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Rush - A Show Of Hands CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.51 | 425 ratings

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3 stars "A Show of Hands" sums up RUSH's last four albums: "Signals", "Grace Under Pressure", "Power Windows", "Hold Your Fire". Not a body of work the band will be remembered for when all is said and done, but each has its share of good tracks, which the band slices from their original source with surgeon's skill. On stage, GEDDY LEE splits his time between bass and synthesizer, so the bottom end drops out from time to time, making the performance seem a little flat. Still, what the band lacks in passion they make up for in execution, delivering clean, accurate versions of the originals. And the selection here is spot on: "Subdivisions", "Time Stand Still" and "The Big Money" are obvious choices, but drawing out album cuts like "Turn The Page", "Mission", "Marathon" and "Distant Early Warning" are eminently informed additions. What's missing isn't insubstantial -- "New World Man", "The Body Electric", "Prime Mover" -- but you can't have everything. Compared to their previous two live sets ("All The World's A Stage", "Exit... Stage Left"), "A Show of Hands" is cold and remote, which isn't an indictment since that's where RUSH was musically at the time. The set's warmest moment comes at the close, with a version of "Closer to the Heart" that the audience clearly relishes. Anyone familiar with the band's work since "Signals" should know what to expect from "A Show of Hands".

It's a different musical chapter than their earlier classics, but one that RUSH fans have taken to heart. Personally, I think any excuse to keep RUSH in the limelight is a cause for celebration. However, the suggestion by some that this exceeds "Exit... Stage Left" is off the mark. Note that, while the performance sounds consistent throughout, this is actually drawn from two separate tours: the 1988 "Hold Your Fire" tour and the 1986 "Power Windows" tour. The performance is also available on VHS/laser disc as "A Show of Hands" - The Video Concert.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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