Clockwork Angels Tour
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Rush Clockwork Angels Tour captures the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers' 2012-2013 sold-out tour from a unique point-of-view approach to filmmaking utilizing distinct composition and a voyeuristic style that at varying moments puts the viewer on the stage, at the side of the stage, and throughout the arena. For the first time ever the legendary band (Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart) was accompanied on this tour by an eight-piece string section! This electrifying 2-DVD or single Blu-ray concert (both formats contain the same content) features over 3 hours of music including favorites Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio, 3 drum solos, new string arrangements of classics such as YYZ, Dreamline and Red Sector A, and rarely performed songs such as The Body Electric and Middletown Dreams. Extensive bonus features include a full version of Limelight from soundcheck and an exclusive backstage documentary shot throughout Europe. With over 40 million albums sold worldwide and more consecutive gold and platinum awards than any other rock band following The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Rush remains one of the most inventive, compelling, and relevant musical groups today.
The Big Money
The Body Electric
The Analog Kid
Where s My Thing?/ Here It Is! (drum solo)
Headlong Flight*/ Drumbastica (drum solo)
Peke s Repose (guitar solo)/Halo Effect*
Seven Cities of Gold*
Wish Them Well*
The Percussor (I) Binary Love Theme (II) Steambanger s Ball (drum solo)
Red Sector A*
The Spirit of Radio
Limelight (soundcheck filmed in Dallas)
Middletown Dreams (filmed in Phoenix)
The Pass (filmed in Phoenix)
Manhattan Project* (filmed in Phoenix)
*With the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble
Can t Stop Thinking Big (25 min tour documentary)
Behind The Scenes (featuring Jay Baruchel)
Interview With Dwush
The Watchmaker (intermission tour film)
Office Of The Watchmaker (closing tour film)
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Now that the band has officially retired, this is the single best example of their work, at the top of their craft. Get it before it's gone, cuz they don't make this stuff no more.
That very specific doesn't translate onto this Blu-Ray because of its audio engineering. In time, history will regard this record as being below the standards set by that of the initial Vapor Trails release.
I've been a huge Rush fan for 35+ years. Over that time, recording and other audio related technology and methods have progressed to the point that home viewers should be able to appreciate at least half-way decent sound from any concert recording. From boy bands to the latest one-hit (non)wonder, audiences have come to expect audio that allows the average listener enjoy the music.
With that said, I was thrilled to get this Blu-Ray because it represents Rush at their musical peak so far. On this Blu-ray, the musical performance is easily the best Rush ever captured on video. It is simply brilliant. David Campbell's string arrangements are perfect. As Geddy said on the documentary, Campbell deeply understands Rush. While I never thought Alex, Geddy, and Neil needed anyone else on stage, this is perfect as far as that goes.
The video capture is very good, too. I can see individual hairs on Alex and the Japanese oak grain on Neil's Promark's. BTW, we don't need 1080p to see that Geddy is in better shape than most of us will ever be in our lives.
To describe the audio experience, it doesn't feel right to speak anything but well of it. How can I in any way appear to put down the work of Rush? They are the nicest, most caring people and it doesn't feel natural.
Still, we're not talking about their performance. A Blu-ray is, fortunately or not, not comprised simply of one performance as a moment in time, but the methods by which that performance is captured and reiterated.
As an example of the audio deficiency here, I conducted an experiment. I put in this Clockwork Angels Blu-ray for my wife, who is the opposite of an audiophile. "Good enough" represents a huge range for her. No disrespect, right. She's just fine with our TV's mid-range biased sound. She doesn't see the point of a separate audio experience as a modern setup offers. So she's the perfect test subject... although I did give her my opinion beforehand. (WTF.) Given a few minutes listen of the Clockwork Angels Blu-Ray audio, I then put on Porcupine Tree's "Anesthetize" Blu-ray. "Huge difference," she said within 20 seconds. That was all she said, and all she needed to say.
On Anesthetize, we can clearly hear each instrument and its full range of frequency output. The mix of instruments + vocals + audience, and whether my system is burning on 5.1 or two-channel Dolby, it's as if we are there in the audience. I hear something new every time I listen.
With the Rush Clockwork Angels Blu-ray, we miss out on the upper range of Geddy's voice. He sounds nasally, which does not represent his powerful vocals live or in other recordings. Frankly, the recording makes him sound almost annoying. That isn't Geddy's singing, but a poor imitation made possible by a feat of a truly crappy audio experience.
The drums are muddy with the snare, bass drum, and hi-hat core trio lost somewhere as if he's playing behind the stage. Alex's guitar sound is absent the high range and sounds compressed with heavy gating. While I'm using some hyperbole when I say this, I'm also not far cry to say as if someone recorded the show from a 1980's cassette deck at the back end of this big stadium rather than having direct access to the mixing board and each mic on and above the stage.
Truth be told, I'll always be a Rush fan. I'd give up three stars, but for one thing. Yes, the audio comments here don't reflect their performance whatsoever. They simply didn't get an audio engineer up to the task of conveying the world's best trio plus the rockin' Clockwork Angels String Ensemble) on disc. Rush has been core to my life and I'd gladly give a mere $20 or much more any number of times to support such high art. If they come out with a re-mastered edition, I will buy that. This is not money down the drain. For just that cause, I'd recommend you buy this Blu-ray too, if you're so inclined. But to show this current release to my friends and family? No way that's going to happen.
And that's what hurts.
The Clockwork Angels so want to spread their arms and sing, but on this Blu-Ray, anyway, they're forever entombed in molasses.
Most recent customer reviews
This concert on Blu-ray blew me away!