Wednesday, November 30, 2005


R30Rush recently released their 30th anniversary 2-DVD set, R30. I picked up the deluxe edition, which also contains 2 CDs (same show), 2 guitar picks, and a souvenir "backstage pass". I haven't gotten a chance to watch the DVD yet, but I thought I'd give my impression of the rest of the package.

First, the presentation is very nice. Even though I don't think the cover is awesome, Hugh Syme did some very decent art for the inside.

The two guitar picks with Alex's and Geddy's names on them are, well, guitar picks. Standard delrin-ish substance. The backstage pass is disappointing. I expected it to be a laminated piece of plastic with a lanyard, but it's a sticker. Oh well.

Some notes before beginning the CD review: What has Rush been thinking lately with all this live stuff? This is the third live piece of music we've gotten in recent years, with only one actual album (Vapor Trails) in the same time span. Yeah, we also got Feedback, but an EP of covers is weak. Give us a new record!

Ok, so you might ask, what in the world does this CD set have to offer? Very little, actually. Sure we get a cool medley at the beginning, but let's face it, medleys suck. This one does contain "Hemispheres", which we've never gotten on a live Rush disc before, but we can't help but want the whole thing. It also has "Between the Wheels" on it, which is cool (and weird, no?). Everything else on here has been released live already (unless you count the Feedback tunes, which I don't. I feel sorry for the folks at the show that got screwed out of Rush songs to hear that crap).

Granted the sound here is better than it was on Rush In Rio (the aggressive audience on that drove me nuts), and they do a really cool segue from "2112: Grand Finale" (which they launch into straight from "The Temples of Syrinx - crazy, but cool) to "Xanadu". Oh, and there's a nifty reggae vibe at the end of "Working Man". More importantly, Alex's solos seem a lot better than they were on Different Stages. But is it enough?

Answer: not really. We've heard more than 3/4s of this before - do we really need another live copy of "Tom Saywer" and "Subdivsions"? Now perhaps it's more exciting to watch the DVD (although I personally think it's tough to top the A Show of Hands VHS), especially since it also contains archival footage. We shall see.

Bottom line: unless you're a completist fan, skip the deluxe edition.


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