RUSH — Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland (review)

RUSH — Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland album cover Live album · 2011 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
Helloooooooooooo Cleveland! Sniff sniff

Rush are definitely in my top 3 favourite bands, and I have been putting off this review now for a year. Okay now for a true confession. This is Rush's worst live album. This is not going to be pleasant coming from a huge Rush fan. I have been listening to this latest live Rush for some time and everytime it starts I shake my head in dismay at how bad the sound is, the production is TINNY! It is beyond belief, the guitars jangle and the cymbals shatter throughout, the bottom end of bass is trebled out and then there is Geddy's voice. I have heard all of the past live release and he is a dynamic presence on every song. Here on the Time Machine Tour he is off key, flat, and struggles to hit any high notes, sometimes squeaking or whispering the high notes. Surely he could bring some of the melodies down a tad if that were a problem. He sounds like his nose is blocked when he sings 'if I could wave my magic wand' on 'Presto', and of course it became common knowledge that Geddy had a cold that night. That is okay, it happens to rock stars and they get through concert tours the best way they can. But why do we have to sit through an official live release when the band are not in peak condition, that is just wrong. Furthermore, the concert was filmed and I have watched that and admittedly Lee's vocals are overshadowed by the stunning visuals, so that is definitely worth getting despite the awful sound and caterwauling vocals.

This concert could have been brilliant as it features the entire 'Moving Pictures' album and that is certainly a drawcard worth checking out and earns an extra star on its own. There are some wonderful choices on the setlist with songs rarely heard if at all. It is great to hear 'Presto' for a change, and 'Stick It Out' the rocker from one of my favourite albums.

The classics are here as always and I always look forward to the incredible musicianship on live staples 'Tom Sawyer', 'Limelight' and the finale, the last 27 minutes, is incredible with '2112 Overture/The Temples Of Syrinx', 'Far Cry', 'La Villa Strangiato' and 'Working Man'. Alex Lifeson absolutely has a killer time with fret melting lead breaks and trademark chord structures, simply genius playing, so I will add a star for that. Of particular interest are songs from the 'Clockwork Angels' album though they are only the 2 from the single, it is still terrific to hear them live. Peart gets to attack his drums in his infamous drum soloing with odd music thrown in to jazz it up, such an incredible drummer. So another star awarded for his virtuoso playing, what are we up to now, 3 stars?

Overall this live album is disappointing due to the sound and Lee's voice but here it is, with the good and the bad in full public view. Perhaps as a bonus CD this would be forgivable or as a bootleg but this is quite painful at times, and it makes me sad to hear every time, but it is deserved of the scathing reviews it has received. Grab the DVD if you see it cheap. Nevertheless they deserve their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame!
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