Rush Series 2: 1990s – Different Stages CD1 (1998)

It’s time for some live Rush. Fuck yeah! It’s been awhile.

I had a look at Wikipedia and this set is a bit all over the place, as to where all of this was recorded and when. I’ll do my best to keep it all straight, as I go through the discs.

All songs on CD1 were recorded on 1997-06-14 at the World Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Illinois, except [whatever is in brackets, below].

This was recorded as the tour was winding down to an ending. What is a bit freaky is that the majority of this was recorded a very short time before Neil Peart lost his daughter, Selena, in a car accident (1997-08-10). Of course, he had no way of knowing, at the time, but in retrospect it make this a pretty precious document.

And what’s here?

Bravado [1994-04-30 at Spectrum, Philadelphia]
Show Don’t Tell [1994-02-27 at Miami Arena]
The Trees [1997-05-24 at Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas]
Nobody’s Hero
Closer To The Heart

* 1997-06-23 at Great Woods Performing Arts Center, Mansfield, Massachusetts.
! This is the only Rush live album that contains all of 2112 in its entirety.

Alright. Holy FUCK. This was amazing. I mean, the album tracks are great, we all know this. But this live set has an atmosphere, an energy that the albums hold differently. Listening to this, I was instantly transported to standing there at a show, listening to them doing this. And I’ve never seen Rush live! I KNOW! I haven’t a clue what the fuck is wrong with me. I need to see Rush. I really really do… Swept away, I loved every minute of it all.

The band is flying high on every track. Absolutely top form. Wait, was it redundant to type that? I mean, this is Rush. Are they ever off their game? Anyway. Let the record (pun intended) show that I thought they did a damn fine job, here.

I love the song selections, I love the sound reproduction, I love the crowd noises (I can hear individual voices woohoo-ing as songs end), I love the way all three players feed and bounce off each other seamlessly. That’s the product of long years of playing together right there, folks. I’ve always loved Nobody’s Hero as one of my favourite Rush tracks of all time – to have it live, here, is just super-tasty icing on the cake.

And seriously folks, to have all of 2112 live, in one place? The only time in Rush’s long history that’s ever happened? That was worth the price of admission alone. I mean, I’m seriously considering burning these live tracks off as a CD-R unto themselves, just to have a live 2112 to flip to when I’m jonesing. Especially in the car.

Look. I’m not even gonna review this song by song, as is my usual wankery. All I can say is GO BUY THIS SET. NOW. POST-HASTE. It’s that good. Honestly. Wow.

Goddamn it. I gotta go hose off.

This was a blissful event.

And to think, this was only CD1!

10 thoughts on “Rush Series 2: 1990s – Different Stages CD1 (1998)

  1. mikeladano says:

    This was my first Rush concert, 1998 Test for Echo tour — and it doesn’t matter what gigs the tracks were recorded at here in the long run to me, because they all brought back those clear memories. Animate, all of 2112, what more could you want? The band took a short break after 2112 which is where this CD wisely ends.


    1. Deke says:

      That’s cool Mikey,where did u see em?
      For me it wasn’t until Vapor Trails that I caught em live in Minnieapolis for the first time.
      They last played Tbay on the Hemispheres tour when I was 9!!!
      And if your going way back to 1973 they played my old high school ….hahaha…


  2. Deke says:

    FUCK YEAH…..I love the live mix on this disc and like HMO says all of 2112 is played it’s off the wall sick!
    Exit Stage was my first live intro via album by Rush but if I had been late to the party I would say this one would be my fav live Rush.
    The Counterparts material comes across fantastic actually it all does,flat out Rawks!
    If Rush had retired after this album man what a send off but fortunately for all of us it did not happen!
    Look forward to the next review….well detailed Aaron!
    Good job young fella!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah! Thanks Deke! I had a blast listening to this one. It was so very, very good. I know it seemed up in the air there, for quite a while, but thank all the G-ds in their various heavens that Rush didn’t retire.

      Get ready for tomorrow when I bring on CD2!


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