A Show of Hands - The Video Concert

A Show of Hands - The Video Concert
| CD
A Show of Hands laserdisk A Show of Hands advert from March 25, 1989


The Big Money
Turn the Page
Prime Mover
Manhattan Project
Closer to the Heart
Red Sector A
Force Ten
Lock and Key
(laserdisc only)
The Rhythm Method - Drum Solo
The Spirit of Radio
Tom Sawyer
2112 Overture/
The Temples of Syrinx/
La Villa Strangiato/
In The Mood


It is time. Through the sudden darkness we run to the stage, the intro tape drowned in a roaring wave of welcome. Our tension is fed by the audience's anticipation for this long overdue return to Britain, and by the presence of another, silent audience - the microphone ears and camera eyes which will focus on our performance.

For a band with high standards, a perfect show is impossible, and an excellent show is rare. You hope that the norm is "good". To deliver a really exceptional, comfortable performance before a recording truck or film crew has been our unfulfilled dream of many years. Always it seemed that as soon as the machines started rolling, we forgot how to play and our equipment forgot how to work. Any tiny inaccuracy seemed magnified to staggering immensity by an internal vision of spinning tape-reels, malevolent machinery capturing that damned millisecond forever.

But for these two nights, the gods smile. The ears and eyes of technology open to capture the responses of the audience and the players to the music, to the atmosphere, to each other. The panorama of faces alone mirrors a novel's worth of expression and emotion; intense, playful, concentrated, abandoned, pained, laughing, serious, and downright silly. Shifting beams of colored light animate the stage and follow the player's every move, while the audience is picked out in tinted pools, a sea of shining faces. Cartoon backdrops spring to life behind the band, then leap out to fill the screen. Lasers slash and stab at the darkness. A filament of shared tension and release connects the musicians, the audience, the music.

And the film becomes not just a concert, but a symbol - for the band a scrapbook, an autobiography, an era frozen in glacial clarity. For the audience, it can be an enduring souvenir, and if it can't quite capture what it was like to be there, it is a way of seeing through many pairs of eyes, of shifting one's vantage-point around and above the players in a way no mortal could.

Hands perform, and hands respond. Hands gesture, and hands respond. A show of ears and eyes, a show of hearts and minds. A Show of Hands.

- Neil Peart

Produced by Len Epand for PMV, and John Diaz for Calhoun Productions
Directed by Larry Jordan
Cinematography by Crescenzo Notarile
Lighting Directed by Howard Ungerleider
Audio Production by Geddy Lee
Engineered by Paul Northfield
5.1 and stereo mix by Mike Fraser and Alex Lifeson
Warehouse Studios, Vancouver
Assistant Engineer Zach Blackstone/ATR Services Andrew Bigham
Executive Production by Val Azzoli, for Anthem Entertainment
Management by Ray Danniels for SRO
Filmed at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England, April 21, 23, and 24, 1988
Universal Music Enterprises: Jeff Fura/Adam Abrams/Ramon Galbert
Art Direction and Design: Hugh Syme

All songs written by Lee/Lifeson/Peart except "Closer to the Heart" by Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Talbot, "Force Ten" and "Tom Sawyer" by Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Dubois
All songs published by Core Music Publishing (SOCAN)