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Rush - Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD) CD (album) cover



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4 stars Filmed at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada, September 21, 1984. This is a very good concert video, with Rush playing with energy some songs from the "Grace Under Pressure" album which they were promoting on tour in 1984, other songs from the "Signals", "Moving Pictures", "Permanent Waves" albums, and some oldies from their earlier albums. This video also has as a bonus a promotional video for "The Big Money" song from the "Power Windows" album.This concert video has some very good camera angles which let see each musician playing their instruments very good. There are some videos in the stage screens, done as "humorous introductions" for some songs, designed more for the teenager fans of the band, which are also filmed during the concert, and they appear in the audience singing, clapping, and "playing the drums in the air with their hands" while Peart plays great drums sections.Most of these live versions are very good. This video is out of print, and it was also available in the Laser Disc format.
Report this review (#35117)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A must-see for hardcore fans.

This was filmed, quite well though, 21 years ago...and didn't wrinkle one bit. Not one bit I say. Everything is there to have a jolly good time: looney clothes sported by Lifeson, Geddy's hair seems sooo outdated now and Neil being, you know him, very true to his quiet self. I'm still surprised how much equipement they had and how modern the whole set was. Giant crystal clear monitors, laser show (even then) and pyrothecnics, super vast lighting racks. I'm really wowed every time I see it. These guys invested A LOT of money into touring, and the fans are showing their appreciation all the way: find the guy who's obviously a drummer and tries to copy Peart! He has a bandanna and wrist bracelet, making me not missing a bit the clothing habitudes of the 80's.

The band is still making it as easy as picking your nose, Lifeson bugging Geddy and Geddy pretending, as always, that he's not there. No drum solos, very frustrating indeed making me snatching off a star from the rating.

A line-up of songs you don't hear often, lots of favorites from a different period of Rush but still given with the majesty and good humor.

Seeing them having SO MUCH FUN on stage, the only phrase that's coming in my mind's: man, do my job suck...

Report this review (#35118)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Reading excellent reviews by Guillermo and John Von Bayer has impacted great impulse for me to punch my fingers into my laptop's keyboard on what's been in my head in relation to this what I consider as legendary show. The reviews really hit my head and bring me back to the rocking days I experienced with my colleagues down here who shared the same aspirations. Uuggghh ... what an excellent show -especially if you love RUSH!

All songs were performed excellently and almost flawlessly. From the opening audience crowd with sort of candle lights followed with Lifeson's inventive (and difficult! - my guitar player friend did mention to me) guitar work that brings me to the energetic The Spirit of Radio, augmented with machine-gun drumming by Peart followed with powerful vocal of Lee "Begin the day with a friendly voice ..."(?). Yaeh man ... it's rocking!!

But, my adrenalin really EXPLODES when the second track The Enemy Within is performed. WOW! What an attractive performance! I don't really know why I love this song very much even though there is a reggae component in it. But who cares? Even if I don't like reggae, why should I dislike this song? Well, it's probably I like this song because of its energy and rocking performance by Geddy Lee. He moves back and forth between front stage to the position where he plays keyboard. I like the lyrical passage where Lee sings "Pou, Pou, Pou Pounding in your temples And a surge of adrenalin. Every muscle tense to fence. The enemy within." and the musical passage that follows. Oh man ... it's a true adrenalin exploder! "I'm not giving in. To security under pressure. I'm not missing out. On the promise of adventure. I'm not giving up. On implausible dreams. Experience to extremes Experience to extremes." As I have the laser disc (LD) version of the show, I always repeat this track many times.

The Weapon is also an interesting track which demonstrates Neil Peart's great work with his drum set. Distant Early Warning is also another favorite followed with the band's classics : Closer to the Heart; medley: YYZ / Temples of Syrinx / Tom Sawyer and medley: Vital Signs / Finding my Way / In the Mood. Vital sign is my favorite especially during intro part with ambient keyboard sound. Terrific!

It's a MUST for RUSH fans! Recommended. I even recorded the audio into CD because I have been trying to find the CD version but not available. Progressively yours, GW

I'm not giving in To security under pressure I'm not missing out On the promise of adventure I'm not giving up On implausible dreams Experience to extremes Experience to extremes Hey, hey, hey yeah.

Report this review (#35119)
Posted Friday, June 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars End of the Rush peak window

I'll go out on a limb here and state the conclusion I've reached watching Rush for 30 years. Their peak, primo period is not Counterparts, nor is it the long-haired 70s years with the side long tracks (as cool as those are). Rush's peak was a 3-album swing beginning with Moving Pictures and ending with Grace Under Pressure. This is the music that best fused their many substantial talents of great songwriting, performance, and progression. This was their proggiest achievement, melting the spirit of those long '70s epics into their own personal style, something shorter and more accessible, but no less rocking. These songs were just as good as the often meandering epics. They rocked every bit as hard and their technical proficiency grew in leaps and bounds. This DVD is perfect witness to just how amazing this band was from '80-84. Certainly there were memorable moments before and after but this period is the one that captures Rush at their most devastating.

Now naturally there are some aspects of the period that can't avoid the cheese factor. For whatever reason, this period saw necessary to go over the top on aspects of the synth and electronic drumming not to mention the fashion issues. The sound quality of the show is also not as perfect as it could be. Don't let these issues spoil the meal for you. And the first, second, and third courses are killer versions of the songs from these three home-run albums. "Witch Hunt" and "Distant Early Warning" are smoking, dramatic versions. The Lifeson solo on "The Weapon" is utterly fantastic, and of course Neil is Neil throughout. My only complaint is that they cut short their time for more material from this period to waste on those awful 70s medleys they always insist on doing. It's a real shame that "Temples of Syrinx / Finding my Way / In the Mood" find their way onto this disc in the medley form, while requiring some key tracks from Grace and Signals to be left off. I saw this tour and can vouch that the current material was played to enormous enthusiasm in the hall, and there should have been even more of it in the video release. Nevertheless, this is a killer document from the true peak of the Rush career and is a must for fans. Just ignore some of the period silliness (like some of the cringe-worthy video on the screen) and pay close attention to the songwriting and the on-fire performance of the three members. I saw other tours after this and the songs, and energy, were just not to this level.

Report this review (#261374)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Be sure to put on you 3D-glasses and listen to those synthesisers"

Like the Exit... Stage Left video (originally released on VHS in 1981), the Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984 video (originally released on VHS in 1985) was also re-released on DVD in the new millennium. This first happened as part of a three DVD collection called Replay x 3 featuring Exit... Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984 and A Show Of Hands all re-mastered and transferred to DVD. Then a bit later these three DVDs were also released individually. The ones that I have are all of the individually re-released DVD versions, but (as far as I know) the contents of all three DVDs are exactly the same as on the VHS releases regardless of whether you buy them individually or in the Replay x 3 collection. The only extra you get from buying the latter is a bonus CD version of the Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984 (that unlike Exit... Stage Left and A Show Of Hands were never released as an LP/CD at the time of the video release). This CD has since also been released as an individual release. Confused yet?

The Rush of the Grace Under Pressure tour is quite different from the Rush of Exit... Stage Left, but the difference is actually much smaller live than it was in the studio. As I pointed out in my review of the Grace Under Pressure studio album, radical changes were made in the sound and approach from Signals onward. Indeed, Grace Under Pressure was pretty much Signals part 2. Rush was obviously adapting to the musical climate of the 80's with these post-Moving Pictures albums and while this is not a bad thing in itself it meant that they left behind progressive Rock in favour of a more New Wave and Synth Pop/Rock kind of approach. Still, in the live environment they remained a band to be counted with. This live video is clear evidence that while their studio output was declining rapidly at the time, they were still a very good live band.

Transferring the material from Signals and Grace Under Pressure to the stage meant that they could make them a bit rockier and give them more punch. Songs like The Enemy Within and The Weapon are indeed very enjoyable here despite the very cheesy and silly pre-recorded video introduction to the latter. Witch Hunt is, of course, excellent and the highlight of the whole concert for me. Despite the fact that these three tracks originally appeared on three different studio albums, they are all parts of a trilogy entitled Fear. Somewhat strangely, part I (The Enemy Within) appeared on 1984's Grace Under Pressure, part II (The Weapon) on 1982's Signals and part III (Witch Hunt) on 1981's Moving Pictures. Here they are played in their numerical order to great effect.

Another benefit from performing live is that they could avoid some of the weaker tracks from the studio albums (and yes, there were such tracks on the two most recent albums at the time). However, they still felt they had to include the feeble New World Man for some reason. Among the classics we find Closer To The Heart and a medley of YYZ, Temples Of Syrinx (from 2112) and Tom Sawyer and another medley of Vital Signs (not a good version!), Finding My Way and In the Mood, but overall there is a heavy focus on the early 80's material. Overall, I think that this live video is better than the Grace Under Pressure studio album and highly enjoyable in its own right despite some evident flaws and cheesy moments. At one point, for example, the audience is told to put on their 3D-glasses (apparently handed out at the doors!) through a pre-recorded video featuring Dracula. Need I say more! The cheese-factor is high indeed.

Still, a recommended companion to the Exit... Stage Left video.

Report this review (#501831)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Grace Under Pressure is another of the earlier concert performances of Rush running for about an hour with a lot of songs from "Grace Under Pressure" of course and it is nice to hear these. It begins with a glorious opening with The Spirit Of Radio, and a noticeable glowing effect on the band especially the white shirts, as if Vaseline had been rubbed on the lens. This is the 80s and this effect was prominent on film clips of artists such as Nik Kershaw and Dire Straits or Duran Duran. It looks kind of weird on Rush as they were never pretty video boys. Unfortunately the fuzzy effect is prevalent throughout the recording, and it kind of annoys me, especially the way the bright lights phase over constantly. Lifeson wears a white sports jacket looking like the mad scientist of metal, Peart has a white T and red cap that he loses later, and Lee wears grey suit jacket and white T. The hair dos are 80s personified; Peart has a rat tail, Lee has a mullet and Lifeson has a Flock of Seagulls quiff. Oh well, it is what it is. The music is brilliant.

The Enemy Within is rarely heard live but sparked my memory and it's a great song. The Weapon is always fantastic, one of my favourites, and it begins with a Dracula character on screen telling people to put on their 3D glasses.

Witch Hunt begins with a screening of a bunch of cultists burning books with torches. It is a great song from "Moving Pictures" recently heard in the Time Machine concerts. Lee's vocals are excellent throughout and the guitars are incredible.

New World Man is another one rarely heard live recently and it is OK though not one of the better tracks from "Signals". Synths are heard here though no one seems to be playing them, so I suspect some recorded music was used.

It was the age of the video clip and a clip is shown of some animation and a boy looking up to see a huge airship in the sky. Distant Early Warning follows and it is a great song from GUP, that has become a concert favourite. The clip shows the boy riding a missile and the laser light show follows.

Red Sector A is an awesome song and I loved hearing it on this DVD again, with one of the strongest melodies of the Rush catalogue. The laser show looks great here. The lyrics by Lee are terrific and when Lee sings "smoking gun" a massive explosion goes off causing the crowd to roar. The lyrics are actually based on family experience and is a homage to his mother and father that survived the holocaust. Though Lee re wrote the lyrics to have a broader perspective that it may apply to any holocaust like situation such as Rwanda.

Closer To The Heart is always a crowd pleaser and the crowd know it well enough to drown out some of Lee's vocals. There were no mobile phones back then but plenty of lighters go up in the air.

The obligatory medley is here with a terrific merging of some classics, YYZ, Temples Of Syrinx, and Tom Sawyer. During YYZ the crowd are obsessed with air drumming throughout. Tom Sawyer features the Moving Pictures animation on the screen. It is nice to hear Lee be able to reach those high notes too in the chorus.

Vital Signs is one I have not seen live on other concerts till the "Moving Pictures" live concerts of recent years. When Lee takes off his jacket his white T glows like the rest of the band's halos. It is a weird effect really and perhaps the worse part of the DVD.

It ends with Finding My Way and In The Mood, from the earliest album. it is a great crowd participation song with the crowd visible throughout, a guy even lights up a pipe at one stage.

Overall, this is a great snippet of songs from the Rush 80s years, worth checking out for certain even if for nostalgia if nothing else.

Report this review (#752710)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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