In the summer of 2010 Rush embarked on a year-long world tour that would feature a performance of their classic Moving Pictures album in its entirety. This created a huge buzz amongst long time fans, like myself, who consider Moving Pictures to be one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Hard to believe it was released 30 years ago. Although most of us have already seen that album's classic tracks like "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," and "YYZ" all played a million times already - not a problem here - this tour presented one of the few, or only, times you would get to see such deeper cuts as "Vital Signs" and "The Camera Eye" performed.
Of course, I attended one of the shows on this tour, and it was spectacular just like every other Rush concert I have seen. So I had that as my measuring stick when watching this new Blu-ray disk. Time Machine 2011 was filmed on April 15, 2011, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, as a thank you to the first city to ever play Rush's music on the radio. The brilliant Rush documentary, Beyond the Lighted Stage, covers this part of their history in wonderful detail, and it is a must see.
Rush tapped their Beyond the Lighted Stage directors, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, to direct this new concert video and they do an admiral job. This video has a very different look and feel to it than their previous couple of concert videos. Everything is much brighter, and the distance and angles of most of the shots do not really capture their brilliance of their stage show as well as the Snakes and Arrows DVD did. Rush's remarkable light show is always great at creating a unique look and mood to compliment each song, and some of that gets lost here.
The setlist would have been a great one solely for the fact that they played all of Moving Pictures, in order, but they also included many songs that have not appeared on any of their other concert videos. Most of these come at the beginning of the first set and none are particularly one's that I would have chosen. Although it was refreshing to hear such a different sounding song as "Time Stand Still" from their keyboard-drenched 1987 album Hold You Fire, following the always explosive "The Spirit of Radio" certainly didn't help its cause.