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Great set-list, but largely ruined by Geddy's voice
on 9 November 2011
I've been a Rush fan for years; I own all their albums and have seen them every time they've come to the UK since I was old enough to go to concerts. I saw the Time Machine show at the O2 last year, and it was as spectacular as ever; it also featured one of the best set lists I've seen Rush perform, so I was itching to get my hands on this live release.
Oh dear. The music and performance are as top-notch as ever, and the entire Time Machine setlist (minus the intro videos) is included. But unfortunately, this was recorded on a night where poor Geddy could barely sing. He must have been suffering from some illness, or maybe just fatigue at the end of a long tour, but his vocals on here are truly awful. He varies between warbling and yodelling, is frequently out of tune and off-key, and is sometimes completely unintelligible. The overall effect is like listening to a stretched cassette tape - speeding up and slowing down, and, frankly, never sounding good. I barely made it to the end of the album as a result - seriously, I am struggling to understand how as notoriously perfectionist a group as Rush could bear to have this as a record of the concert. This alone makes this the worst of all the Rush live releases for me, and it's a real shame.
If you can ignore the mess that is the vocals, the rest of the sound is fine (albeit with perhaps too much audience noise throughout), but my overall feeling is real disappointment that the souvenir of the Time Machine tour is so flawed.