Rush have sold over 40 million records throughout their amazing 40 year career. In celebration of their musical longevity they have put together an epic concert film documenting their 2015 R40 tour along with a CD package chronicling their work. Filmed and recorded across two sold out shows at the Air Canada Centre in their native Toronto, the show is an outstanding achievement. This incredible concert film directed by Dave Heslip, captures every moment from every conceivable angle thanks to the 14 strategically placed cameras, from the back of the auditorium to an over head drum cam, making sure you don't miss a beat.
With the confines of audio it's easy to forget that Rush are just as dynamic live as they are sonically. Like many prog bands of the era the live spectacle is as much a part of the music as the songs themselves. The light show and back drops are impressive too helping to heighten the atmospherics of the music and the addition of the HD recording only serves to enhance the overall experience. Like most live releases these days R40 has also been released across multiple formats, including a CD version where you can sit back and take in the crisp and flawless live production. Surprisingly there is no vinyl release which may disappoint purists.
The career spanning set list covers all bases including popular tracks like The Spirit Of Radio but also live rarities such as Animate, so there really is something here for everyone. Opening with Clockwork Angels and moving backwards in time to their debut album with a rousing rendition of Working Man.
Although Geddy Lee's vocal range has waned a little over the years his voice has still has the tonality and flexibility of a man who has spend the last four decades jumping across three vocal ranges. His unique voice is every much an instrument of the band as the bass, keys, guitar and drums. Alex Lifeson's guitar work is outstanding and just as distinctive as Lee's vocals whilst Neil Peart remains a powerhouse of prog perfection on the drums. The overall musicianship of the entire band really shines through on tracks like Subdivisions, Tom Sawyer and the grandiloquent Xanadu. Newer tracks like Clockwork Angles and Far Cry also remind us that this is a band that still has the power to command the stage and their sound.
For a band that sound more vibrant and cohesive now than they did in 1975 it's a loss to the live world that they have now pretty much given up doing full scale tours. However, with a musical document as grand and comprehensive as this is a more than satisfying legacy to their illustrious musical heritage.