Different Stages (1998)


Disc One
1.Dreamline
2.Limelight
3.Driven
4.Bravado
5.Animate
6.Show Don't Tell
7.The Trees
8.Nobody's Hero
9.Closer to the Heart
10.2112
Disc Two
1.Test For Echo
2.The Analog Kid
3.Free Will
4.Roll the Bones
5.Stick It Out
6.Resist
7.Leave That Thing Alone
8.The Rhythm Method
9.Natural Science
10.The Spirit of Radio
11.Tom Sawyer
12.YYZ
Bonus Disc
1.Bastille Day
2.By-Tor & the Snow Dog
3.Xanadu
4.Farewell to Kings
5.Something for Nothing
6.Cygnus X-1
7.Anthem
8.Working Man
9.Fly By Night
10.In the Mood
11.Cinderella Man

 

Now that the time had passed where Rush had released four studio albums after their last live record (1989's A Show of Hands), the fans weren't really expecting a new live record, but almost demanding one. So it really came as no surprise when it was announced that, yes, the customary "live record after four studio records" would be released. What did surprise everyone was the format. There were several surprises, actually, and all them were for the good.

First, for whatever reason, Rush decided to go beyond the method of only focusing on the material since the last live record. They decided to include a slew of classics from the period between 1976-1982. To accomplish this, a double disc was necessary, but none of the faithful seemed to mind. The two disc set was roughly 55 minutes of newer live selections and 55 minutes of the classic period.

Of course, now that everyone was, more or less, connected to the internet, the track list became available well before the release of the record. It shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that, despite the strong song selection, there was a fair amount of minor grumbling. Mainly, the band chose to completely ignore anything from 1989's Presto. If the legend told is true, none other than Mr. Geddy Lee heard about the dissatisfaction, and decided to not only add a cut from the record (Show Don't Tell), yet also chose to throw on The Analog Kid from 1982's Signals. Fans breathed a sigh of relief, and the discord was substantially lowered.

The double disc also allowed Rush to include the entire song 2112. This was probably the biggest request, at that time, that fans were clamoring for, since it remained an audience favorite. Rush was never able to accommodate since the entire piece takes up over twenty minutes of "concert" space. It should be mentioned at this point that, starting on 1996's tour supporting the Test For Echo album, the band expanded their stage time by approximately one hour. Rather than having a support act, the band would play two sets, with a brief intermission, and this allowed them not only to add more songs, but to accommodate the rabid requests concerning the above mentioned piece.

If all of this wasn't enough, the band threw in (at no extra charge) a bonus disc from a live show at The London Odeon from 1978 when they were touring for their A Farewell To Kings album. A nice addition since there were a few songs from this selection that had never been released live.

The sound is great as well. A careful listen to the mix shows the guitar predominant in the left channel and the bass predominant in the right channel, so it seems more

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