On October 21, 2003, "Rush" released their live album "Rush In Rio".
About a year earlier, on November 23, 2002, Rush appeared in front of 40,000 spectators at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to give their 66th show in the tour', designed to promote the album "Vapor Trails". This is the band's first tour in over five years of hiatus.
Due to a severe tropical storm in the area, the band took the stage later than scheduled, at 22:00, without conducting a sound check and without the recording team checking and examining the recording equipment.
It's not clear if the band members were motivated by the tension and madness of the day's events, or if they just came with a clear intention to give it their all, explode, knowing it's their last show on tour, but "Rush" has never sounded so great on an officially released live show. Geddy Lee's bass playing is crueler, more powerful, and aggressive than ever, Alex Lifeson's guitar work is virtuoso, moving, brilliant, and sweeping throughout the entire setlist, and what about Neil Peart? His drumming continues to inspire awe and admiration. He pushes the whole band in an unprecedented rhythm attack and just gave his all in every note and song.
This show brings us together with a band that goes to the end, a band that manages to surpass itself in perfect playing and precise and tight performance. And the sound, what a sound ... real, authentic, very alive, dynamic. And not only does the band make it through despite all the difficulties, but it also gives its best live performance ever.
But it does not end there. Because in this show "Rush" has 4 members for the first time. Geddy, Alex, Neil, and "The Audience." They sweep the band after them in their madness and with the endless energies they have. 40,000 thousand voices singing as one and pushing the band forward, to give one of their best performances.
Never was an audience who "sang" an instrumental piece like the Brazilian audience sang "YYZ".
From the first note in the opening song "Tom Sawyer" this audience does not rest for a second and accompanies the band as an additional musical instrument, singing the riffs and Melodies with the band. For example, listen to their singing accompanying the riffs and their roars at every break in "2112". After this piece went under the throat of this psychic audience, it no longer sounded the same, and any audience that came after it was already obligated to emulate the vocal accompaniment of the mighty Brazilian audience.
But beyond the fact that this album is so musically special, it is also very statistically unique. So here are some interesting facts about it:
1. This is the band's first live album after the long hiatus imposed on it, following the tragic events that befell drummer Neil Peart. This forced Peart to go into an extreme training regime to get back to the fitness before the tragedies and it seems to us that he is back even more strong, accurate, and amazing.
2. It is also the band's first live album which has broken the regular pattern of releasing a live album after every four studio albums.
3. It is also the first live album featuring an entire setlist from start to finish. In addition to the setlist that included 29 songs, two bonus tracks were included on the album, "Between Sun & Moon" recorded in Phoenix, and "Vital Signs" in Quebec, both on the same tour.
4. It is also the band's only live album to be recorded entirely in one gig (except for the two bonus tracks), unlike previous live albums that were made up of a collection of shows.
5. It's also the band's first triple live album.
6. The album features nearly three hours of uninterrupted music in which the band plays songs from 15 albums out of the 17 albums it has released to date, with the only albums not receiving representation here being: "Caress Of Steel" and "Hold Your Fire".
7. The album with the most played songs in the show is "Moving Pictures", with four songs.
8. This is the first time the band has performed in Brazil.
9. This is the second largest audience in which the band has ever performed (and we do not refer to festivals).
10. The performance with the largest audience in front of which the band performed, was held one night earlier in Sao Paulo, where the band played in front of 60,000 people.
12. Neil Peart's "O Baterista" drum solo means "The Drummer" in Portuguese. It lasts 8 minutes and it alternates between different music styles, rock, jazz, big band, Latin, and even African.
13. This is the band's only live album featuring three instrumental pieces, even five if you consider "Cygnus X-1" and the drum piece "O Baterista".
14. During the instrumental track "La Villa Strangiato" the band goes into a jazz improvisation that includes vocal accompaniment by Alex Lifeson with amusing sentences like: "This is jazz ... jazz is WEIRD!!" also playing an excerpt from the song "The Girl From Ipanema".
15. It took the band almost a year to mix the album because it was recorded with relatively outdated equipment.