Rush - Snakes & Arrows Live (DVD)
Disc 1: 12 songs (1:02:00) Disc 2: 16 songs (1:31:49)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

“All the world’s indeed a stage, and we are merely players – performers and portrayers, each another’s audience outside the gilded cage”

...sings Geddy on opening track Limelight from Rush’s latest DVD release, and it’s hard for me as a self-professed Rushaholic not to sit and watch the entire concert again from the opening chords of that classic song alone. As usual, this is a high-quality release from the Canadian Prog godfathers, featuring three DVDs full of hot Rushian action. A full concert from the Snakes & Arrows tour, filmed in Holland, alone would have been more than enough, featuring as it does some songs rarely heard from the band these days – after the aforementioned Limelight, Digital Man, Entre Nous, Mission, Freewill and Dreamline all make an appearance, and all are stellar, especially the latter from Roll The Bones, which I hadn’t previously heard – a nice surprise. The band are on fire, and Geddy’s voice is louder and more exuberant than it’s been for years.

It’s hard to pick holes in the concert tracklisting. Fine, there’s a fair representation from recent album Snakes & Arrows, but all of those songs are little short of perfect live, and old favourites like The Spirit Of Radio are present and correct, that song responsible for a few chuckles in these parts when a man dressed as a giant chicken comes and bastes the chickens roasting in the ovens at the back of the stage (mocked up to look like Geddy’s amplifiers to fill the space, since he was using the house PA) – even Neil grinned. The song itself gets the entire audience clapping in unison, and it’s interesting to see that this seems a largely middle-aged crowd, unlike those at Rush In Rio's show, the type of people who were probably there for the band’s 70s releases rather than catching up much later, and as a relatively new convert myself I’m jealous. For these few hours these people were reminded of their youth, of what it was like to be young and experiencing such great music with your entire life as yet unlived... the heart and soul that they put into cheering at the ‘concert hall!’ moment in Spirit Of Radio is enough to bring tears to the eyes.

There are a decent amount of extras, not least during the concert themselves, as if Geddy’s dancing around and Alex’s over-the-top Guitar Hero faces weren’t entertaining enough (hell, as if the songs aren’t good enough!). The show starts with a hilariously nonsensical horror-themed video, which I won’t spoil here, and the mid-way mark has an amusing riff on the snakes and ladders game. Tom Sawyer is prefaced by a fun South Park cartoon (and this is coming from someone who’s never seen the big deal about that particular show) – all broadcast to the crowd on the three massive screens behind the band, which play a variety of videos throughout each song; let’s just say that those who still doubt that A Passage To Bangkok is a pro-drugs anthem will be proved wrong here! Watch the credits, too...

As for the actual bonus features, well, how to describe Geddy in Scots character, driving a van with Barbie passengers to... no, I can’t, you’ll just have to watch it for yourselves. It’s worth it, believe me. The third disc features something called the Oh! Atlanta authorized bootleg, which is basically more concert footage with slightly rougher film quality than the main show (Ghost Of A Chance, Red Barchetta, The Trees (boo!), and the first two parts of 2112 (hooray!) if you still need convincing). It’d have been nice to get an interview or two with the boys, but after sitting through all three DVDs it’s hard to complain. What we ultimately have here is another gift from Rush to the fans, another DVD set that puts most other bands’ offerings to shame. I’m not going to say that it’s an essential purchase, even though it is; fellow Rushians out there should enjoy this as much as I did, and with Christmas coming up, why not put it on your present list? The band have yet to release a poor DVD, and I’m not going to start comparing this to previous ones. You definately won’t be disappointed...

Killing Songs :
It’s Rush, so they’re all brilliant!
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Rush that we have reviewed:
Rush - Clockwork Angels reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Rush - Beyond The Lighted Stage reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Rush - Test For Echo reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Rush - Counterparts reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Rush - Roll The Bones reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
To see all 26 reviews click here
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