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Progressive Rock DVD/Video Reviews

Rush

R40 Live DVD

Review by Greg Olma

This release was inevitable.  All the talk of “last tour” while never calling it a farewell tour made it a no-brainer to film what probably is Rush’s last tour.  It is always difficult to try and cap off a long career without missing out on a certain era but Rush have managed to come extremely close.  They managed to touch upon every studio release except Test for Echo, Presto, Hold Your Fire, Power Windows, and Feedback.  Now I guess that seems like a lot, but keep in mind, that means they performed songs from fourteen other records.  Since this could be the end, they did have to play “the hits” but they also dusted off some tracks that have been rarely performed, if ever.  I was lucky enough to catch this tour last year in Chicago, and this DVD is almost as good as being there.

The set list and stage set up on this release is the same as what I witnessed and having the ability to watch it over and over again, I was able to relive that magical night.  As with all of the Rush releases, they employ a great editing process for their live DVDs.  There are a number of camera angles that stay with the subject long enough to give you a good view of the action without being boring.  The editing very smooth and really makes you feel like you were there.

I mentioned the album selection above the R40 tour really pulled out a number of surprises.  Songs like “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Hemispheres: Prelude,” “Cygnus X-1” and “Lakeside Park” have not been performed for a long time so seeing them again almost brought a tear to my eye.  I have spoken to some people who have complained about Geddy Lee’s voice, and that it sounds awful on this DVD and while he is not hitting the notes exactly, he does a great job with the older material.  Overall, the band plays great and they certainly do justice to all of their material.  This release is proof of that.  If this is in fact the end of Rush as a touring band, then R40-Live is a fitting end to a great career.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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