Rush: The (Partial) Series – All The World’s A Stage (1976)

Rush live! What a fabulous document. Oh man. It plays like a Greatest Hits. Ha, actually it pretty much is just that. These are all GREAT versions (which saves me writing that same line for every one of these tracks).

Bastille Day just rocks. Launch into Anthem and you know they’re here to fucking rock. Damn. Jump straight into Fly By Night/In The Mood, which go together perfectly. They handled that switch beautifully.

Something For Nothing teases with a gentle patch but then they bring back the full-on rawk attack. Lakeside Park saunter-swings along gorgeously, the outro of which leads straight into (most of) 2112. How many artists stand on a stage and say “we’d like to play you side one of our latest album.” All of side one. Of course, it all rules (I don’t need to tell you that). They skipped Discovery and Oracle: The Dream, but to hear this live? YES! So awesome.

Alright, I’m already blissed out. If they’d stopped there, I’d call it stunning and we could all go back and spin it again. But, being the awesomeness that is Rush, they’re nowhere near done kicking our asses yet.

By-Tor & The Snow Dog is 12 friggin’ minutes of brilliance. In The End is a gorgeous slower tune, of course, but then it’s Working Man/Finding My Way which, on its own, would be enough to justify ticket price alone. Working Man’s intro is slower than the record, which only makes it heavier. It does pick up, of course. And crashing right into Finding My Way… I’d have lost my “woo!!” octave by then. And What You’re Doing finally slays us completely. I’m drained. I’m done.

In Sum: Holy shit that was AWESOME! I’m so glad they left in most of the crowd noise, makes it more of an actual keepsake of an incredible period of the band’s career. Thanks heaps, Mike our all-time favourite LeBrain!

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Posted on May 12, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Nice write-up on a killer live album. I’ve always loved the raw sound of this record as compared to the muted, slick production of Exit…Stage Left and the more synthetic sound of A Show Of Hands (even though I love both of those records). If you ever find a copy of the original vinyl I highly recommend picking it up. I seem to recall a really nice double gatefold sleeve with lots of great photos from the ’76 tour.

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    • Thanks Rich! Yeah, I loved this one. I’ll be getting to those others, I’ll be interested to hear if I notice the same things as you do. Can you imagine getting to see these guys perform live back then? DAMN! I’d love an original vinyl… maybe one of our Taranna trips that Mike and I take?

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      • I would love to travel back in time to see them in ’76 but I was only 10. I did manage to see them in ’81 on the Moving Pictures tour at Madison Square Garden. Needless to say it was mind-boggling.

        Really enjoying this series. Sorry I haven’t had the time to comment on all of these posts but I’ve been reading them.

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      • Oh man, in ’76 I was 2, same age as my daughter is now. Fun!

        Seeing them at MSG back in the day would certainly be formative. RAWK! \m/ \m/

        Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. I do the same thing with a lot of blogs, read but don’t always comment. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate though!

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  2. These have been fun reviews but I have to confess to being a wee bit lukewarm about Rush’s early years. I really like 2112 and this live one is probably my go-to album from this era as it has the highlights from the 1st three albums. I know the versions on this better than the studio versions.

    The thing I think was cool about the classic Rush live albums is they always seemed to mark an end of an era or came before a change in style. Not anymore though! Now they just seem to release one every year!

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    • I hadn’t thought of their live albums as marking the ends of eras, but it’s a good thought! Score one for the HMO!

      I’m really glad to be going through all this stuff. In my head, Rush had sort of all melded together into one big pile of awesome, so it’s nice to separate it out and put things into context and time periods. I wonder if Mike knows how much I appreciate all of this. Probably. But still!

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    • Oh yes, it was very, very, very definitely: 4 studio albums, double live album, change of direction, repeat. The first 4 are hard rock, the next 4 progressive rock, then the synthesizer stuff comes, then the “modern rock” stuff. 4 phases. After that, though, albums have been two different and there has been too much time between them to assign a common style to them, and there have been more live albums.

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  3. You’re ahead of me — I just loaded this album on my mp3 player but I haven’t listened to it yet. I’ve been meaning to keep up with you, but now you’re two albums ahead!

    Brilliant live album as these guys have said.

    Like

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