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Rush

R30 DVD/CD set

Review by Greg Olma

I can't believe it has been 30 years since Rush have unleashed their Canadian brand of Led Zeppelin influenced riffs. Where has the time gone? Well, in those 30 years, Rush have progressed (pun intended) both musically and lyrically into a unique sound all their own. To celebrate their 3 decades in music, Rush embarked on a tour that saw them visiting Europe for the first time in many years. The DVD was filmed in Germany, which was on the last leg of the tour. This commemorative package is just what Rush fans have been waiting for. Sure, Rush in Rio came out a couple of years ago but I feel this is a much better DVD. For starters, R30 was filmed indoors. Somehow when a band shoots a concert outdoors, some of the lighting effects don't come through as well. When playing indoors, there is more control over the non-stage lighting. Also, in The Rio show, the fans seem so far away from the band losing that connection between musician and audience. R30 captures more of that connection along with shots of concert-goers instead of a sea of people. The song selection on this DVD is all encompassing. The band really does play from all eras of their career making it a true anniversary celebration. Now, before you start sending me hate e-mails, please keep in mind that I do like Rush in Rio. I just think R30 is better.

The only thing that confuses me about this is that R30 is available in 2 versions. The first version is a 2 DVD set; nothing extra. Version 2 is the deluxe edition which contains a backstage pass (sorry, this is only a replica and can't be used to get access to the band), a couple of guitar picks, and a double CD of the same concert. When you go to the store, be careful because the packaging for both versions is very similar. The part that confuses me is the idea of releasing a stripped down version. Any self respecting Rush fan will no doubt purchase the deluxe edition. I don't think there are too many casual Rush fans out there to warrant a bare bones release.

The bonus material is exceptional. The first group of bonus "goodies" is called Interviews. They give us some early interviews from 1979 and1980, along with a couple of more recent ones. It's great to see these older interviews and get a glimpse into where the band was "at" at that time. The Canadian Rock n Roll Hall of Fame (JUNO) segment is also good viewing. Many fans outside of Canada will probably be seeing this for the first time. The Anthem Vaults is the next section and it is mainly videos. Even though I have these on bootleg video, it's great to finally get them in DVD quality. When I asked my friend Steve, who has been a Rush fan since 1974, what he thought of the DVD set, he just said "It's Rush." I couldn't have said it better myself.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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