Rush in Rio (2002)

Disc One
1.Tom Sawyer
2.Distant Early Warning
3.New World Man
4.Roll the Bones
7.The Pass
9.The Big Money
10.The Trees
11.Free Will
12.Closer To The Heart
13.Natural Science

Disc Two
1.One Little Victory
3.Ghost Rider
4.Secret Touch
6.Red Sector A
7.Leave That Thing Alone
8.O Baterista

Disc Three
2.La Villa Strangiato
3.The Spirit Of Radio
4.By-Tor And The Snow Dog
5.Cygnus X-1
6.Working Man
7.Between Sun And Moon
8.Vital Signs


Rush finally breaks with the pattern of "four studio albums and then a live album". It had only been one studio album since the last live release? Why the change? I'm not sure. Nor am I sure it really matters. This was live Rush and, like any fan, I welcomed such a change in structure.

There are several things that make this performance somewhat unique. First, we must remember that everyone, including the band members themselves, weren't really sue the band would continue after a couple of devastating tragedies essentially decimated Neil Peart. Perhaps they looked on this tour with more gratitude, and realized that nothing really is forever.

Then, there was the location – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Whenever Rush would tour, they would always hit the U.S. and Canada, but other parts of the globe would be more sporadic due to overall time considerations. The guys simply couldn't play everywhere. Well, apparently a tour to the country of Brazil was way overdue, and these fans laid out the red carpet similar to the New Yorkers at Shea greeting The Beatles back in 1964. Talk about a devoted fan cult.

The show in Rio De Janeiro was the very last night of the tour, and the entire set list is featured here (also a first). Regardless of how the band sounds (and they sound great), it really is the audience that makes this record. All 40,000 of them. If you don't like a lot of audience noise, this is not a live album for you. The crowd is undoubtedly the "fourth member" of the band during this performance. Consider, for example, the instrumental YYZ. The fans are so rabid that they manage to sing along – to an instrumental. They simply can't keep quiet. For the more well-known numbers, the crowd's singing to the familiar choruses actually drowns out Geddy Lee, but that's the case at a good live show, so it's really a matter of taste. On this album, you actually feel as though you're there.

Since the band made a couple of minor changes in the set list for the Brazilian audience (they added Free Will and Closer to the Heart instead of some of the deeper cuts that were featured everywhere else), the subtracted songs are added to the end of disc 3 (yes, that's "disc 3") as an added bonus.

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