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




Heavy Prog

4.00 | 118 ratings

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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.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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