DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Rush R30 – 30th Anniversary World Tour, Deluxe Edition (2005)
Published on September 12, 2006
Studio: Zoe Vision/Rounder Records
Video: DVD1 – 1.78:1 Widescreen Enhanced; DVD2 – 1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio: DD 5.1, PCM Stereo
Extras: Two audio CDs of the concert; 2 autographed guitar picks; color booklet with all sorts of photos; Interviews; Archive Performance Footage
Length: 130 minutes
Rush is Geddy Lee (bass guitar, synthesizers, vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitars, synthesizers, backing vocals), and Neil Peart (acoustic and electronic percussion). This release marks the 30th anniversary of the band and is packed with all kinds of extras. For this Canadian band (who are considered the most successful Canadian rock band of all time with 40 million albums sold), it all started with a self-titled debut album back in 1974. Rush is one of the few who’ve had such a long-lasting career pushing the boundaries of progressive rock.
The focus of the first disc is the sell-out World Tour that was filmed with 14 HD cameras at the Festhalle in Frankfurt Germany on September 24th, 2004. It starts off with animation that is representative of much of the album concept art and a comic introduction by Jerry Stiller (on screen). The intensity level is high and the huge screen behind the stage is evidence of the production value, yet the stage is simple with a washing machine, dryer, vending machine, and an impressive light array. Boy, can these guys still rock! They have more energy than a lot of younger bands you’d see today. The surround is not overdone, but the quality of sound overall I’d rate a “B.” The song selection is diverse and includes material from throughout the band’s 18 studio records.
The second DVD contains interviews and footage from the 70s up to the present. The DVD navigation is really interesting. The menu is set up like a museum and on the wall are flat screen televisions that show stills of the selection options. When you view the material you can really see the progression of the band in substance and in style–you have to love those eyeglasses on Geddy! The band is reputed to have played over 5000 shows, so it’s easy to imagine the amount of growth over the period. The videos like “La Villa Strangiato,” “A Farewell To Kings,” and “Xanudu” are reminiscent of the 70s with lots of psychedelic camerawork and effects. The two videos that are MPEG1 are mediocre quality at best and are inset in a 1.33:1 frame. Nothing in the material is life-changing, but should be of interest to fans and is a good document on the band’s evolution. On the whole R30 is a well-produced DVD set and it’s nice to have extra CDs rather than DualDiscs to play in the car and elsewhere. No complaints from this reviewer.
DVD1 songs included: R30 Overture (Finding My Way; Anthem; Bastille Day; A Passage to Bangkok; Cyngus X-1; Hemispheres); The Spirit of Radio; Force Ten; Animate; Subdivisions; Earthshine; Red Barchetta; Roll the Bones; The Seeker; Tom Sawyer; Dreamline; Between the Wheels; Mystic Rhythms; Der Trommler; Resist; Heart Full of soul; 2112/Xanudu/Working Man; Summertime Blues; Crossroads; Limelight.
DVD2 includes: Interview footage- Interview with Rush at Ivor Wynne Stadium (1979) – 10 min; Studio interview at Le Studio, Montreal during the album Signals (1981) – 13 min; Artist of the Decade (of the 80s) in 1990 – 15 min; Interview for the album Vapor Trails (2004) – 17 min; CBC Television Juno Award news report for the Rush induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (1994) – 13 min; Performance Footage- “Fly By Night” – Church Session Video (1975) – 3 min; “Finding My Way” and “In The Mood” mpeg1 from Rock Concert – 4 and 3 min; “Circumstances” – 4 min; “La Villa Strangiato” – 10 min; “A Farewell To Kings” – 6 min and “Xanudu” – 11 min – Seneca College Theatre (1977); a soundcheck at Ivor Wynne Stadium (1977) – 1 min; “Freewill” – Toronto Rocks/Rolling Stones Concert (2003) – 6 min; “Closer to the Heart” – Canada for Asia (2005) – 3 min.
— Brian Bloom