I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will
I have a troubled history with Rush, I guess you’d say, but I dove into this triple disc set with high hopes and I would say it’s one of their best that I’ve heard. The first two discs are taken from concerts performed in 1997; the third disc is a never before officially released London concert from 1978. It’s actually kind of cool to hear the band live with twenty years or so in between the two concerts here. The band is definitely smoother and more polished in the 1997 shows and the raw, less polished sound is what makes the 1978 concert sound so great. But the line-up of live songs on the two main discs is a greatest hits package of course and it’s not focused on a lot of the more annoying Rush songs; it does feature a live performance of 2112 in its entirety and I could live without that. But this is Rush at its most anthemic, which is highly preferable to when they’re being pretentious and artsy. Some of this stuff really, really works: Roll the Bones, Free Will, Resist, Nobody’s Hero, etc. The album has lengthy sections that are, you know, just okay and there are a few moments (or in the case of the twenty minute 2112, more than a few) where the band gets inside its own head. It is Rush, after all. But there’s also some really great high energy anthemic rock here. Not an essential, but there’s some good stuff here if you want to find it. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – three-disc live album captures the band doing great anthemic rock; a lot of trivia and some pretentiousness detract, but there are certainly excellent songs here. 2 ½ stars.