After I watched the deluxe edition of Rush's R30 DVD release I was pretty confident that the band had released pretty much the best video of their career. Yes, I had enjoyed Rush In Rio but R30 was a lot better and not only a cool concert film but also a cornucopia of neat little extras. Those who ordered this edition got guitar picks, a whopping booklet and a backstage pass as well as CD's of the same concert. I stood firm on this until I received Replay x3, a 3 DVD boxed set that takes all of the long out of print VHS releases and brings them together for the hard core Rush fanatic. Given the scope of this release I will outline the contents and thoughts separately for everyone's benefit.
DVD1: Exit, Stage Left:
Limelight, Tom Sawyer, The Trees, Instrumental, Xanadu, Red Barchetta, Freewill, Closer To The Heart, YYZ, Finale: By-Tor and the Snow Dog/In The End/In The Mood/2112 Finale
*** This tour was filmed in support of the Moving Pictures album and since this was a real hit on radio of the time there is a good amount of Rush fans that were built from this record alone. This particular DVD runs a little under 60 minutes but the film brings you back to a great point in Rush's touring history as they mix the magic of their new recording with some of their most classic material. To be honest when I knew this was coming out I was hoping that additional footage from this show would surface as well. Given there was none, it is my assumption that nothing else exists from the filming of this original tape. I loved this recording so much I was sad to realize that "Spirit Of Radio", "La Villa Strangiato" and a couple of others would not be present.
DVD2: Grace Under Pressure:
The Spirit of Radio, The Enemy Within "Part 1 of Fear", The Weapon "Part 2 of Fear", Witch Hunt "Part 3 of Fear" , New World Man, Distant Early Warning, Red Sector A, Closer To The Heart, Medley: YYZ/The Temples Of Syrinx/ Tom Sawyer, Vital Signs, Finale: Finding My Way/In The Mood
*** The Grace Under Pressure show had a number of things going for it with the top part being this was one of the only tours where all three parts of the "Fear" trilogy were performed at the same time. Having the chance to deliver this to fans in a concert film of the time made it all the more special. The medium was growing steadily and finding acceptance as fans rushed to purchase visual reminders of their favorite performers in concert. Many of these films also saw some level of exposure on MTV in its infancy when Rock music held more solid ground on the network. As this was a few years later you could see the production was a little cleaner and much better to watch as a concert video.
DVD3: A Show Of Hands:
The Big Money, Marathon, Turn The Page, Prime Mover, Manhattan Project, Closer To The Heart, Red Sector A, Force Ten, Mission, Territories, The Rhythm Method (Drum Solo), The Spirit Of Radio, Tom Sawyer, Finale: 2112/La Villa Strangiato/In The Mood.
*** Filmed in support of the Hold Your Fire album, A Show Of Hands would be the best Rush video released for almost 15 years. The video first came to us in 1989 and mixed Rush vintage classics along with the newer material from the recording. I was glad they did this video, for Hold Your Fire was a difficult Rush album for me as a fan. I felt it a little too far off the mark from the band that had given us legendary tracks like "Cygnus" but truth be told "with age comes maturity" and "the only constant is change". In 2006 as I look back on the Rush catalog the album is among my constant listens when I need a little difference. Visually and production wise this would be the most superior film Rush would find themselves with until 2004's Rush In Rio (which ended up being surpassed by R30).
Whew, so I finished and can only say why are you still reading this and not on your way to get a copy for yourself. Here is a couple of other little tidbits on the release for not only do you get those three discussed concert DVD's but you also get a concert CD from the Grace Under Pressure tour (pretty much the same thing as the DVD, but now you can bring it along with you for the ride anyplace. If that didn't sell you on the release, then let me add that they include three miniature replicas of the tour books for each of these tours. Yep, now you can feel like you are sitting at the show as you watch the band and glance at the tour book. This is one DVD that is going to be in your collection for a long time, now if you will excuse me I have some video tapes to erase.
Note-If you purchase your DVD at Best Buy you get four additional songs on the CD that you would not get otherwise (Limelight & Closer To The Heart - Exit... Stage Left versions and The Spirit Of Radio & Tom Sawyer - A Show Of Hands versions). Given their appearance on the actual DVD and other Rush live recordings there seems little need to worry about the version. That is more for collectors than anyone else.
Track List CD
1. The Spirit Of Radio
2. The Enemy Within
3. The Weapon
4. Witch Hunt
5. New World Man
6. Distant Early Warning
7. Red Sector A
8. Closer To The Heart
9. Medley: YYZ/The Temples Of Syrinx/ Tom Sawyer
10. Vital Signs
11. Finding My Way/In The Mood