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RUSH: Snakes and Arrows Live

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 07-09-2010

5

  • Blu-Ray Disc
  • Rush

Description
Filmed over two performances in Rotterdam, Holland in October of 2007, Rush’s new DVD Snakes & Arrows Live captures the legendary band in peak form, performing classic Rush material and nine new songs from their critically acclaimed 2007 CD Snakes & Arrows. Bonus footage of four songs added for their 2008 American tour, including “Ghost of a Chance,” filmed here for the first time.

Since the release of their eponymous first LP in 1974, Rush has continually expanded… More >>

RUSH: Snakes and Arrows Live

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Rush (band) - wikipedia, Rush canadian rock band composed geddy lee (bass guitar, lead vocals, keyboards), alex lifeson (guitars, backing vocals) neil peart (drums, percussion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_%28band%29 Feedback (rush album) - wikipedia, Rush rio (2003) feedback (2004) snakes & arrows (2007) feedback cover album canadian rock band rush, released 2004. album features covers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback_(Rush_album) The rush image database - courtesy cygnus-x1.net: , Pictures snakes & arrows snakes & arrows live tours. http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/rush/imagedb.php




Comments (5)

I’ve been a Rush fan since 1912… kidding, since 1976. The ‘fossil’ that I am, i’ve probably seen them at least 40 times live beginning with the ‘Farewell To Kings’ tour way back when. I have all their CD’s and DVD’s. I have played their LP’s (vinyl records) on an old ‘Fisher’ tube stereo receiver with ‘Realistic’ (Radio Shack) speakers, and 8-track tapes back in the day (70’s). As an older ’40-something’ audiophile now thankfully making more than a high school kid did back then, I can now listen to them via high-end McIntosh equipment and Magneplanar hi-res speakers. Rush never sounded better! That said, and with my high expectations, this ‘Snakes & Arrows’ live DVD is INCREDIBLE, visually and sonic-wise! THIS IS HOW A LIVE CONCERT DVD SHOULD BE DONE! The camera work is stellar, with a good mix of closeups, medium range, and whole stage shots. Audio is excellent, both in stereo and in 5.1. And best of all, Rush is in absolute top form, moving, playing, and singing as if they were 25 again! This is a MUST OWN concert for Rush and/or prog rock fans!
Rating: 5 / 5

Absolutely flawless! This BD has absolutely stunning camera work, and incredible sound, especially watching it in DTS-HD Master Audio. Amazing that they are only charging $20 for the BD version…This could easily be priced at $30. Every fan needs this in their collection. Rush n Rio was great, R30 was Excellent, this hands down tops both of those.
Rating: 5 / 5

My first Blu-Ray purchase ever (this was the release to actually convince me to buy my Blu-Ray player). I knew once Rush had their first Blu-Ray true-HD product that I would take the plunge. I’m glad that I did. I could go on and on about the superiority over DVD, but this release proves why the time is now to upgrade your home theater setup. If you are a Rush fan, this package will return you to the concert hall over and over and over…with an almost godlike seat at the show. I saw the S&A Tour live from 14th row floor, but THIS is far more enjoyable. And there is something to be said when a 5-inch disc made of plastic can contain footage and sound that trumps (in my opinion) an actual live experience. Suffice it to say I have a very large home theater system which includes a sound section that rivals some installations at local bars for their hi-tech dance floors. Today they sell speakers with little 8-inch drivers they call “woofers”. I feel so bad that Bose and others went the direction of “scientific and dainty”. My speakers are over 7 years old and I’m never switching until the industry gets back to power. My L&R mains and L&R surrounds have (2) 12-inch woofers, each! My subwoofer channel is carried by an 800watt rack amplifier driving two 18-inch woofers in commercial dance floor cabinets. They make *wind* if necessary. I am mentioning all this because I found the surround mix on the R30 Tour DVD to be “OK” and all previous releases (Rush in Rio and back) to be pooooor. The stereo mixes were fine, but somebody was drunk when they did the Dolby Digital mixes…muddy and yucky. S&A Live on Blu-Ray has a phenominal (and I mean phenominal) DTS-HD audio mix that *exactly* recreates the live experience. Perfect tone, mix, warmth, ambience, and depth. On my system at least, you close your eyes and you are back at the live show for real. They did a really good job on this one. I assume the DVD version of this carries a similar mix that is finally a triumph in the surround sound department.

But the winning catch on the Blu-Ray is (no surprise) the picture quality. The first 60 seconds convinces you that you’ll never go back to DVD…ever. Seeing Alex come out in the crisp white spotlights, you can see every stitch in his clothing, every detail on his guitar, you think you can reach in and pluck the strings. They’re all there, not in a fuzz of traditional video, but like a crisp expensive digital camera photo. Then comes the launch of Limelight, the stage goes lit, and you sit back in awe. Neil’s gold-plated kit, the video screens, the lights, the crowd…all stunningly detailed. This was shot in HD, and made for HD. And you know it. It’s unmistakable. For the entire show you get to see everything in a way I’ve never openly noticed in a Rush concert video before. There were some fans involved in editing or something. The editors hired must have been Rush fans. Because they switch the cameras and stick in shots that are the tastiest and coolest ever…head over heels better than even the R30 Tour DVD, which I thought was well done…it only gets wayyy better. My gawd, they let you see everything. Geddy’s keyboards, Alex’s pedalboards, Neil’s feet, the dolls and animals all over the stage, and gear from all angles. On Blu-Ray I found myself pausing over and over again (because you can actually READ the settings on Ged’s keyboards, and the notes on Alex’s pedals!!) Tons of audience shots galore. People singing, headbanging, dancing…and you can see their faces and what it says on their shirts! I also like they don’t necessarily hide the cameras and technical stuff. You can see the cranes, the cameramen, and the little robotic dolly camera zipping back and forth across the front of the stage. It’s like they set everything up and just said “you guys go out there and rock, we’ll capture every last drop of it” Well, they did.

Lastly, I think the most hilarious Rush moment in Rush footage history is found on this thing. During the final credits, NEIL’s head appears on the swami-pillow and is attacked by dolls… I literally shed tears it was so funny. I still can’t get over what he said and the expression on his face. Good to see Neil clown it up.
Rating: 5 / 5

“It’s the best!! First off, it’s RUSH. This concert is amazing. From the many HD cameras capturing the entire concert to the AC3 Dolby 5.1 surround. This is the entire concert to ~ very video on the back screen, every song, and every announcement. The extras features are really funny and you also get an additional 4 songs Live from the tour. This is a treasure for every RUSH fan. If you saw Snakes & Arrows Live then you will remember Geddy filming the audience when they said, “Hi Canada”. The DVD includes snippets of audiences from different cities. This DVD has it all.

Thank you Geddy, Alex, and Neil”
Rating: 5 / 5

I was just thinking about it and it occurred to me that this is a perfect product for me to review. Why? Rush has been my favorite band since 1978. Ok, Dream Theater has tied that mark since 1992, but I digress… I am a semi-professional photographer (i.e. picture quality) for 6 years (and a photographer for 35 years & have been a more than obsessive hobbyist, but the recording kind (6 CD’s in the last 18 years), musician for 25 years, with Rush as one of my key influences. And of course, I’ve seen them on every tour since 1980 and I saw them 5 times on the tour from which this was culled. So, OK, it’s not from a neutral perspective. But it is from a very knowledgeable perspective. This review is from one Rush fan to another…

With that said, having seen the show twice on leg 1 and 3 times on leg 2, I can say the contents of this DVD compared to my memory of the five shows I saw ranks equal to the second best of those two and thus slightly less than the best show out of all five.

The first leg shows were unique in that not 1, but 3 songs that either had not been played live at all (Entre Nous) or not in roughly 24 years or more (Digital Man, Circumstances) were included in the setlist. Only Digital Man remained from those 3 in the second leg. However, Ghost of a Chance, a gem of a song from Roll the Bones, which had been sadly ignored since that tour, was added in place of Entre Nous on the second leg and a few more classic standards were played as well. This tour included the most material from a new album by Rush (Snakes & Arrows) since the late 80’s, and the quality of the newest album warranted this.

Rush is the type of band that likes to settle on a set list and continue perfecting the execution of it throughout the tour. From a very old interview, I recall them saying they wanted every fan to have the same experience. This would explain the similarity in the show throughout a tour. The nature of their perfectionism seems to allow them to do this and stay interested.

Anyway, to specify the items which I believe are highlights, I would say that Digital Man is definite highlight. The arrangement is altered slightly to remove the middle iteration of the bridge and head straight into the solo section, and execute the bridge as only an outro with Geddy Lee jamming the bass out on it instead of being locked to a keyboard. That part always seemed awkward and what they did in terms of arrangement was precisely what I had hoped for. Oddly, though this is a highlight, I believe that Alex nailed the solo slightly better on several of the shows I saw, especially the one in Orlando, which is why I rate it higher. He still nails it here, just slightly sloppier on the fast lick. I’m nitpicking, but it’s true.

The next highlight is Freewill. Surprisingly, since I thought the Exit Stage Left version was so perfect. And while that’s true, there are several reasons why this one stands close to that, or alongside it. First, the solo section is simply amazing. In particular, the camera work – which is stunning throughout this video – is absolutely amazing on this song’s solo section. It has to be seen to be believed and the band just nailed it too. Perhaps the Exit Stage Left guitar shreds slightly hotter and Neil drums a little harder then, but there’s a maturity in the execution here that compensates, and the intensity level is still so high, it shouldn’t be plausible for men their age, LOL. Oh yea, and Geddy nails the high notes on the Bridge, just as he did in each of the shows I saw.

There are many, many more highlights, and every song lives up to any other version you may have seen elsewhere, so I won’t belabor each one in agonizing detail.

I will move onto sound quality. This is the best sound quality of the three modern era videos/DVD’s they’ve released, hands down. I have a DVD version as well that I play if I’m somewhere where Blu Ray isn’t convenient. So I’ve played the audio through both my surround system in my house and through the system in my car’s DVD/CD/NAV. In the car, when choosing the surround option, I have noticed that Geddy’s bass sound stands out in a way where his tone is particularly distinguishable and it is positively perfect. It has the growl, the grind, of his Moving Pictures sound. The Fender Jazz is the reason and it is doing the job superbly. Every instrument is clear and powerful, both crisp and punchy at the same time, and they sound excellent in both the car and at home. A stellar job.

Finally, I will get to the camera work. This is as much a highlight of this DVD as Rush is. The work is so good throughout it absolutely slays the rest of their videos. In Blu Ray it is possible to see the crispness of the work also. You realize how quickly and precisely these excellent professionals obtain and maintain subject focus. This has to be one of the best crews I’ve seen. I know it’s at least partly automated because of the occassional view of the auto camera sliding across the front of the stage. And there are numerous angles, allowing a perfect mix of angles for the Rush fan to see. Every time you think they couldn’t get tighter, the angle gets tighter. This is ultimately typified by the work on Freewill, as mentioned above.

One thing I would elaborate on is to get into the Bonus material from Atlanta. I do not feel this crew did quite as good a job as the Rotterdam crew. It was good but not at that level. This is especially noticeable immediately. On the first song, Ghost of a Chance, there is a lot of Red in the lighting. As a photogrpher that attempted to photo this band in the early 80’s (when they were still cool enough to let you bring in a 35mm SLR), I know Red is the biggest pain in the tush for getting sharp pictures. Nevertheless, these are pros getting paid big money, and the shots are clearly back focused and Geddy is softly focused. There are a few other instances in this 26 minutes of Bonus material where you see the slightly lesser quality of the work by the cameraman.

Having said that, I would like to point out that I have also watched this on DVD on a standard resolution TV. And I would like to say that this Bonus material offers the perfect opportunity for anyone trying to convince their spouse or whomever that Blu Ray is significantly better, the reason why that is. The focus issue that was utterly obvious on Blu Ray is totally undiscernible on a standard resolution TV. It’s already so much softer, it’s evened out. It’s a perfect tool to make that point completely clear.

The setlist here has quite a few of the standards but contains so much material that is newly available, it is well worth it for that reason alone. However, this is a Top Quality performance among Top Quality Shows – clearly among the best. And this is the best camera work I’ve ever seen on a live DVD. The audio is at least nearly the best, if not the best, that I’ve heard as well. Pure quality on every front.
Rating: 5 / 5

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