“Snakes And Arrows Live” by Rush

Artist: Rush
Title: “Snakes And Arrows Live”
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 4/18/2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4.25/5

Recorded during the bands tour for their “Snakes And Arrows” album this live CD is appropriately titled “Snakes And Arrows Live” and it delivers to the fans a solid representation of Rush in action. Having attended a couple of the bands area appearances when they rolled through the region, I was happy to find the set list being the exact same one on the CD that I experienced that great summer night when I too was a screaming member of the audience. This particular show was recorded in Holland over the course of two October nights in 2007, but as the fans of Rush will be the first to tell you, the band is always on target and never seems to disappoint their audience by giving them 110% of their best. Resultant of this modus operandi, the fan who sees a number of their shows in sequence on any given tour could feel as if they were experiencing the same thing over and over again, but knowing many fans who do just that I can inform the reader that these folks very rarely mind. That being said, the show’s recording is rather sound and the production top notch as always. If you are one of those fans of the band who did not see the “Snakes And Arrows” tour then you might find it interesting when you learn that for this particular set of shows Rush chose to play not one, two or three new numbers to give their fans something to chew on from their latest album, and instead played eight of the new tracks. This is always something daring for a band to try and it’s not always well-received. Legendary Metal veterans Iron Maiden did something similar for their “A Matter Of Life And Death” CD by playing the full album and then closing out with less than a handful of hits and the tour was skewered. The Rush fans however seemed to appreciate the chance to absorb a healthy chunk of their new material in the live sense.

Looking back on the shows by listening to the CD I had to say that this was a great performance and Rush is not only to be commended for being brave enough to present so much new stuff but for also being able to keep their audience engaged while they did it. The concert also features the expected classic numbers like “Tom Sawyer” and “YYZ” but leaves off some glaring omissions like “Trees” and “La Villa Strangiato”. This might be okay to many of the bands fans as it seems that with every new CD’s tour we are finding a new live CD and DVD being released. Rush no longer waits until four albums have passed and as result we have seen full concert films for their R30 tour and for “Vapor Trails” which came to us on “Rush In Rio”. This album comes on two CD’s and is perfect for the Rush fan who wants to continue documenting the bands history in their music collection and not for those who are growing tired of the studio CD, live CD, studio CD, live CD methodology being practiced. In some sense this is a good thing to do since it becomes an instant keepsake for those who caught the show and some manner of “being there” for those who did not score tickets. There is a booklet included that presents a number of fine photos of the guys in action and a companion DVD was released in tandem to the audio product. At this rate I would have packaged them together, but this is becoming more of a pet peeve of mine than a major issue. I have to say that I enjoyed the release but am more excited about the DVD which I will be picking up as soon as possible.

Track Listing:
1. Limelight
2. Digital Man
3. Entre Nous
4. Mission
5. Freewill
6. The Main Monkey Business
7. The Larger Bowl
8. Secret Touch
9. Circumstances
10. Between The Wheels
11. Dreamline
12. Far Cry
13. Workin’ Them Angels
14. Armor and Sword
15. Spindrift
16. The Way the Wind Blows
17. Subdivisions
18. Natural Science
19. Witch Hunt
20. Malignant Narcism – De Slagwerker
21. Hope
22. Distant Early Warning
23. The Spirit Of Radio
24. Tom Sawyer
25. One Little Victory – encore
26. A Passage To Bangkok – encore
27. YYZ – encore

Official Website: www.rush.com

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