The idea of a fifth Rush live album might seem the height of redundancy, especially given the somewhat comprehensive nature of 1998's "Different Stages." The visceral approach the group took to 2002's "comeback" album "Vapor Trails" was integral to the tour that supported the album, and if you're of the opinion that Rush hasn't released a truly rocking live album since "Exit ... Stage Left," this disc should cancel that easily. Widely touted as the band's strongest tour in years, these Rush sets were light-hearted, comprehensive and somewhat rough around the edges, with a distinct tilt toward their heavier material ("By-Tor and the Snow Dog," anyone?). "Rush in Rio," all three discs of it, beautifully captures the effect, with an absolutely impressive set list that covers all the bases (rather than recapping material released since the last live album). All three members are in top form, particularly Alex Lifeson, who kicks up some brutally slashing guitar work. Yeah, they're still nerds and no, there's no such thing as a Rush album that will convince a non-Rush fan that they're worth listening to. If you're like most long-departed fans that gave up on the group long ago, this set is a great way to play catch-up.
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