The early roots hail back as far as “1969ish” solidifying in the early 70’s with Peart coming on around 1974 in place of Rutsey. This line-up has remained unchanged for the last 37 years and in those years the trio of Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, and Neil Peart have forged their legacy as one of the greatest bands of all time. Musically there are few that can match the skill of Lee and Pert, while Lifeson may not shred like Loomis, Broderick, or Van Halen but the compositions that he puts forth are truly second to none. With a well established track record of live releases dating back to “All The World’s A Stage”, the expectation is high for “Time Machine” and can these Toronto natives deliver the goods?
As expected they deliver the goods in style. Production quality and music quality is second to none, as we have to expect from the band. The blend and mix of material with classics and new stuff is on par with other releases and is part of the draw for me personally to the live material. The release contains ‘BU2B’ and ‘Caravan’ both tracks are to appear on the newest release, “Clockwork Angels”. Both of these tracks display the gritty riffs, bass lines, and masterful drum rolls that we have all come to cherish from these three. Given this preview “Clockwork Angels” seems destined to be a release on par with “Snakes and Arrows”. Alex, Geddy, and Neil have really put both their musical and lyrical best foot forward on these two new tracks.
This release leads off with the classic ‘Spirit of the Radio’, with flawless execution by all three. Also contained are the incomparable ‘Overture’ and ‘Temple of Syrinx’, ‘Witch Hunt’, and ‘YYZ’, all old releases but always listener favorites. Rush does not disappoint on the old and new. Their playing is always spot on, and production value is so high it really gives the listener a treat and insight into their live interpretations of the albums. When ‘Closer to the Heart’ comes on it is as intoxicating as it was when it was released. One can not help sing along as they are carried away on the notes of this classic.
All in all a tremendous live release. One may argue that Rush has too many live release albums that they can not be enjoyed any more. This may hold water for the casual fans, but to the die hard fans, each release by this trio is one to be treasured, even their more synthetic releases are sought out by the crazy horde of lifelong fans.
This release unlike past live ones, is a great collection of material spanning their entire career, put forth in such high quality that it is deserving of even the casual fan. As a bonus there are two tracks off their upcoming album, given these facts even the casual fan will enjoy this release. This is a must for serious Rush fans and the casual fans would also do well to consider purchasing this release as well. This is but the latest example as to why these three from Toronto have continued and will continue to be legends in their field.