The R30 2 DVD set features Rush's Frankfurt, Germany concert in September 2004 near the close of their 30th Anniversary World Tour. The performance was captured with 14 cameras in high definition and is presented in 16:9 w... more »idescreen format. Audio options include Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound or PCM Stereo. Songs include the exclusive "R30 Overture" (an instrumental medley of "Finding My Way," "Anthem," "Bastille Day," "A Passage To Bangkok," "Cygnus X-1," and "Hemispheres), "Xanadu," "Subdivisions," "Red Barchetta," "Summertime Blues" (from last year's covers EP Feedback), and the "vault" track "Between The Wheels" which hasn't been performed live in 20 years. Bonus features include rare and classic performance footage from the late '70s to the Canadian Tsunami Relief Benefit earlier this year along with interviews from throughout the band's career.« less
"Of all the major bands of my teens, only Rush and U2 have never done a "comeback" or a "reunion." This, of course, is because they've never been gone.
There is something almost eerie about that. Twenty years ago, my friends and I were playing furious air guitar with pool sticks in my parents' basement, while a vinyl copy of "2112" did its best to exceed the limits of a hand-me-down stereo.
Today, I'm a husband and father, working very hard to keep the gut away. Yet somehow, Alex, Geddy and Neil are still here, just like they always were - and like me they've gotten older and (except for Geddy) a bit wider around the middle. Which makes it even cooler that they still ABSOLUTELY ROCK!
During the Overture on this R30 DVD, they seamlessly present themes from 2112, Fly By Night, Rush, Hemispheres and more. If you close your eyes, and just listen, you expect to open them and see young, skinny, long-haired Rush straining vintage 1970's equipment in some kind of Rock and Roll time warp. You expect to suddenly hear Geddy go high and start singing those searing notes that he used to hit.
When you open your eyes, you see older, wider, short-haired (except for Geddy) Rush straining modern equipment, changed physically by time but obviously still the exact same band that inspired me, for example, to take my speakers off my wall in college and lay down between them so that I could catch every last nuance of the entire "Farewell to Kings" album on one of the first CD's I ever bought.
As the years went by, I moved on to other bands, and my complete Rush CD collection began to scatter into the piles with the hundreds of others. I thought that I had moved on.
In watching this concert with the headphones cranked up, I got that same sense of awe and excitement I had in college. I found myself sitting upright, not just listening but mentally cheering for my onetime heroes, who were suddenly heroes all over again.
I haven't seen the "Rio" DVD, but in R30 Rush will remind every true fan of why we're all so happy that they have never gone away. I have a huge DVD music collection, and some of it is buried way in the back. R30 is one to keep on the front row."
DVD TIMES REVIEW
James M | 11/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DVD Rush - R30 is released on DVD in two different packs. The 2-DVD Package includes the Frankfurt concert on disc one with a second DVD of rare vintage performance footage and interviews culled from the last three decades. The Deluxe Edition contains both of the aforementioned DVDs, but also includes the Frankfurt concert on two bonus CDs which are not available separately. The Deluxe Edition also includes two limited edition Rush guitar picks and a souvenir backstage pass.
Audio Forget the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It is vastly inferior to the PCM stereo track offered as an alternative. The surround mix has a tendency to sound booming with echoing vocals, no great definition to the instruments or sharpness to the tight drum sounds. It is slightly warmer and less clinical than the stereo track however, it has to be said. The audience noise - such a major and controversial element on the mixing of Rush In Rio, is kept well down in the mix here, only faintly audible on the rear speakers between tracks. Despite the controversy, I enjoyed this enveloping mix on Rush In Rio - but it certainly didn't please everyone. The PCM track then is the only way to listen to R30. I mean, seriously. The difference is incredible - deep, sharp and reverberating, with fineness of detail and clarity of tone. A little clinical in places perhaps, but that's what we want, isn't it? Well, obviously, not everyone...
Video Despite the use of hi-definition video, the picture quality is inevitably going to find it difficult to cope with stage lighting and unfortunately there are the usual issues with chroma noise, pixilation, dot crawl and combing. Few of the problems can be easily detected in normal playback, but you will get the impression of a slight blurring in movement from the combing and a jaggedness or kind of crystallisation around brightly-lit objects caused by some nasty pixilation. An example of this can be seen in the screencapture below. Overall though, the transfer is well up to handling the variety of colour schemes in the concert lighting. There are no complaints about the filming style. The show uses less cameras than Rush In Rio, but they are well placed and unobtrusive, avoiding too many quick cuts and they have no effects applied other than the occasional dissolve, picking up the right angles and focus for each song.
Extras The second disc of the set includes an hour and a half of fascinating rare archive performances, both mimed studio and live performances and a number of television interviews. Beware of some very dodgy haircuts and fashions.
Interviews Interview with at Hamilton Ivor Wynne Stadium (1979) (9:52). On the A Farewell to Kings Tour, Geddy Lee talks about the growing success of the band and their approach - moving away from conceptual albums - to their new album, the then unrecorded and untitled Permanent Waves. Studio interview at Le Studio, Montreal (1980) (12:59). All three members of the band discuss their new approach to writing and recording, and their enjoyment of live performance. Neil and Geddy do most of the talking, Alex goofs around - as usual. 1980sArtist of the Decade (1990) (15:32). A fabulous interview with all the members of the band interviewed separately, reflecting on the highs and lows of their career and illustrating the indomitable spirit of Rush. CBC Television: Juno Awards show (1994) (17:33). An awards ceremony to celebrate Rush's induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, this features interview and performance clips, including a tribute from Mike Myers and other celebrity fans. Again, the band's sense of humour comes through here. Interview for release of Vapor Trails (2002) (12:51). Alex and Geddy talk about the apprehension of going back to the studio and how the band spirit and music came together again after a long separation. There's some reflection on the hard work that made them successful, like the recording of 1974's Fly By Night in 4 days in between the 250 gigs they played that year.
The Anthem Vault Fly By Night (3:25) is a mimed performance in a studio from 1975 - one of the Church Session Videos. Finding My Way (4:22) and In The Mood (3:20) are of very rough quality, shown in small, window-boxed format because of the low and fuzzy quality of the video. Nevertheless they feature furious and energetic live performances of these early tracks and are well worth inclusion regardless of the picture quality. Circumstances (3:43) is a live in the studio performance which overuses the starburst filter on the camera. La Villa Strangiato (10:12), is a full straight run-through of the song live in 1978 - a virtuoso display from Alex Lifeson demonstrating his ability to get an incredible range of sounds from one guitar. A Farewell to Kings (5:52) and Xanadu (11:10) feature the band in flowing capes during their madrigal period. These are mimed to studio performances on a stage setting. The Spirit of Radio (1:02) is a brief soundcheck at the Hamilton Ivor Wynne Stadium in 1979. Freewill (5:34) is a recording from the Toronto Rocks / Rolling Stones Concert, 2003, and by God, Geddy Lee can still hit those high notes! Closer to the Heart (3:25) sees the band with a couple of guests performing in a recording studio for the Canadian Tsunami Disaster Fund charity telethon on CBC television in 2005. This is a lovely little performance.
Overall Well, this definitely captures the same show I saw in Glasgow during the UK leg of the R30 tour, with the band still showing no sign of aging, slowing down or mellowing out. It has however better sound than the booming acoustics of the SEC, and you get a better view of the band than I had stuck at the front of the second block centre. I can't claim to be objective in this review or even speak for all Rush fans, but from a personal perspective, this is a great recording and wonderful souvenir from that tour, fully living up to any expectation I could have from the band in concert. There are still a few technical issues with this release, but with a stunning PCM Stereo track it is unlikely to be as controversial as the mix on Rush In Rio. In terms of extra features this is a little gold-mine for long-time fans, with an amazing selection of archive material from many periods of the band's career. We all now eagerly await another album and tour from a band who still seem to be on top form, not yet ready to rest on their laurels, but always capable of progressing their musical ability."
Rod Stiffington must be exceedingly brilliant
Samuel A. Scott | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was disappointed on behalf of Rush when I learned, from Rod Stiffington's review (below) of the R30 DVD, that the product is of poor quality. I had been really looking forward to this release considering the 14 HD cameras, 16:9 format, 5.1 Surround, superior lighting, performance, historical context, liner notes, interviews, photographs, packaging, unseen studio footage from the 70s, etc. Oh wait - Rod Stiffington has not actually seen or heard the DVD. He gives it one star not because of the performance, sound or video quality, but because the band decided only 22 of 30 songs were performed well enough or were appropriate enough (i.e. non-redundant) for inclusion. I feel robbed and under-appreciated. Maybe Rush had good reasons to eliminate a few tunes (ya think?). Thank heavens they dropped One Little Victory, Secret Touch, By-Tor, and Red Sector A, neither of which made much sense to repeat only one year after the VT tour and its accompanying DVD (on the other hand, I could have tolerated YYZ and Bravado yet again). I'll give R30 five stars in advance to counter Stiffington's less-than-enlightening assessment."
Rush's best DVD package
R. Gorham | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE SET: (2005) There are two versions of this "R30" DVD release. The 2-disc version (DVD's only), and the deluxe 4-disc version (2 DVD's and 2 CD's). For some reason, as of December 2006, the 2-disc set is more expensive than the 4-disc set here on Amazon. Disc-1 gives you the 130 minute concert from Frankfurt, Germany (Sept 2004) filmed in 5.1 Surround. Disc-2 gives you five interviews and 10 videos (some live, some staged) from the archives. Disc-3 and Disc-4 are CD's of the same Frankfurt concert from Disc-1... both music discs run just over 61 minutes. The deluxe set comes with 2 guitar picks (with Lee's and Lifeson's stamped autograph); and a nice 22-page booklet containing numerous band photos over the last 3 decades, DVD written contents, and a list of those that labored with the band (tour crews, editors, mgmt, etc). Label - Anthem.
COMMENTS: This is a must own for any Rush fan. As of this release, Rush has 28 studio/live/compilation releases... a massive career beginning with their 1974 debut. Simply a ton of great music. Disc-1 opens with a very cool 2-minute animated intro - incorporating all the artwork from each of their albums; followed by a short intro (not sure what else to call it) from comedian Jerry Stiller. Rush's Frankfurt concert itself is shot beautifully and the camera speed it moves from shot to shot is not too fast (as many music DVD's are). The track list is great - though with such a large catalog of songs to choose from, there was going to be some glaring omissions of some classic songs (i.e. - "Fly By Night", "Freewill", "New World Man", "One Little Victory", "The Trees", "Closer To The Heart", "Distant Early Warning", etc). The band sounds absolutely awesome. As much as Lifeson's guitar solos are highlights, Peart's drum solo ("Der Trommler") is mesmerizing. Geddy Lee's bass is a constant, and his voice can still hit the high notes (well, most of the time). The interviews on disc-2 (about 55 minutes in total) are a nice insight to the band. From Geddy Lee's interview in 1979 outside Ivor Wynne Stadium (in Hamilton) through their 2002 Vapor Trails band interview... discussing a wide range of topics - from their albums, concepts/ideas, successes, failures & hard times, image, touring, audience reactions, influences, unique sound, anger, memories, balance and staying power. My favorite of these interviews was the Juno Hall Of Fame induction - with many famous faces contributing (Tom Cochran, Mike Myers, Sebastian Bach, Tragically Hip, Kim Mitchell, Primus, Soundgarden, Joe Carter & Paul Molitor from the Toronto Blue Jays, and more). The videos on disc-2 were neat for the nostalgia buffs - great songs being played (or lip-synced), complete with corny sets, dated clothes, bad haircuts/perms, terrible sound and a much smaller drum kit for Neil Peart. The highlights are probably "A Farewell To Kings" and the more recent in-studio "Closer To The Heart". The compact discs are a bonus to listen to on the home stereo or cranked in the car. A truly awesome package all the way around (5 stars)."
Great sound quality, but left me wanting for different conte
Bryan | Gilbert, AZ USA | 11/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the Deluxe set last night. I bought this set primarily for the CDs and DVDs. The other extra content (the guitar picks, etc) didn't add much value for me.
I threw the CDs into my car stereo, started to listen, and found some initial joy. The sound quality is great. The crowd noise is much more muted and doesn't get in the way of the music. (Personally, the crowd noise from the Rio set didn't bother me much, and it actually added something to the recording, but that's a matter of taste). The "updated" synth sounds on "A Show of Hands" are out - 80s tracks like Subdivisions go back to their synth roots while retaining a fresh sound.
Also, when I played the DVDs at home, the production is very clean (no comment on the 1 sec layer-switching pause). The music is VERY clean. I haven't checked yet to see if they utilized the multiple camera angle feature (like being able to watch Neil play the entire concert) - that would be cool. I would have preferred a little less jumping around from camera to camera, but everyone to his own on that.
With all that said, I have a bigger overall complaint about the content. In the end, R30 left me wanting more varied content. If you already own Rush in Rio, there's some substantial repetition here. Also, of the tracks not on the Rio set, only Between the Wheels (perhaps because it's "new") and the intro medley truly stand out.
Note to Rush: Please - I want more of the "B sides" (i.e. Between the Wheels) and less of the hits (i.e. Tom Sawyer). Don't get me wrong - Red Sector A, YYZ, Tom Sawyer, and Mystic Rhythms are among my favorite Rush tracks (I'm a HUGE 80's era Rush fan), but I want something new in your live records. I mean, I now own 3 live recordings of Tom Sawyer - but none of Vital Signs or The Camera Eye. I have live 2 recordings of Subdivisions and Red Sector A, but none of Losing It or Afterimage. Bring us more of tracks like "Between the Wheels"!
If you guys did a mostly B Sides (rarely if ever played on tour) show, and then released that content on DVD/CD, I'd pay a fortune to be there and own the recordings! Until then, we'll have to wade through more recordings of Closer to the Heart.
Bottom line - if you own Rush in Rio and you like the crowd mix and energy (definitely try before you buy), R30 will leave you a little flat, despite the inclusion of new tracks. Stick with Rio and maybe buy the separate downloads that are missing if/when they're available. If you hated the muddy sound and you want a cleaner recording, get this set. Buying both is a little overkill, even though they serve different purposes. If I HAD to choose, I'd take the Rio set by a nose because of the crowd energy..."