Lucky bastard that I am, this copy of Different Stages that I have been reviewing is the 3CD version. I have no idea if it’s more rare or what have you (I do now there’s a 2CD version out there), I’m just saying I’m a lucky bastard ‘cos I got me 1/3 more Rush! Woo!
Recorded live 1978-02-20 at London, England’s Hammersmith Odeon during the A Farewell To Kings tour, this is on king hell of a show. I mean, right out of the gates, Bastille Day is an absolute rock bomb going off. Wow! And they just don’t let up from there with the awesomeness. I mean, seriously. Through a ripping By-Tor and into an absolutely gorgeous Xanadu and I am totally hooked. And it just… keeps… going… A blasting version of Anthem, a rather slinky Working Man, a bar-brawl In The Mood… I could name-call every track. All of it is monumental.
Here are the tracks, as I have them here:
By-Tor & The Snow Dog
A Farewell To Kings
Something For Nothing
Fly By Night
In The Mood
All of the instruments are superb. Peart is all over the drums, just pummeling. Lifeson is sublimely dangerous, ripping riffs from the guitar like a madman. And Geddy’s voice soars over his bass and you’d swear it was two people at work.
The sound quality is fantastic, and hearing this 36 year-old recording now is a time capsule, a treasure trove, and a template for all rockers everywhere, all rolled into one.