Rush in Rio was a release that I invested in when it was originally released back in 2003. At that time vinyl was on the wane in terms of commercial sales, and thus it was decided not to give it an official vinyl release. However with vinyl sales again on the rise, thankfully we have been blessed with the appearance of this classic in that format. In a quite beautiful format, Rush’s Rio concert is spread across four sides of black slab. The Rush shows performed in 2002 were the first appearance of the band in South America. This recorded concert is taken from the show at the Maracuna Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in front of a crowd of 40,000 +. It occurred at the end of the band’s Vapor Trails tour and captures a band not exhausted by another long tour, but instead at their peak of performance levels.
To mark their return to performing live (after a break of five years) the band dipped deep into their musical legacy with some vintage songs being reintroduced and also at the same time heralding the introduction of some new fresh tunes. Many vinyl live releases tend to be heavily studio over-dubbed and reduces the electric connection between the band and their audience. Definitely not the case on this release as the mix faithfully replicates the band and the euphoric South American audience.The peak of audience adulation more notably visible when they actually replicate the band’s instruments with their voices during “YYZ”(an instrumental). Some rarely heard fan favourites were incorporated into the live shows, which even saw the return of the classic “2112”.
The encore saw an effective combination of that two sides of the band. Beginning with “By-tor and the snow dog”, which hasn’t actually appeared live on vinyl since that classic album 1976,s “All the world,s a stage”. This then leads into “Cygnus X-1″, a largely forgotten number which belonged to an earlier era of the band’s musical history.”Working Man ” was next up, probably one of the bands earliest songs from their creation back in the seventies. A modern tune then followed up with “Between Sun & Moon” from their “Counterparts “studio album before culminating with “Vital Signs”.
It sounds great to have this historic moment in the band’s history captured on vinyl for the first time. It was also the dates which would see the band play to the largest audiences of their career. This live release transports the listener into the passionate audience of Rush in Rio South America. The band are playing brilliantly the audience are fired by whats occurring musically on the stage and that results in a total moment of musical greatness.