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Rush - Snakes & Arrows Live DVD

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 9:49 PM


Zoe/Rounder Records

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Never since its beginnings has Rush been a band to follow musical trends or pop fashion, which might be why the majority of its fans aren’t dumb and have stayed loyal over the years. The contribution Rush has made to the art of music itself, not the ever-changing periphery, is enormous. Record sales and mainstream popularity are not the reasons why Rush is still around after nearly 35 years. They’ve always been a live band. The mutual love and respect between the members and their fans is without parallel. The key reason why the arenas continue to fill year after year is because Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart give their audience what they pay for. And the audiences around the world give them what they play for.

For the fans and for those about to be fans, the new Rush 3-DVD package, Snakes & Arrows Live is now out in stores, an abundant offering of sight and sound, documenting two nights of live performance in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Nine songs off 2007’s Snakes & Arrows are divvied up onto two discs, and the expected favorites as well as rarities were pulled out of the Rush vault. On Disc One and Disc Two, Rush performs for a sea of enthusiastic Rotterdam fans playing a great mix of songs, spanning their whole timeline, while showcasing the material from Snakes & Arrows. It’s the more obscure numbers, like “Circumstances” (even without Lee’s long-lost falsetto) and the ominous “Between the Wheels,” however, which the old school will really appreciate, with “Digital Man” taking honorable mention.

The Rotterdam stage visuals are surrealistically colorful, with the Snakes & Arrows motif abounding, complete with the fried chicken contraption behind Geddy Lee. The camera work is extraordinary, catching unbelievable angles of the action, with up close views of Lifeson’s soloing and Lee’s bass playing. The overhead footage of Peart’s drumming is spectacular. At the end of “Malignant Narcissism – De Slagwerker,” Peart blazes an eight-minute solo as footage of his idols, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa fly on the overhead screen, similar to the audio/visual homage paid during the R30 tour.

Disc Three is titled Oh, Atlanta! The Authorized Bootlegs, with “Red Barchetta” and “The Trees” as show highlights.

The running time of the three discs combined is 221 minutes.

In the Bonus section of Disc One, Lee and Lifeson show off their comedic talents in “What’s That Smell?” Seeing Lee in character as Harry Satchel, doing a Scottish brogue and wearing a kilt is a sight to see. Lifeson exhibits his penchant for comic lunacy as well, playing a few amusing characters worth checking out. Also in the Bonus area is a great performance of “Red Sector A,” snagged from the R30 tour and alternate versions of “Far Cry” and “The Way the Wind Blows.”

YYZ, the closer of the Rotterdam show is full-throttle, mind-bending intensity with subtle variations in each of the members’ solos, showing that as evolving musicians, they continue to raise the bar, and make every stage their playground.

Snakes & Arrows Live is audio/visual proof that Rush, approaching its 35th year in existence, has stayed true to its artistic vision and untiring work ethic. They are indisputably, rock’s finest and most powerful power trio.

* * * *

(If “In the End” and “Something for Nothing” were included, this might’ve gotten a 5 star review)

DISC ONE

  • Limelight
  • Digital Man
  • Entre Nous
  • Mission
  • Freewill
  • The Main Monkey Business
  • The Larger Bowl
  • Secret Touch
  • Circumstances
  • Between The Wheels
  • Dreamline
DISC TWO
  • Far Cry
  • Workin’ Them Angels
  • Armor and Sword
  • Spindrift
  • The Way the Wind Blows
  • Subdivisions
  • Natural Science
  • Witch Hunt
  • Malignant Narcissism – De Slagwerker
  • Hope
  • Distant Early Warning
  • The Spirit of Radio
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Encore
  • One Little Victory
  • A Passage to Bangkok
  • YYZ
DISC THREE
    Oh, Atlanta! The Authorized Bootlegs
  • Ghost of a Chance
  • Red Barchetta
  • The Trees
  • 2112/The Temples of Syrinx
Purchase your copy of Snakes & Arrows Live now in the KNAC.COM More Store now. Click here.


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