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In Rio [LIVE]

Album: In Rio [LIVE]

Artist/Group: Rush

Label: Wea

Reviewer: Matt Eccles

Rating (out of 10): 6


The year 2002 was remarkable for Rush. After a forced 5 year hiatus to allow drummer Neil Peart to re-build his life following the tragic losses of his daughter and wife within a 12 month period, this esteemed Canadian trio blazed back onto the scene with the earthy and generally well-received album Vapor Trails. The tour that followed was the most successful of their quietly legendary 28 year career and culminated in three shows at soccer stadia in Brazil; it is their very last show, at Rio's Maracana Stadium, that this slick, triple-disc package documents. However, it is, as the cliche goes, For Fans Only. As live albums go, Rush In Rio is quite a good one. But this is a Rush live album, and the previous four - yes, that's four - were all, in their own way, excellent.

Rush In Rio does not stand up as a great live album for a number of reasons. The major one is that it lacks sound quality. The mix is crowd-heavy, and while there are moments when this is an advantage - the instrumental YYZ prompts an inspired singalong - it stifles too much of Rush's intricate musicianship too often. Second, this CD has been released under the large shadow of an excellent DVD of the same title which has given Rush their first ever #1 hit and has garnered a Juno Award nomination. This audio only CD, then, is rendered little more than a companion piece for completists and rather superfluous for anyone else. Finally, many of the songs here can be found on Different Stages, 1998's far superior triple-decker live album that also serves as a fine retrospective of the band's career.

Personally, as an avid Rush fan for many years, in writing this review it's hard to know which has been more difficult: summoning a worthy enough effort of objectivity, or, hopefully having acheived this, giving a Rush record a relatively mediocre rating.

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