Written by Fumo Verde
Okay, katz and kittenz, you all know how much I love Rush, and the positive review I gave Snakes & Arrows when it came out last summer. I also saw the supporting tour, so to get to see it again on DVD was great brought back some fun memories. This three-disc set was recorded when the band was performing in Holland. The first two discs contain that show with some extras on disc one, while disc three contains songs performed in the U.S. at Atlanta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. It’s been awhile since I saw the concert and I can’t remember if the songs played on the DVD are in the same order as I saw in Irvine, CA, but I do remember all the antics that happened on the big screen behind the band.
A Rush show just isn’t about the band playing music while the rest of us cheering; it is an interactive, emotional jam session where the band feeds off the energy of the crowd and the crowd feeds off the energy the band is pouring back out. The characters that appear on screen, played by the band and some times other celebrities, help act as a comic release while enabling the band to still tell the story during breaks in the music.
“Limelight” opens the DVD and what a smart song to start off with. Using some of the Bard’s words to craft a story about what it is like to be up on stage and how it relates to the everyday life we all lead. “Digital Man” is another song I don’t hear enough on the radio, so hearing it live is always a Scooby Snack in my opinion. Of course, “Freewill” is my mantra and the band playing this song in the beginning really got me revved up early.
One of my favorites songs off Snakes & Arrows is “The Main Monkey Business.” I remember seeing them play it and I’m stoked they kept it in the rotation for the European Tour. This is the same way I feel about “The Way the Wind Blows,” another good song from the album. Classic Rush hits “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of the Radio” are also here along with “A Passage to Bangkok,” and the concert closer, the instrumental “YYZ;” both songs will bring true fans to their feet for an amazing finish.
The last disc features songs added on the U.S. tour that weren’t played in Holland. They include “Ghost of a Chance,” “2112/ The Temples of Syrinx,” “The Trees” (another favorite of mine), and of course, one of the best Rush songs ever, “Red Barchetta.”
The extras include outtakes from the videos made for the big screen behind the band. In these outtakes it is funny to watch the band laugh at themselves as each tries to act out these characters they have created.
All in all this is a great pack to give to a Rush fan or anyone who enjoys watching live concerts on DVD. As for me, it brings that warm summer night in at Irvine Meadows (now called Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre although not by me) back to the front of my mind where myself, El Bicho, Fantasma el Rey, my buddies Nicky B., and his brothers along with my old buddies Angel Eyes and the Fogg, heard great tunes by an awesome band while puffing on California’s finest. Good times, good music, and good friends; this DVD will always keep these thoughts in my mind.