It’s sad when several deserving rock bands get overlooked by commercial bullshit, and get shoved aside because their music is “out of fashion,” non-commercial or simply not what the major labels are looking for and could care less in promoting it. People that have good looks but can’t sing (like Britney, Shakira, Christina or Justin and any of those 5 fag boy bands) and just screech rather than sing (Celine, Whitney, Mariah) or can’t play for shit (Shakira again), or just make all kinds of pointless noise (just about any hardcore metal band) or just simply rip off 4 chords off a major song just so they can cram it up with all kinds of shit-ass babbling (just about any rapper, Janet Jackson and other talentless R&B singers), THOSE are the ones that get all the glory and all the fucking royalties. ADD to that those two-bit assholes manufactured by some human-exploiting TV reality show (American Idol, thanks a lot Alan Parker, you dolt) and you got yourself a good idea of how fucked up the music industry today is, and how ignorant are the masses because they actually support and love all this shit, while several rock bands that actually write and actually DO music and actually PLAY are thrown off by the wayside to rot.Sometimes we the rational people have to sit back and listen once more to real music made by real musicians so we can actually land once again back on the ground and feel great again, feel that there is still some great music worth listening to, and that is the case of a certain unjustly criticized, often ignored, Canadian, ass kicking, prog rock trio called Rush, and their latest release, the live album and DVD (which I’m reviewing) Rush in Rio, is exactly that breath of fresh air, and though they have been around for 30 years, in this concert from their recent “Vapor Trails” tour, they have never sounded better or fresher. THEY FUCKING ROCK!!!
"The best concert film EVER, IT FUCKING ROCKS, YOU FUCKERS!!!"
See, these guys have been around since 1974, and from then on, as the years passed and got better and better from being a straightforward Cream/Led Zep rip-off to one of the most unique prog rock bands ever, they put their stamps on the map as talented virtuoso musicians, from Geddy Lee’s unique high-pitched voice and thundering, flexible bass rhythms, to Neil Peart’s complex and articulate drumming, to Alex Lifeson’s (underrated) scorching guitar riffs. Though asshole radio DJ’s, narrow-minded critics and ignorant audiences turned their backs on them, they managed to forge ahead making some of the finest and most unheard of music ever in all that 30 year time span, climaxing in the early 80’s with classic albums like Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures (their masterpiece) and Signals, and nearly every single song they played in nearly every single one of their albums distanced itself from the commercial crap out there by always bringing innovations to their music, from English baroque music, to guitar-driven rock, to synthesizer-driven music and even flirting with alternative rock. And this live concert is very much, a testament of years of hard work and endless touring and the countless kick-ass music they made in all their lifespan. While several aged bands now sound washed up and have to rely on DAT splices, overdubs and even session musicians to appear alive and kicking, these guys go the full distance in a concert that lasts almost 3 hours, playing in front of 40,000 rabid and crazed fans in Rio De Janeiro (a day after they’ve played their biggest crowd yet in Sao Paulo, to 60,000 people), and they have never played or sounded better.
The task wasn’t easy; they had never been to Brazil before because simply enough, they never thought they had any fan bases there. All three of the Brazilian shows (Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, and Rio) were threatened by rain (in Sao Paulo, it actually rained during the show) because they were stadium shows, and in the last show, the Rio concert which is the one that was taped for this DVD, the equipment was so late arriving that there wasn’t time to actually do a sound check, much less a check on the sound van or even a check on the video equipment they brought in to tape the show, so to actually pull it off, do the show, and tape it all the way through is an impressive achievement. It all starts when the lights go down and “Tom Sawyer” thunders into the speakers; the sound quality will simply blow your fucking ass off, with the sound mixing just throwing you the sound of the show the way it happened, without any digital gimmickry. The wizardry of Geddy, Neil, and Alex is immediately present, showing off their virtuoso musicianship, and playing every song fiercely through and out, while Geddy sings off every song from the top of his lungs even straining to reach a few high notes. The major highlights are the set opener “Tom Sawyer,” and classic Rush songs like “The Trees,” “YYZ,” “La Villa Strangiato,” Neil’s drum solo “O Baterista,” Geddy and Alex’s acoustic version of “Resist,” and the medley of “By-Tor and The Snow Dog/Cygnus X-1 P-1/Working Man,” amongst others. The newer material is also present and given the best renditions possible. The most amazing thing of this album is that from the beginning of the show, through several of Rush classic songs, you immediately notice something very weird but at the same time incredible: The 40,000 Brazilian fans begin singing along every lyric of several classic songs and EVEN singing EVERY NOTE of “YYZ” and “La Villa Strangiato” EVENTHOUGH THEY’RE INSTRUMENTALS! But strangely enough, IT WORKS! That’s just awesome, or like Andrew Dice Clay would say: UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE! You have to see it to believe it, since it’s so fucking awe-inspiring that it even makes you want to sing along with them and with Geddy. This type of thing rarely happens, but it’s so incredible when it happens, you have no fucking idea; it’s like being there at that very same show. It’s just THAT good.
Of course, for the hardcore DVD aficionados, there maybe certain flaws they can find, since the 40,000 sing-a-long choir, while awesome to many, it maybe off-putting to some. The editing is somewhat a bit flashy and may be a bit tiring, and the show was taped in non-anamorphic 1:85:1 widescreen format due to several limitations, the most present being the fact that actual camera crews could distract Neil during the show, but in the end, WHO THE FUCK CARES? Those are just minor tidbits, the rest kicks ass. The DVD also comes packed with a disc of special features which include a lengthy but worthwhile documentary called “The Boys in Brazil” (I know, smart-asses, but they’ve always been like that), a multi-angle option panel for three songs, and a couple of hidden features or Easter Eggs like the By-Tor movie, and most notably, a promotional video of their classic song “Anthem” from 1975’s “Fly By Night” album (and needlessly hard to find). If you have problems unlocking the hidden features (hey, I did), go to http://www.rushinrio.com so you can find out how.In the end, this DVD KICKS ALL FUCKING ASSES!!! I just loved it the very moment that I saw it when I bought it. This is pretty much the best live album these guys have released, and the best live album I’ve heard in a while and maybe EVER. 30 years and still going strong, and they have never played this good in a long time. Recommended even for those whom have always hated everything about Rush, this one will make you a believer. 5-5
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8563&reviewer=235
originally posted: 01/14/04 09:13:02