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Rush in Rio

Note: All of you out there who aren't Rush fans, and who don't understand why anyone would be, can stop reading now. The rest of you can follow me. . . .

Rush in Rio DVD

Last night I sat down and watched the Rush in Rio DVD for the first time. I thought it was a fantastic show -- although I have to say I miss the Miami Vice jackets from the Grace Under Pressure VHS. All that clean living has caught up with the band members, who still look like they're in great shape. It'll be cool in another ten years to see Alex up there with a big bald spot on the back of his head.

Some of the reviews on Amazon complained about the sound quality of this DVD, but I thought it was great. The guitar sounded a little muddy on a few songs, but I think that may be because it's amped with a lot heavier bass for these live shows than it is for the studio recording. That flaw (if it is one) was more than compensated for by the guitar solo on "Freewill."

One of the best things about seeing Rush these days is the range of the songs they can play, from early songs like "By-Tor and the Snow Dog," obviously the product of youthful early '70s enthusiasm:


Across the River Styx, out of the lamplight
His nemesis is waiting at the gate
The Snow Dog, ermine glowing in the damp night
Coal-black eyes shimmering with hate

By-Tor and the Snow Dog
Square for battle, let the fray begin


all the way up to "Earthshine," obviously written by guys in their 40s who could write something like "By-Tor" when they were young:

On certain nights
When the angles are right
And the moon is a slender crescent

Its circle shows
In a ghostly glow
Of earthly luminescence


That song makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, probably because it brings back memories of staring at the moon on stormy nights during my NOLS course.

It's also good to see some of the newer stuff that Rush does on stage these days, like the acoustic Geddy/Alex duet on "Resist," or the strangeness in "La Villa Strangiato" that includes Alex Lifeson introducing himself as Stan Getz.

I guess this DVD just makes me feel lucky that my youthful enthusiasm was directed at a rock band that's chosen to stick together for so long, and one that's still putting out great new songs and great live shows. By I try not to parade it around too much, lest my non-Rush fan friends get all jealous and stuff.

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