Live performing flows like flawless clockwork for the mighty trio of Rush. Even after 40 years, they remain the most consciously apt and focused group around. They don’t want to just entertain an audience; they want to leave them enthralled for upwards of three hours.
This time around, Rush’s stamina and endurance is complemented by a dynamite string ensemble that shreds its instruments with relish. On this DVD, capturing the band’s recent Clockwork Angels tour, you don’t just get to hear and see “YYZ” for the umpteenth time, you get to watch seven ensemble members all but spout fire from their bows as they keep the band on its musical toes. The strings give oomph and edge to the band, especially during the nine-song Clockwork Angels portion of the concert.
There are prime moments when the band still knows how to have fun. Usually stoic, Peart still manages to crack smiles on “The Big Money” and by watching Alex Lifeson attempt to dance during “Wish Them Well.” No worries, Peart’s trademark drum solos still defy sound, speed and virtuosity.
The additional short documentary, Can’t Stop Thinking Big, is another treat. It’s also rightly named; this band can do nothing but keep on growing in the world’s heart, even after four glorious decades as Canada’s greatest musical export.
- Ira Kantor