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Classic Album Review: Rush | Rush In Rio

Yes, it's the beloved Canadian rockers' fifth live outing. And yes, it's another keeper.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


At first, you wonder what Rush were thinking when they decided to put out a CD version of Rush In Rio.

After all, DVD has already superceded CD as the medium for documenting live shows — as evinced by the fact that this set is also available in a superb two-DVD package. Plus, it’s not as if the world was clamouring for a fifth live outing from Canada’s beloved prog-rock power trio.

Having said that, the three-CD Rush In Rio — recorded during the last show of last year’s comeback tour for Vapor Trails — is still impressive for several reasons. First and foremost, there’s the performance, an energized and dynamic three-hour set from helium-voiced bassist Geddy Lee, drum god Neil Peart and under-rated guitarist Alex Lifeson, who temper their imposing technical virtuosity with charming playfulness. Then there’s the song list, which balances newer material with a wealth of hits (Tom Sawyer, Limelight), classics (Working Man, 2112) and seldom-played chestnuts (By-Tor And The Snow Dog, anyone?). Last but not least, there’s the crowd of 40,000 Rush fanatics who get in on the act, incessantly cheering, chanting and singing along with nearly every song — including instrumentals like YYZ!

With a gig this incredible on the record, it’s a wonder they aren’t putting it out on LP, cassette and 8-track too.


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