DVD review: RUSH – Rush In Rio/R30 (Reissues)

Rush In Rio

Eagle Rock [Release date 15.06.15] 2-DVD/Bluray

Recorded at the end of their 2002 world tour, in Brazil and in front of a Rush-crazy throng of 44,000, Rush In Rio – a double DVD – celebrates one of rock’s most enduring phenomena.

Understandably, their set was heavy on then current album Vapor Trails but in addition there is a trawl through all but a handful of their previous offerings. Rush have always been at the more intelligent end of heavy prog rock and this concert – over two hours in duration – is the ultimate primer.

Bonus material includes a 22 minute documentary and multi-angle viewing. The documentary follows the band from arrival in Rio through to showtime, and in the wake of torrential storms it was a triumph of organisation over the elements.

What this DVD does is reassert Rush’s strengths against any number of younger pretenders: solid songwriting and musicianship and the occasional killer like ‘Spirit Of Radio’ or ‘Tom Sawyer’ which sound as good as they ever did. The South Americans seem to go overboard for their classic rock heroes and their enthusiasm is plainly evident here and to an extent the filming milks this audience/band interplay.

Probably not a DVD to sit through in its entirety, unless you turn down the lights and the neighbours are out and you have three hours to kill, but certainly there’s plenty to be dipped into to top up adrenalin levels.  ****

You may have thought that it would be difficult to top Rush’s first concert DVD, released in 2003, ‘Rush In Rio’.  Wrong.

Rush R30

R30 captures the band on the European leg of their celebratory 30th anniversary tour in 2004.

What sets this package apart is quality filming and a second DVD of useful extras.  earlier consumers may even have the 2004 Deluxe Edition – replete with two audio CDs from the concert and facsimilie memorabilia.

The first DVD is the entire concert in Frankfurt on September 24 2004, and whilst it naturally includes the landmark Rush tunes, the band also feature some of the music that inspired them. So we get versions of ‘The Seeker’ (The Who), an acoustic ‘Heart Of Soul’ (Yardbirds) and a very fine delivery of ‘Crossroads’ (Cream).

On the second DVD there is rare footage from 1975′s Church Session Video to the Tsunami relief concert in 2005 with interviews from all periods of the band’s history.

Duplication with the ‘Rio’ set is inevitable, but as the Rio gig was the last date of the ‘Vapor Trails’ tour there was an obvious emphasis on that album.  Only ‘Earthshine’ from ‘Trails’ is featured on ‘R30′. Some fans criticised Rio’s audio and visual quality: if that bothered you then ‘R30′ makes full amends.   ****½

Review by David Randall (based on original reviews published by GRTR! 2003/5)

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 7 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

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