Kevin Nieman | Moorpark, CA United States | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know RUSH. I know their albums, and I have been to enough RUSH concerts in person to have a very good feeling about how RUSH is in concert. However, nothing could have prepared me for the things I saw in this stupendous RUSH concert DVD. RUSH "IS" Alex Lifeson, who plays about 100 guitars on stage, Neil Peart, who plays on more drums than a human really needs in his drumkit, and Geddy Lee, who plays practically every electronic gizmo not used by the other two. RUSH has always mixed musical virtuosity with a rock-anthem bombast and prog-rock sensibility that makes some people smile but makes others cringe. That's okay because RUSH was never a populist band in the first place. They formed their little niche in the rock world, yet they never quite attained the kind of popularity enjoyed by other bands of their ilk, such as Led Zeppelin, Yes, Van Halen, et, al. Hence, they have enjoyed a sort of cult status among their fans, who see RUSH as modern-day philosophers who just happen to play rock music.So, it was with this knowledge that I watched the "RUSH in RIO" DVD concert. The thought that prevailed in my mind was about the unadulterated joy and excitement of the masses of Brazilian fans watching the show. This was the first time a Rio audience has seen a RUSH concert in the nearly 30 year existence of the band, and it seems like that 30 years of pent up energy spills out all at once! Fortunately, someone decided to film this!I guarantee you. No matter how many RUSH concerts you have seen, you have NEVER seen fans react to the band like they did in Brazil. NEVER. I sat in shock watching the thousands of bouncing Brazilians gleefully singing along to "YYZ," which Neil Peart aptly reminds fans in the package's liner note, IS AN INSTRUMENTAL! How do you sing to an instrumental, you might ask? Well, my dear RUSH fan, you will find out how when you get this DVD. Whether you are an elder RUSH fan or you are new to their brand of rock n' think music, this DVD concert will amaze you, it will entertain you, and it will rivet you.I'm American, and as I watched the Brazilians going wild for "Tom Sawyer" and "Spirit of Radio," I looked over at my brother, smiled and said, "We [Americans] really suck, don't we?" Seeing how the Rio crowd reacts to the band, who had never visited Rio before in their near 30 year history, it is clear that next to the Brazilian RUSH fans, all others must fall behind in sheer enthusiasm. Watch this DVD and tell me that North American rock audiences aren't COMPLETELY lame. The Brazilians know how to party, and the band feeds off that energy like kids being given spoonfuls of sugar before bedtime. It is a fabulous moment in the band's history.You WILL enjoy this DVD, but be forewarned; The Brazilian message to all other RUSH fans of the world is this: "WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL! WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL. WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL!""
Great Concert, A Few Sound Problems Early On
William F. Thompson | Altamonte Springs, Florida United States | 10/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I originally gave this three stars but after listening to the entire concert I raised it to four. There are definitely some sound problems early on but they were pretty much resolved by about 25 minutes into this 2 hour and 50 minute concert. It was apparant there was no sound check and the sound engineers had to make adjustments as the band played on. They were successful however and for the most part the sound is fairly good. Rush puts on a tremendous show playing songs from throughout their career. I would recommend this for all Rush fans as well as anyone wanting to see a great band.Here is the track listing:Tom Sawyer
Distant Early Warning
New World Man
Roll The Bones
The Big Money
Closer To The Heart
One Little Victory
Red Sector A
Leave That Thing Alone
La Villa Strangiato
The Spirit of Radio
By-Tor and the Snow Dog/
Absolute must-have. The best Rush DVD
Snow Dog | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Rush in Rio 2-disc set comes with one disc that holds the entire 3 hour concert and another disc with special features. There is also included a small booklet with some interesting reflections on the tour and concert by Neil Peart. 3 hours is a lot of video to store on a single DVD, so some compression artifacts are to be expected. Despite this, the video looks very good and is generally crisp and bright.
On the audio front, some people have complained about it being a bit muffled. However, it really isn't that bad and the music still sounds great to me. There are two Dolby Digital mixes included on the disc, one stereo and one 5.1. The stereo one has less crowd noises, so if you're only interested in the music it may be desirable for that reason. However, if you really want to get the "concert experience," go with the 5.1 mix. The front channels are dominated by the music, while the rear channels have quite a bit of crowd sounds. This mix lets you get a palpable sense of what it must have been like to watch the show in the midst of 40,000 energized Brazilian fans, so it's the one I usually listen to.
The DVD is very professionally-edited and they clearly had a ton of cameras recording this concert. I was happy to find that the video is comprised more of extended shots of each of the different musicians playing their instrument rather than lots of short clips. This way you really get a chance to see each performance. When one artist is playing a prominent part of the song, we logically see mostly them. The camera angles are great, also. You've got wide shots of the whole stage, closeups of Geddy or Alex, closer shots of just their instruments, several angles of Peart on the drum set, a couple shots from above looking at the band's heads, several booms reaching over the crowd showing a distant stage, and close shots of people in the audience. All the cameras have very crisp video except for one that's looking toward the crowd from behind Peart's drum set which tends to be pretty muddy. Otherwise, this aspect of the DVD gets my full approval.
And now, the concert itself...
The concert disc opens (and closes) with a really cool Brazilian instrumental percussion piece by Uakti titled "Trilobita" (on the album Mapa if you're interested). During this are clips of the crew setting up for the concert as the fans begin to pour into the stadium early. While waiting for the concert to start, we see the thousands of fans yelling excitedly and waving their arms in the air. Darkness falls, and the band launches into "Tom Sawyer."
The following is the set list for this concert with some comments about some of the performances.
1) Tom Sawyer Every time I watch the beginning to this song, I can't help but smile. The immediate swell of excitement from the fans is awesome. The complex drum patterns and rhythms of Peart's performance here are practically impossible to distinguish from the album recording, in other words, perfect. The same goes for Geddy Lee's keyboard and bass work as well as Alex Lifeson's guitar. Geddy Lee's voice sounds fine here as well.
2)Distant Early Warning
3)New World Man
4)Roll the Bones Throughout the concert, the band members are shown on a large screen above the stage along with occasional video clips. For this one, an amusing animation of a skeleton sings the prerecorded deep-voiced parts. Oh yeah, and Lifeson plays a beautiful Gibson SG guitar on this one in addition to singing harmony on the chorus.
6)YYZ Excellent performance by everyone on this instrumental, including the audience who "sings" along to the notes. This song provides a good opportunity to see/hear how good Geddy Lee is on the bass, too.
7)The Pass I actually heard this song for the first time on this DVD and I like this version better than the album recording. This has become one of my favorite Rush songs - a bit slower than some of theirs but very powerful (musically and lyrically). Awesome harmonies by Alex and Geddy.
9)The Big Money
10) The Trees Generally excellent performance of an excellent song, though a bit different sounding than the album version (guitar especially). Audience sings along with much of it, despite it being in a language most of them probably don't speak. Acoustic intro is present, as well.
12)Closer to the Heart This wasn't originally part of the set list, but they added it for their South America leg of the tour after hearing how popular it was down there. The enthusiasm of the crowd in singing along made up for it.
14)One Little Victory This plays after the intermission, which features a fun animation of a dragon smoking a cigar. The dragon then breathes fire toward the stage as pyrotechnic flames burst upward and they start the song. Very cool, and a good performance.
15)Driven In my opinion, one of their better songs from the 90's. Accurate performance.
17)Secret Touch Fine.
19)Red Sector A Not an uplifting piece, but still one of my favorites. The band definitely does it justice in this performance. Peart gets to play with his electric set here, too.
20)Leave that Thing Alone The band seems to have intentionally left most of their instrumentals for the end of the concert, possibly to give Geddy's voice a rest and also possibly to let themselves loosen up a bit toward the end. Anyway, they do a great job on this one and really seem to be enjoying themselves. Nice bass work by Geddy on this one.
21)O Baterista "The drummer" in Portuguese, "O Baterista" is the title of Neil Peart's drum solo for this concert. Peart is widely regarded as one of rock's greatest drummers of all time, and if ever there was any doubt, this solo should put that to rest. I had a bunch of friends borrowing this DVD last year at my dorm just so they could watch this. As a drummer myself, this video alone is almost worth the price of the DVD. Watch and be amazed at the technical wonder that is Neil "the human metronome" Peart's 8 minute and 10 second drum solo. Oh, and his drum set freaking rocks.
22)Resist To give Neil a rest after his solo, Geddy and Alex arranged an acoustic version of this song for the tour. A drastic change in tempo and energy from the previous performance, this is a quiet piece that sounds really beautiful as an acoustic number.
23)2112 Understandably, this is not the full 20-minute song from the album, but just the Overture and Temples of Syrinx parts. An excellent performance that the audience really gets into, with Geddy and Alex appreciatively smiling whenever the audience yells a resounding "huah!" with the beat.
25)La Villa Strangiato Probably my favorite instrumental of Rush's and one of my favorites of all, this performance is really enjoyable. All the band members are obviously having fun - even Peart can be seen smiling - and Alex does his trademark off-the-wall comedy bit toward the end. I believe this song was kind of inspired by a dream/nightmare of his, so they've always let him use this song as an opportunity to goof off at concerts as he seems to love to do. Don't let this make you think they don't take the song seriously, though...it sounds fantastic and Alex's hands literally fly along the strings on some of the trickier spots. Everybody does an amazing job with this one. I was a bit disappointed it didn't have the acoustic intro of the recorded version, but I can believe that Alex's fingers may not have been up to it at this point.
26)The Spirit of Radio Another fun and very well-done performance.
27)By-Tor and the Snow Dog/Cygnus X/Working Man Their grand finale encore set. As always the instrumental portions are great
That's it for disc one. Aside from some relatively minor technical flaws/weaknesses, a fantastic presentation of an awesome concert.
As if the concert itself wasn't enough, we Rush fans are treated to another disc of special features. The primary attraction here is the "Boys in Brazil" documentary by Andrew MacNaughtan. It begins with their initial preparation for the Vapor Trails tour - in the studios, coming up with the set list, practicing the songs, etc. After this it joins the final three shows of the tour - all in Brazil. Here we get to see and hear about the various technical and natural difficulties the band and crew encountered, especially one show where rain put Peart's electric drum triggers out of commission. There are also some clips of English-speaking fans from the various locations talking about how much Rush means to them. A lot of this was just gushing, but I guess if you've been a huge fan of a band for decades and this is the first time you've been able to see them live, you'd be pretty happy too. Probably the most enjoyable part of the documentary for me was just getting to see Geddy, Alex and Peart's personalities. Geddy's kind of the organizational one who's always trying to stay on top of things and keep track of the crew's preparations. Alex is the comic relief and is almost always doing something goofy and fun (his wife, Charlene, came along for this part of the tour and the playful interactions between them are often hilarious). Neil is the quiet, thoughtful one who can be seen reading in his hotel room and spending his time away from all the bustle of activity. Peart came late to Brazil to avoid the press interviews (apparently to avoid having to revisit through questions the death of his wife and daughter several years before), but we get to see clips of Alex and Geddy addressing the Brazilian press. There are also clips of interviews of each of the band members as they talk about the various experiences/hurdles/tasks they encountered along the way. These can be pretty interesting and amusing at times and it's just fun to see them talk instead of just stand on a stage and perform. There's quite a bit of behind-the-scenes footage of the band warming up and getting ready to go on stage as well.
In addition to the great documentary, there are also multi-angle presentations of YYZ, O Baterista and La Villa Strangiato. The first and last songs let you choose a musician to focus on, so if you are only intersted in the drum part you can select that video and just watch Peart's performance. O Baterista is obviously just Peart, but you can choose to watch it from at several different angles. YYZ and O Baterista are here in their entirety, but La Villa Strangiato ends at the part toward the end where Alex starts to talk. This is a perfect use of the multi-angle feature of DVDs and makes it easy to get a nice close-up view of a specific band member's performance. The video is wide but has the selection of angle options below it, so it all ends up being 4:3 aspect ratio. In other words, it fits on a 4:3 screen but will have black bars on the right and left on a wide screen. This isn't really a problem since the same songs are available on the other disc in all their widescreen glory.
Finally, there are a couple easter eggs on the extras disc...one with the original By-Tor animation (press enter at the 26:40 mark of the documentary) and another with video of them performing Anthem in 1975 (play O Baterista multi-angle, go back to the menu, play YYZ, go back, play YYZ again, go back, play O Baterista, and go back a final time and a button for Anthem 1975 should appear). Anthem 1975 is a lot of fun to watch. Cheers
Attention all Rush fans... this one's for you!
psychomuse | 03/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a very longtime Rush fan, I have become quite used to the band's routine of 4 studio/1 live cycle. After Different Stages (a great 3 disc live release), I was settling in for another 4 classic studio albums (you kids refer to these as "cds"). Well, the boys surprised me and suddenly there was a glitch in the routine. After only 1 studio release (the amazing, if not their best, Vapor Trails) they give their fans the Rio DVD/CD. I was surprised but certainly not disappointed.
Not only have I had the pleasure of seeing Rush more than several times (almost every time) in concert, I've seen all of their live videos. Well, I think the Rush in Rio set is their best. It sounds great, looks great, and the band seems to be in peak shape both artistically and emotionally. They're having fun and playing together like never before. For Rush purists, this is a pinnacle achievement. They're older and better like fine wine. And the crowd is the fourth member! They're just crazy for Rush in Brazil (and everywhere else in South America for that matter).
But that's only about 4 stars from me. The fifth and most important star is given for the "behind-the-scenes" footage. Rush have always put their music before their personalities. We as fans have always respected that. "Limelight" made it clear how they, or at least Neil, regarded fame. These guys have managed to share a great deal with their fans while maintaining private lives. Even with the multiple tragedies that befell Neil in the recent past (which he kindly shares in Ghost Rider), Rush have managed to keep the music first and foremost.
So it was with awe that I watched the extended footage of the guys off the stage in casual clothes, often without their instruments, just being normal guys doing normal things. I know that it's not the point, but when you're a fan- you're a fan. There's just something immensely wonderful about seeing your favorite musicians being their regular selves. These guys are smart, nice, cool, funny, and funny. And they're very funny.
It's a dimension they didn't have to or need to share (and maybe they didn't really want to share it) but they did. And I think they did if for their fans. And that is a great gesture for guys who don't like to "pretend a stranger is a friend." So this DVD is truly a gift from Rush to their fans. Rush fans- this is for you!"
It Depends What You Like
TexanMGM | 10/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Note: This is the concert DVD of Rush In Rio, this does not contain the special features disc like on the 2 disc Rush In Rio set.
This Rush concert was filmed in Rio de Janeiro on November 23, 2002 during Rush's Vapor Trails Tour. This is an excellent concert and is definitely worth buying. The only question is: To get just the concert (this product), or to get the concert, a 50-minute Rush in Brazil documentary, and some multi-camera views of YYZ, O Baterista, and La Villa Strangiato (the original Rush In Rio 2-DVD set). I'm a big documentary fan so I would buy the original Rush In Rio, but for brand new Rush fans who just want a good concert, this is the DVD.
Rush In Rio was filmed on the last date of the Vapor Trails Tour. Not only does Rush's music make this a good show, you also have 40,000 chanting fans in the audience singing along with the music. Another Rush first is that this is the entire concert on DVD. In the past, a few songs were not included on the DVD, this time though you get 2 hours and 45 minutes of solid Rush music. 29 songs in total and they include:
1. Tom Sawyer 2. Distant Early Warning 3. New World Man 4. Roll The Bones 5. Earthshine 6. YYZ 7. The Pass 8. Bravado 9. The Big Money 10. The Trees 11. Freewill 12. Closer To The Heart 13. Natural Science
14. One Little Victory 15. Driven 16. Ghost Rider 17. Secret Touch 18. Dreamline 19. Red Sector A 20. Leave That Thing Alone 21. O Baterista (Drum Solo) 22. Resist (Acoustic) 23. 2112 (Overture and The Temples of Syrinx) 24. Limelight 25. La Villa Strangiato 26. The Spirit Of Radio 27. By-Tor And The Snow Dog (About 4 minutes) 28. Cygnus X-1 (Instrumental part) 29. Working Man
This is a great DVD, so all you have to do is decide whether or not you want the documentary (which I highly recommend) or if you don't."