladders (which, btw, is by far and away my least favourite album by the band), most of this stuff can be heard elsewhere, and a damn sight better sounding as well.

It is probably heresy to say this, but I will say it anyway. Every single band has a shelf life. On this evidence, Rush are approaching the end of their days. This live album is one for collector's only. People, like me, who really have to have a complete sequence of a career. Otherwise, do not bother. Get the better sounds and releases of a wondrous career.

Report this review (#1078272)
Posted Sunday, November 17, 2013 | Review Permalink

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