Exposé Online banner

Rush — Replay x3
(Anthem B0006649-50, 2006, 3DVD+CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Replay x3 Cover art

Rush fans have been salivating for these early concert videos to see the light of day in DVD format for ages, so to have all three in one collection is manna from heaven. Other than a few promos, the Canadian trio had never committed a live performance to film or video before 1981’s Exit... Stage Left and for many this was their first exposure to the band, thanks to frequent airings on MTV and other nascent music video outlets (remember Night Flight?) How many fledgling rock musicians cut their teeth on this music is hard to know, though this period is often regarded as Rush’s finest hour and they’ve never been so jaw-droppingly studly before or since. There’s Alex Lifeson the goofball guitarist, reeling off riffs and licks with a happy-go-lucky air. Geddy Lee, the master rock bassist with that killer Rickenbacker tone second only to Chris Squire (and in some respects superior). And of course Neil Peart, one of the few lead drummers in rock music—and one of the most influential. Originally shot to film, the digital transfer has been lovingly handled, though nothing can overcome some occasionally gloomy lighting. Sonically, equal care has been devoted to ESL, which has been remastered for 5.1 surround (with standard stereo the default setting, as is the case with all three DVDs). Three years and two albums later found the band sounding more like The Police and looking more like Duran Duran, though there’s no denying that Grace Under Pressure, as a piece of concert filmmaking, was superior to ESL. Fortunately, the material on the newer albums has aged well, a good thing since a bonus fourth disk in this package is the entire soundtrack from this DVD (perhaps Rush wants to fill the void since a live album had never been released at the time). Despite shoulder padded jackets and occasions where Geddy seems to be singing toward the fire escape due to the awkward positioning of the vastly enlarged synth rig, this is another film which leaves the viewer with nothing but admiration for the group’s abilities on stage. Rounding out the video set is 1988’s A Show of Hands, shot on the Hold Your Fire tour. This is the weakest of the DVDs in terms of material and the band was still wrestling with the same visual issues as P/G (nice singing to the fire escape during “Tom Sawyer,” Geddy). That said, the band — if this is any indication — gave audiences their money’s worth on this tour, and as a live music documentary there’s no faulting this release. The legions of Rush fans around the globe need little incentive to add this to their collections, though the inclusion of reproductions of tour programs from all three concerts is a very nice extra touch. Perhaps a telling sign of their lasting admiration is that, so many years later, Rush are doing such a quality job of presenting their old concert films to the consumer.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Rush, Geddy Lee

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

U Totem - Strange Attractors – Strange Attractors is the second CD from this West Coast ensemble whose 1991 self-titled debut remains one of the best avant-garde/RIO styled albums of the 90s. U Totem takes a strongly modern,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues