Rush spent this past summer on the road belatedly celebrating their 40th anniversary with drummer Neil Peart, and they’ve chronicled the tour in an upcoming CD/Blu-ray package that hits shelves on November 20th. Taped across two nights at Toronto’s Air Canada Center, R40 Live is a complete show that presents their catalog in reverse chronological order. Here’s a look at their 1980 hit “The Spirit of Radio,” which comes somewhere towards the middle.
R40 is Rush’s eleventh live album. “We’ve had just about every live album experience,” Geddy Lee told Rolling Stone in 2013. “The first one was totally raw and totally live and it really bugged us for years that we didn’t fix anything. And then with the second one, we fixed way too many things and it sounds a bit sterile in retrospect. And then you learn what to mess with and what not to mess with. You want to present the best possible show for people, but you don’t want to get so nit-picky about it that you lose what’s interesting about a live performance.”
Rush initially billed the R40 tour as their “last major tour of this magnitude.” But as opening night drew near they began hedging their bets just a bit. “It’s most likely our last tour,” Lee said. “I can’t say for sure. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want to work together still, it doesn’t mean we won’t do another creative project, and I’ve got ideas for shows we could do that don’t involve a tour.”