Rush In Rio

 

CD Tracklist

Disc One

Tom Sawyer (5:10)
Distant Early Warning(4:48)
New World Man(4:03)
Roll The Bones(6:03)
Earthshine(5:42)
YYZ(4:35)
The Pass(4:50)
Bravado(6:15)
The Big Money(5:58)
The Trees(5:07)
Freewill(5:32)
Closer To The Heart(3:01)
Natural Science(8:34)

Disc Two

One Little Victory(5:32)
Driven(5:05)
Ghost Rider(5:36)
Secret Touch(7:00)
Dreamline(5:04)
Red Sector A(5:12)
Leave That Thing Alone!(4:59)
O Baterista(8:18)
Resist (acoustic)(4:24)
2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx(6:52)

Disc Three

Limelight(4:24)
La Villa Strangiato(10:05)
The Spirit Of Radio(4:59)
By-Tor and the Snowdog(4:35)/
Cygnus X-1 (prologue)(3:12)/
Working Man(5:35)
The Board Bootlegs
Between Sun & Moon(4:48) recorded at Phoenix, AZ, Cricket Pavillion on September 27, 2002
Vital Signs(4:59) recorded at Quebec, City, PQ, Colisee on October 19, 2002


Having released a live collection fairly recently, Different Stages, we had not intended to make another live album for some time - years, probably. However, after listening to the rough mixes from the concert video Rush in Rio, we felt we had something special, even as a purely musical document of the Vapor Trails tour, which had meant so much to us, personally and professionally.

Our manager, Ray, suggested that some people might prefer to listen to us without having to look at us, and we could understand how that might be. Perhaps we should release the show on CD as well, for those who might prefer just "the audio portion of the program." After all, the work was already done...

And it had taken some work.

The show in Rio de Janeiro was recorded on the fly by a somewhat primitive Brazilian recording truck, and Alex, along with engineers Jimbo and Patrick, spent many long nights refining the raw material that was caught on tape, polishing those rough diamonds into something that might reflect the shine of that hot night in Rio as we and the audience had experienced it.

We were assured the package could be offered as a good value, and in addition, we were able to include some "official bootleg" tracks not played in that particular concert, but recorded straight off the mixing board at earlier shows.

Here is some of the background story about "that night in Rio," as written for the DVD package.

Flying Down To Rio - Leaving Vapor Trails Behind

by Neil Peart

Rain had threatened all three of the Brazilian shows, but only hit us during the second one, in Sao Paulo. And I mean hit us; the wind drove the rain straight onstage, into our faces, all over us and our equipment, and it's a good thing we had wireless microphones and transmitters, or... we could have been killed!

During the show, the three of us exchanged an occasional look, a wry expression of shared bemusement at this bizarre scene. The Sao Paulo soccer stadium held 60,000 people, by far the largest audience we had ever played to as a headliner, and despite the rain, they carried on singing along with every word, every note, and every beat. From behind my drums, I looked out at the raindrops caught in the spotlight beams, solid three-dimensional cylinders and cones of pelting drops, moving slashes of red, blue, amber, and white. My cymbals shimmered with beads of water, and when I hit them, fountains of spray erupted into colored light.

It was dramatic, all right, even beautiful, in a surreal way, but while it may have looked good, it was tough on the equipment. My electronic midi-marimba, which triggered all my keyboard percussion sounds, as well as a host of effects throughout the show, lost its midi-mind that night, and there was no assurance it would work the next night, in Rio de Janeiro. Even as I played through the show that night in Sao Paulo, looking out at the rain and the vast crowd and working around all the missing sounds as well as I could, I was already thinking ahead to the next night's show, preparing a new "map" of my performance-especially my solo-on the fly. Bad enough on any night, but especially when we were facing the very last show of the tour, which is supposed to be a triumphant finale, and, in this case, the one and only performance of the tour to be captured for posterity.

While the last chord of that Sao Paulo show still echoed in the damp night air, we ran offstage and into a van, and were driven straight to the hotel (to escape the traffic of 60,000 people). Toweling away the sweat and rain, we watched the impressive choreography of our motorcycle police escorts, and talked a little about the show, more or less shaking our heads in disbelief-and a good measure of relief, too. We hadn't been sure we were going to get through that one, but we had made it.

Now there was just one concert left. Our Vapor Trails tour had stretched from June to November of 2002, sixty-six shows altogether-and that was about enough! During early discussions, I had proposed a maximum of forty shows, over three months, which perhaps demonstrates the extent of my influence. However, in fairness (the fairness of love, war, and touring), the itinerary seemed to expand as it unfolded: one struggle, one surrender, one show at a time.

Offers came in for more North American dates, and we agreed to push back the end of the tour to play a few extra shows around the East Coast. Europe continued to hang like an unanswered question, for we hadn't toured over there for ten years, and there were a few "hands in the air" from parts of Canada we hadn't played for even longer, but regrettably, we just couldn't do it all.

We were offered a chance to play in Mexico City in mid October (during what was supposed to have been a ten-day break), and I had to think about that for awhile. As a general thing, I like traveling to unusual places and "developing nations," but not to work in them. However, after several motorcycle rambles through the entrancing country of Mexico, I had come to love that sad and beautiful city (perhaps despite itself). We had never played there, or anywhere in Central America, and I finally had to agree to that one. I could only hope it would be a good experience for us all, and the other guys would like it there too. It was, and they did. We played in a soccer stadium before 20,000 very enthusiastic fans, and had a great time after the show as well, a whole bunch of us sitting around a big table in a restaurant with great food, excellent live mariachi music, and a steady flow of tequila.

We also had an offer to go to South America for the first time, to play three shows in Brazil in late November, and we didn't know what to think about that. For one thing, we were supposed to have finished touring by that time, and be at home (remember that place?). And for another, did anyone want to see us in Brazil? We had been told we were fairly popular there, and had sold a respectable number of records through "official" channels, but presumably a certain amount of piracy and bootlegging had spread our music much wider than we knew, for no one was more surprised than this humble Canadian rock trio when we played to more than 125,000 people over those three shows, way beyond any numbers we had attracted before, anywhere. In Porto Alegre (a city we hadn't even heard of), 25,000 people came to see us; in Sao Paulo we had a staggering 60,000, and for the final show, in Rio de Janeiro, we played to a roiling throng of 40,000 very animated, vocal, and enthusiastic young Brazilians.

To put those numbers in perspective, our average audience on the Vapor Trails tour, in an American or Canadian arena or amphitheatre, was something like 12,000, and the largest audience we had ever played to as a headliner had been 20,000, at The Gorge in Washington state, on our Test For Echo tour, in early 1997.

Even more than the Mexico City show, the Brazilian concert environment was like nothing we had experienced before-bigger, wilder, crazier, and more intense. Historically, we had been an arena band for more than twenty years, only recently making the transition to outdoor amphitheatres, mainly on the Vapor Trails tour. We had tried playing the big American venues a couple of times in the early '80s-the Cotton Bowl, the Astrodome-but never felt comfortable. One thing about an arena, when the lights shine out on the audience, you can see every face, every little circle of "personhood," way up to the nosebleeds, and when we lose that element of what passes for contact, however tenuous, we feel too alienated from the people we are playing for.

However, when you're onstage in a teeming, steaming soccer stadium in South America, you can forget about those niceties. We looked out across one big heaving, waving, singing, dancing, sweating mass of humanity, and gave them our best, as always. For the final show, in Rio de Janeiro, it seemed we summoned an extra surge of adrenaline, knowing that this was the last one, and that it was being recorded and filmed.

All through the tour there had been talk of filming the Vapor Trails show, for the first time since A Show of Hands, in 1988, but the arrangements seemed elusive, and finally it was put off until the very last possible opportunity. Certainly that was a bit risky, and indeed, after a series of technical hurdles that our crew had only barely overcome, a primitive recording truck that had the recording engineer, Jimbo, chewing his nails, and the further attrition of that rainy Sao Paulo show, it was looking pretty chancy.

Rain came and went during setup on the afternoon of the Rio show, and the trucks arrived so late from Sao Paulo that the crew didn't start loading in until six or seven hours later than usual. Toward what should have been soundcheck time, Geddy, Alex, and I wandered around, or sat under a threatening sky in the bleachers above the stage, watching rainjacketed technicians scrambling about, trying to make it happen.

With 40,000 people waiting to get in, there was no question of holding the doors, and we had to accept that there would be no soundcheck. At least the monitor board was working (unlike in Porto Alegre), and my drum tech, Lorne, reported that the midi-marimba seemed to have recovered from the previous night (though I was still mentally preparing to work around the missing sounds if I had to). The sky remained dark and gloomy, and the prospect of going onstage without a soundcheck was unnerving just as a missing part of the show-day ritual-never mind the last-show, grand-finale, captured-for-posterity stuff. There would be no run-through for the recording truck, no test for the camera crew; we were all going to have to wing it. Flying blind in Rio.

As the stadium lights went down and a mighty roar went up, we ran onstage to the Three Stooges theme and launched into "Tom Sawyer," our thoughts a little frantic and our emotions bound up in anxiety. The whole Vapor Trails tour had been very emotional for the three of us, right from the first night in Hartford, Connecticut. After five years away from live performance, and all we had been through in those five years, it really felt like a triumphant return. A few times during the show we looked at each other and shared a quick smile, an eloquent expression that stopped time for an instant and conveyed so much understanding, so much relief, and even a little joy. Our hearts were in our smiles.

Unusually for a first night, we had played really well, and the production side went smoothly too. That was our reward for weeks of rehearsing in a warehouse in Toronto, and more weeks at a small arena in upstate New York. It was also our reward for simply carrying on. Songs in the set like "One Little Victory" and "Bravado" had fresh resonance for us that night.

Even during rehearsals I had felt the three of us gradually begin to transcend our individual parts, becoming both submerged and elevated into a separate entity, the synergy of a touring band. After that first show, I said to our manager, Ray, "I have to admit, it would have been a shame if that had never happened again."

The set had changed a little through the tour, as we alternated a few pairs of songs we hadn't been able to choose between, or tried to play something different if we returned to the same area, and we had a surprise just before we went to Mexico City. Apparently our most popular song there was "Closer to the Heart," and we weren't playing it that tour (the periodic rest some older songs require). The three of us talked about it, decided we didn't want to disappoint the audience by not playing our most popular song for them, and agreed we could relearn it pretty quickly. After playing it through a few times during our soundchecks leading up to Mexico City, we added it to the show for that one night.

Only to learn that the same was true in Brazil: apparently "Closer to the Heart" was our most popular song there too (though we were told "Tom Sawyer" was used on Brazilian television as the theme song for "McGyver").

(That's what we said, "What?")

So, we stuck "Closer to the Heart" back in the show for the Brazil dates as well, and it got a very excited, very vocal response from the audience.

Though everything did, and somehow the show, and the whole tour, seemed to reach a natural climax in Rio de Janeiro. Watching the footage of that night, accom­panied by the excellent recording Jimbo Barton managed to capture in such difficult, primitive conditions (though after many hours of painstaking "rescue" of the occasionally ragged technical quality), it feels like the triumphant finale we wanted it to be.

Watching that show now, from so many angles I never see from the "hot seat," and with the luxury of not having to work at it, it is clear that audience had a synergy of its own, a unified, intense, pulsing energy, a force of nature, animating that soccer stadium with electricity and vitality. That night's show had 40,000 stars.

The three of us had a pretty good show too (and I certainly don't always say that), but no doubt we were inspired and elevated by that amazing audience, who gave back so much excite­ment, energy, and volume. Just listen to them singing along note-for-note with "YYZ"-an instrumental- and you realize this is no ordinary audience.

Extraordinary they were, and we dedicate this performance, then and now, to them.

Back at the hotel, we gathered in the bar with our wives and colleagues and ordered many rounds of the powerful national drink, caipirinhas. We were bone-weary and drained, only starting to feel the relief of knowing it was over-the long, hard show, and the long, hard tour. As the recording and film people reported in, it seemed safe to trust that at least one of those sixty-six Vapor Trails shows would not fade into the ether, like an ephemeral jetstream of echoes and memories. Our stalwart crew had prevailed against all obstacles of weather, technology, and time, and that final show had been captured as a moving souvenir for those who were there, and for those who were not. We ordered another round of caipirinhas and drank to all of them, and to each other, feeling better every minute.


Video Credits

Producers - Lawrence Jordan, Daniel E. Catullo III, Lionel Pasamonte
Executive Producers - Ray Danniels, Pegi Cecconi, Allan Weinrib, Bryan Domyan
Directed By Daniel E. Catullo III
Line Producer - Ted Kenney
Co-Executive Producers - Glenis S. Gross, Tilton Gardner, Robert McClaugherty
Brazilian Producers - Michael J. Schultz, Alberto Magno
Post Production Supervisor - Allan Weinrib
Television Lighting Design by Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain
Audio Producer - James "Jimbo" Barton
Assisted by Patrick Thrasher
Audio Supervisor - Alex Lifeson
Main Show Edited by - Mark Hajek, Mark Morton, Frank Russo
Post Production Facilities - Stealing Time, Toronto, ON / School, Toronto, ON / Toy Box, Toronto, ON / Manta, Toronto, ON / Coming Home Studios, Los Angeles, CA / Departure Studios, Los Angeles, CA / Trax Records, North Hollywood, CA / MX Entertainment, San Francisco, CA / The Post Group, Hollywood, CA
World-Wide DVD Sales Agent - Steven Propas, Propas Management Corporation, Toronto, ON

CHS Would Like To Thank
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, Allan Weinrib, Arthur & Marie Sterling, J.W. Griffith, Daniel & Dolores Catullo, Tilton & Linda Gardner, Pegi, Ray, Shelley, Anna and everybody at SRO/Anthem, SBI USA, Shelly Singhal, Matt McGovern, Brookstreet Securities, City National Bank, Michael J. Schultz, Karina Goldrajch, Alberto Magno, Steve Propas, Damon Martin, Charlie Clour, Liam Birt, Craig Blazier, Howard Ungerleider and the entire Rush Crew for their hard work and support, and everybody else who helped during this incredible experience!

The "Boys in Brazil"
A Film By Andrew MacNaughtan

Produced by Allan Weinrib
Executive Producers - Daniel E. Catullo III & Bryan Domyan
Edited by Jennifer Dahl
Assisted by Bryan Domyan
Post Production Supervisor - Allan Weinrib
Audio Producer - Aaron Kaplan
Post Production Facilities - Coming Home Studios, Los Angeles, CA / The Post Group, Hollywood, CA / Departure Studios, Los Angeles, CA / Toybox, Toronto, ON

Produced by James "Jimbo" Barton and Alex Lifeson
Assisted by Patrick Thrasher
Assistant Engineer - Kooster McAllister. Record Plant Remote
Pre-Mixed and Assembled at Trax Studios, Los Angeles. CA
Mixed at Metalworks, Mississauga, ON / Assisted by Chris Gordon and Joe Barlow

Live Recording and invaluable Pre-mixing Organization by James "Jimbo' Barton
Assisted by Patrick Thrasher
Mastered at Gateway Mastering - Portland, Maine by Adam Ayan
Anthem and Zoe logo sound design Russ Mackay and Hugh Syme

Art Direction, Illustration and Design by Hugh Syme
Photography by Andrew MacNaughtan
Additional Photography by Carrie Nuttall (B&W) and MRossi

The Vapor Trails Tour Crew
Tour Manager - Liam Birt
Lighting Directorl/Designer - Howard Ungerleider
Concert Sound Engineer - Brad Madix
Production Manager - Craig (C.B.) Blazier
Artist Liaison - Shelley Nott
Keyboard Tech - Tony Geranios
Drum Tech - Lorne Wheaton
Bass Tech - Russ Ryan
Guitar Tech - Rick Britton
Stage Monitor Engineer - Brent Carpenter
Production Assistant - Karin Blazier
Personal Assistant - Peter Rollo
Security Director - Michael Mosbach
Carpenter - George Steinert
Nutritionist - Bruce French
Concert Sound by MD Clair Bros - Jo Ravitch, Brian Evans, Kevin Kapler
Lighting by Premier Global - Rich Vinyard, Shane Gowler, Keith Hoagland, Jamie Grossenkemper
Moving Lights Programmer - Matt Druzbik
Rear Screen Projection created by SPIN Productions - Norman Stangl, Hilton Treves, Colin Davies
Live 3D Animation by Derivative - Greg Hermanovic, Ben Voigt, Jarrett Smith, Farah Yusuf, Rob Bairos
Additional Animation - Paul Simpson, Alan Kapler
Derivative VJ - James Ellis

Video by BBC - David Davidian, Bob Larkin, Adrian Brister, James George
Lasers by Production Design - Chris Blair
Pyrotechnics provided by pyrotek Special Effects - John Arrowsmith
Concert Rigging - Ken Mitchell, Brian Collins
Trucking - Ego Trips
Buses - Hemphill Brothers
Drivers - Arthur (Mac) McLear, David Burnette, Jon Cordes, Michael Gibney, Don Johnson, Tom Hartman, Dave Cook, Lashawn Lundstrom, Lonnie Sweet, Steve Kotzer
Flight Crew - Frank McGrath, Gil Faria, Don West
Merchandising - The McLoughlin Family
Booking Agencies - Artist Group International, NYC, The Agency Group, London, S.L. Feldman & Associates, Toronto
Tour Accountants - Drysdale & Drysdale - John Whitehead, Liam Birt
Management - Ray Danniels/SRO Management, Toronto
Management Staff - Pegi Cecconi, Sheila Posner, Anna LeCoche, Shelley Nott, Cynthia Barry, Steve Hoffman, Rayanne Lepieszo, Randy Rolfe and Bob Farmer

For technical help and contributions, our thanks to Jim Burgess and Eric Pavlyak at Saved By Technology, Barry and b. zee brokerage, Gibson Guitars, Paul Reed Smith, Fender bass guitars, Ernie Ball Strings, Tyme Rogers at Tech 21, Steve and Mark at Hughes and Kettner amplification, Dean Markley, Drum Workshop, Avedis Zildjian, Promark, Remo, Roland electronic percussion, and Ω™

www.rush.com   www.rushinrio.com

This compilation © 2003 Core Music Publishing (SOCAN) / All Rights Reserved. All songs Lee/Lifeson/Peart Except: "Tom Sawyer" (Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Dubois), "YYZ" (Lee/Peart), "Closer To The Heart" (Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Talbot), "Leave That Thing Alone" and "Working Man" (Lee/Lifeson) and "O Baterista" (Peart)

© 2003 Coming Home Studios / Anthem Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


CD Credits

Recorded by James "Jimbo" Barton
Mixed by James "Jimbo" Barton and Alex Lifeson
Assisted by Patrick Thrasher
Assistant Engineer - Kooster McAllister, Record Plant Remote
Pre-Mixed and Assembled at Trax Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mixed at Metalworks, Mississauga, ON
Assisted by Chris Gordon and Joe Barlow

Live Recording and invaluable Pre-mixing Organization by James "Jimbo" Barton
Assisted by Patrick Thrasher
Mastered at Gateway Mastering - Portland, Maine by Adam Ayan
Executive Production - Pegi Cecconi and Liam Birt

Art Direction, Illustration and Design by Hugh Syme
Photography by Andrew MacNaughtan
Additional photography by Carrie Nuttall (B&W), MRossi

The Vapor Trails Tour Crew
Tour Manager - Liam Birt
Lighting Director/Designer - Howard Ungerleider
Concert Sound Engineer - Brad Madix
Production Manager - Craig (C.B.) Blazier
Artist Liaison - Shelley Nott
Keyboard Tech - Tony Geranios
Drum Tech - Lorne Wheaton
Bass Tech - Russ Ryan
Guitar Tech - Rick Britton
Stage Monitor Engineer - Brent Carpenter
Production Assistant - Karin Blazier
Personal Assistant - Peter Rollo
Security Director - Michael Mosbach
Carpenter - George Steinert
Nutritionist - Bruce French
Concert Sound by MD Clair Bros. - Jo Ravitch, Brian Evans, Kevin Kapler
Lighting by Premier Global - Rich Vinyard, Shane Gowler, Keith Hoagland, Jamie Grossenkemper
Moving Lights Programmer - Matt Druzbik
Rear Screen Projection created by SPIN Productions - Norman Stangl, Hilton Treves, Colin Davies
Live 3D Animation by Derivative - Greg Hermanovic, Ben Voight, Jarrett Smith, Farah Yusuf, Rob Bairos
Additional Animation - Paul Simpson, Alan Kapler
Derivative VJ - James Ellis
Video by BBC - David Davidian, Bob Larkin, Adrian Brister, James George
Lasers by Production Design - Chris Blair
Pyrotechnics provided by Pyrotek Special Effects - John Arrowsmith
Concert Rigging - Ken Mitchell, Brian Collins
Trucking - Ego Trips / Buses - Hemphill Brothers
Drivers - Arthur (Mac) McLear, David Burnette, Jon Cordes, Michael Gibney, Don Johnson, Tom Hartman, Dave Cook, Lashawn Lundstrom, Lonnie Sweet, Steve Kotzer
Flight Crew - Frank McGrath, Gil Faria, Don West
Merchandising - The McLoughlin Family
Booking Agencies - Artist Group International, NYC, The Agency Group, London, S.L. Feldman & Associates, Toronto
Tour Accountants - Drysdale & Drysdale - John Whitehead, Liam Birt
Management - Ray Danniels / SRO Management, Toronto
Management Staff - Pegi Cecconi, Sheila Posner, Anna LeCoche, Shelley Nott, Cynthia Barry, Steve Hoffman, Rayanne Lepieszo, Randy Rolfe and Bob Farmer
Special thanks to Gil Moore and Raine Munro at Metalworks

www.rush.com www.rushinrio.com

© 2003 Atlantic Records © 2003 Anthem Entertainment


Miscellaneous

  • Highest Billboard Chart Position: 33 - Album Certified Gold by RIAA: February 10, 2004
  • Video certified 7x Platinum: September 1, 2010
  • Recorded at Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 23, 2002; although understated by the band, their concert the previous night, November 22, 2002, was in fact the largest crowd ever to attend a Rush concert, with 65,000 fans in attendence at Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Video feature run time 128 minutes.
  • 2 DVD released, October 21, 2003; 1 DVD (feature only) released, November 7, 2006; Blu-Ray (lacking only the Easter Eggs), Jun 23, 2015
  • Rush In Rio, was Rush's first live DVD. The concert was also released as a 3CD live album containing two "official bootleg tracks" not available on the DVD: "Between Sun & Moon" and "Vital Signs".
  • Unique editions: the Japanese CD release includes a minature Vapor Trails tourbook, while the Brazilian DVD release contains a small poster not included on the USA release.
  • Click to enlarge
  • A 4:32 edit of "Resist" was released as a promo cd single.
  • The DVD includes a documentary by longtime Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan titled "The Boys In Brazil". For the documentary, MacNaughton and 2-3 other official cameraman filmed rare rehearsal and backstage footage, as well as fans welcoming the band at the airports, in hotels, small interviews with fans while waiting in stadium lines, and shooting the crowd's reactions during the shows. The DVD also includes multi-angle viewing options on "La Villa Strangiato" and "YYZ", two alternate angle shots on "O Baterista" (drum solo), two Easter Eggs including the "By Tor & The Snow Dog" cartoon created specifically for the tour, and a live performance of "Anthem" from 1975.
  • Sales History from Soundscan, reporting U.S. sales from participating retail stores: The DVD debuted at #1 on Soundscan's charts selling over 40,000 copies after the first week, and 66,000 the first month, 91,000 the second, and 126,000 after the third month. The CD debuted at #33 on Soundscan's charts selling over 33,000 copies the firt week, with 54,000 sold the first month, 71,000 the second, and 89,000 after the thrid month.
  • The DVD release was the inaugural winner of the Juno Award for 2004's new catagory, Music DVD Of The Year. Recognizing the artist, director and producer, submissions were judged by a panel of industry experts and voted on by the CARAS membership.
  • "O Baterista" was nominated for the Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy (their fourth nomination). The winner was "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" by Brian Wilson, from Brian Wilson Presents Smile.
  • "We are exceedingly proud of Neil in particular for his outstanding virtuosity which is fully displayed in this drum solo piece" Geddy Lee, Canada.com, December 7, 2004
  • "Resist" from Rush In Rio is one of 87 tracks found on the 4CD anthology, The Rounder Records Story, released October 12, 2010.
  • Click here for the 'Rush In Rio' Transcript Archive.

In Their Own Words

"In Rio, the trucks were late and didn't arrive until late afternoon, and we're filming and recording the last night of the tour, our one and only chance that we really wanted to capture on that tour. So this was the last and final chance under the most - impossible is not too strong a word. No sound check. Minutes before we went on, [drum tech] Lorne [Wheaton] came up to tell me the electronics were actually working. They had no sound check for the recording truck, no test for the cameras, everybody had to adopt that attitude of, 'Okay, here's what we do.' And did. One telling anecdote that I love, the carpet that we used on stage got so soaking wet during those days that we had to leave it behind. It was too heavy to ship home. It was so waterlogged that it would have cost way more than it was worth to ship it home, so we just left it there. It's in some Brazilian guy's living room. [laughs]" - Neil Peart, liveDaily, July 30, 2004
"Video shoots are the worst - hurry up and wait - but live video is pretty exciting. Rush played this huge football stadium [ Maracanã Stadium]. I saw fireworks going on outside and I thought 'this is amazing. I didnít realize quite how big Rush were in Brazil.' It turns out the fireworks are for when the drugs land, 'cos not everyone had cellphones in Rio! You donít have to wait for Jose to call you. That was so wild." - Pegi Cecconi, SRO/Anthem, FYIMusicNews, August 3, 2016
"...when we wanted to use 'The Girl From Ipanema', and they wanted something like forty thousand dollars just to use it. And our publishing guys said: 'Do you want to reconsider and use something else?' And we didn't because it's a highlight of the show, Alex introduces us and I play a little and then Geddy goes into '...Ipanema', so we had to have it whatever it cost." - Neil Peart, Classic Rock, October 2004
"Alex was having a problem with a cameraman in the first set, and he started freaking out at him, lost some concentration and had a gaffe in one of the songs, during one of the solos. And after the set, we had to kind of cool him off and remind him that you've got to forget about that; you can't let those things bother you during a show that you're filming. Because there's just no sense looking pissed off on tape. He got the message, but it's very hard. There was so much going against us that day. We were going on cold; everyone was going on cold. And, to add to the confusion, there were all these extra lights that the camera people had put on stage without discussing with us. So there were these wires running across the front of the stage that were inhibiting our ability to go to the front of the stage and ham it up with the crowd kind of thing. And that was really disconcerting for me because I'm used to just roaming around and having some fun. And when I'd venture to the edges of the stage, I suddenly had to look at my feet to make sure I didn't trip over these stupid cables. The way you want to record a show should be ideal, and the last thing you should be thinking about is all this crap, so this was pretty fucked in terms of our ability to stay calm, cool and collected." - Geddy Lee, Contents Under Pressure, pp 225-226
"You will see very rare moments of the band doing a variety of daily 'being on the road' type things like; sound check, Neil in his drum room warming up before the show, Alex eating his breakfast while make happy faces out of his eggs... stuff like that... They filmed the Rio show with 20 cameras!!! It was an amazing concert... especially since the band wasn't able to do a sound check that night.... in fact the crew (who are amazing) were setting up the gear until 9:30pm... that's how crazy it was." - Andrew MacNaughtan, TriNet Chat, December 15th, 2002.
"In the original Vapor Trails design, Hugh Syme had one version of the cover, where on the back, very small in the corner, was this very tiny dinosaur, who was the cause of this great vapor trail. And when we were doing the preproduction for the tour, I was looking for animation ideas to use live. I wondered what it would be like to expolit that little dragon a bit more, turn him into a character, which people at Spin Productions developed into a full-blown character that we used during 'One Little Victory' live. It was a cool, humorous way to use this dragon...the dragon was picked on by Hugh to become the representative of the show in Rio, and of course he's got him dressed up like Carmen Miranda." - Geddy Lee, Contents Under Pressure
"I shot the photo that is on the front cover of the DVD - the live picture. That series of photos I shot with the idea in mind of, 'I better get shots of this. I think this could potentially be a great cover.' So I shot it vertically with the idea in mind of the shape of a DVD. I sent the roll to Hugh Syme and we talked about some ideas and I said, 'I shot these photos specifically for your consideration for the front cover.' I guess from there he sort of rolled with that and came up the dragon idea and just took it to the next level. I think it's very funny and very brilliant - it's a wonderful cover. I think he got the initial [dragon] elements from Norm [Stangl, of Spin Productions, creator of the dragon visuals for the Vapor Trails tour], but Hugh is the one that added all of the fruits and that stuff. He created all of that himself." - Andrew MacNaughtan, Fye.com, September 26, 2003
"The decision to forego an anamorphic version was due to limitations with some of the cameras used to film the concert. The majority of the concert was filmed in a 16:9 Digibeta format but due to the sensitivity of having cameramen distracting Neil during the show, mini remote cameras were used around him that could only be recorded in a 4:3 format. The issue of anamorphic was first raised in June and we investigated the option and what it would take to convert these tapes, which once the show was fully edited comprised about 25 - 30% of the footage used, to anamorphic. Since we were already dealing with a softer image, the process necessary to achieve anamorphic for these particular tapes would have degraded the footage further and many shots of Neil would have become blurred and all these shots would have really stood out from the rest of the program. With this footage comprising so much of the show it would have been become a distraction and as such lessen the experience for the viewer. The decision was made to maintain the strongest possible quality product and deliver a great performance, in what is still the most common format, while holding onto our intended letterbox look. The decision was purely one of giving the highest quality experience to all the viewers possible." - Allan Weinrib, Executive Producer

Promos

Behind The Fire - The Making Of Vapor Trails

by Neil Peart

Vapor Trails Tourbook, click to enlarge

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire."

I found those words on the wall of a bar in Montana, attributed to somebody named Reggie Leach. It seemed an unlikely place to find inspiration, but I carried it away with me, and thought of it more than once during the making of this latest Rush album.

On a cold Monday morning in January of 2001, Geddy, Alex, and I gathered at a small studio in Toronto to start work again. It had been almost five years since Test For Echo, but after twenty-seven years and sixteen studio albums together, we were hopeful that the chemistry among us could be awakened once more, the fire rekindled. Deep down we were a little apprehensive-would we really be able to put together enough songs that we liked to fill a new album?

Always a burning question, and more so this time, when so much life had flowed beneath our bridges. Also, in the past few years both Geddy and Alex had produced their own projects, for themselves and for others, and each of them was used to being the Supreme Boss of Everything. For many reasons, the process of meshing again had to be gradual, exploratory, and careful.

We laid out no parameters, no goals, no limitations, only that we would take a relaxed, civilized approach to this project. No hurry, no pressure, no marathon stints in the studio (at first anyway); we would simply keep working, day after day, trying to strike sparks from each other and feed the slow-burning fire of collaboration and mutual inspiration.

Per our usual pattern, Geddy and Alex started working together on musical ideas in the studio's control room, while I retreated into another little room with pen, paper, and computer to start trying to assemble lyrics. I began by going through my "scrapyard" of jotted notes and phrases I had collected, looking for connections to stitch together, while Geddy and Alex began by simply playing, setting up a rhythm machine and jamming along with guitar and bass.

After a couple of weeks I had put down a few lyrics to pass over to them, but it seemed they weren't ready to get serious yet-they just wanted to "play." Sometimes I would take a break from wordsmithing and go down the hall to have a bash at my drums in the main recording room, and I would pass the control room where the two of them were working. Usually I heard them riffing away, exploring some interesting directions and recording everything, but there weren't any songs yet.

We would talk at the beginning or end of the day, and I knew the two of them were starting to get excited about their explorations, but didn't want to stop for the relatively tedious job of listening through all those raw ideas and choosing the best ones to assemble into a coherent structure.

For myself, once I had a half dozen lyrics finished I began to feel a little unsure how to proceed. I wanted to know which ones might be "working" for them, to receive some feedback, and some influence, from where they were going musically. So I stopped lyric-writing for awhile, and started writing a book instead. (As one does.)

Eventually Geddy began to sift through the vast number of jams they had created, finding a verse here, a chorus there, and piecing them together. Often a pattern had only ever been played once in passing, but through the use of computer tools it could be repeated or reworked into a part. Since all the writing, arranging, and recording was done on computer, a lot of time was spent staring at monitors, but most of the time technology was our friend, and helped us to combine spontaneity and craftwork. Talk was the necessary interface, of course, and once Geddy and Alex had agreed on basic structures, Geddy would go through the lyrics to see what might suit the music and "sing well," then come to me to discuss any improvements, additions, or deletions I could make from my end.

Gradually the songs began to come together, "Out Of The Cradle" among the first, along with "Vapor Trail," "The Stars Look Down," and "Earthshine." That last is notable for being the only Rush song I can recall that was later completely rewritten, keeping the same lyrics but replacing every single musical part. "Cradle" also underwent some serious surgery as time passed, and that was the kind of relaxed approach we were taking, allowing us to reexamine songs with the luxury of perspective, and repair or replace any parts that didn't survive that test of time. Sometimes a developing song seemed to lose momentum, or our faith (the critical force), and was abandoned, but that had always been our version of "natural selection."

Once I had the reassurance of knowing that some of the lyrics were working, and had a feel for the musical context, I carried on with the lyric writing. And switching to my "drummer" hat, now that I had some song sketches to work on I started spending a few nights a week creating and refining drum parts, playing along to the still-evolving arrangements of music and vocals as my guide. Alex was my personal producer and recording engineer, as he had been for this phase of many past albums.

More songs came together too, like "Secret Touch," "Sweet Miracle," and "How It Is," and as often happens, once we had a few songs finished that we liked, the newer ones started to get weirder. Daring grows out of confidence (or what the ancient Greeks called "hubris," I guess), and from this combination came "One Little Victory," "Ceiling Unlimited," and "Nocturne."

By that time we had been working on our own for about six months, and felt we had enough material to benefit from an "objective ear," a coproducer. Paul Northfield had worked with us as recording engineer on albums going back to Moving Pictures and Signals in the early eighties, and on several live records over the years (as well as my Buddy Rich tributes), but this was the first time we had worked with him in a more creative capacity. We wanted someone who knew us and our music well enough to make a shortcut straight into the composing and arranging area, for there were still more songs to be written and organized, and make a transition from there straight to recording.

That was an important difference in the way we made this record, compared to any in the past. We used to spend a period of time working on the songwriting, arranging, and our individual parts, then do some last-minute preproduction work with a coproducer before moving to a big-time studio to start the "official" recording. The pressure this imposed on us could be productive, and in particular I found that it could often drive me to a level of performance I hadn't reached before, but this time we wanted to do it differently-more gradually, with more time for revision and renovations.

Some of the songs had been worked on over a period of months by that time, and were ready to record, while others were still under development, and a few hadn't even been written yet. So for the first time we were able to simultaneously work on writing new songs, arranging older ones, and recording finished performances on the ones we were "satisfied" with. Geddy had been able to record the vocals on his own, and Alex the guitars, experimenting and layering to their hearts' content, and some of those performances would remain irreplaceably right. In each case we were "leap-frogging" ahead, improving our individual parts and discussing changes, then responding to the work the others had done on their own. After so many years of playing together we intuitively understood each other musically, and even if we worked in isolation, we were working together.

Paul's influence was strong through this phase, for he could help us judge the performances as "finished" or "not yet," and he saw possibilities that sometimes escaped us (urging "Ghost Rider" from the verge of abandonment to its glorious realization, for example). He also encouraged our "eccentricities" in the later-emerging songs like "Freeze" and "Peaceable Kingdom."

By then certain common musical themes had emerged, like a "veiled complexity" in the parts and arrangements (the drum parts for "Freeze" and "Peaceable Kingdom" took me days to work out and refine, for example). Alex's particular agenda steered us away from the use of keyboards or guitar solos, and Geddy experimented with multi-tracked backing vocals as textural alternatives. Lyrically, no overall concept emerged, but I can trace some interesting sources for particular lines, like Walt Whitman in "Out Of The Cradle" and Thomas Wolfe in "How It Is" ("foot upon the stair, shoulder to the wheel") and "Ceiling Unlimited" (Wolfe's title Of Time And The River and looking at a map of the Mississippi Delta suggested the "winding like an ancient river" lines). "Ceiling Unlimited" also offers a playful take on Oscar Wilde's reversal of the Victorian lament, "drink is the curse of the working class," while Joseph Conrad's Victory gave the "secret touch on the heart" line. "There is never love without pain" echoed from my own experience and the novel Sister Of My Heart, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and W.H. Auden and Edward Abbey (Black Sun) influenced certain lines in "Vapor Trail."

An article in the magazine "Utne Reader" called "What Do Dreams Want?" contributed to my ideas in "Nocturne" (as well as the enigmatic mantra, "the way out is the way in," for "Secret Touch"), and I was also struck by a psychologist's approach to analysis and dream interpretation, "without memory or desire."

The nineteenth-century Quaker folk artist, Edward Hicks, painted no less than sixty versions of the same biblical scene, "Peaceable Kingdom," and the tarot card "The Tower" seemed a chilling reflection of the events of September 11, 2001. A series of works by Canadian painter Paterson Ewen helped to inspire "Earthshine," and the title of a novel by A. J. Cronin, The Stars Look Down (which I've yet to read), seemed to express a fitting view of an uncaring universe.

In the self-contained universe of our work, everything had been going very smoothly, and it was only when we moved into the final mixing stage that we got bogged down. It seemed that all of us, Paul included, had become too deeply immersed in the material, and we could no longer step back and hear the songs whole. After a few unsatisfying attempts, we called in a specialist, David Leonard, and he was able to sift through the parts and make them bright and new again, to find the hidden dynamics and textures and bring out the subtleties of the music and the performances.

And so it was that we suddenly found we had been working on this project for over a year. It was not because we had any special difficulties, or because it was at all "overwrought," for many of the final takes of the songs had been captured fresh and spontaneous, more than they had ever been in the past. Far from being stale or over-rehearsed, often they had only been played that way once. The difference this time was that instead of working to schedules and deadlines, we simply carried on writing songs and recording them until we felt the collection of music was complete. (Someone wise once said, "no work of art is ever finished, it is only abandoned.")

While putting so much time and care into every detail of the content and performance of the songs, we hadn't paid any attention to their length, and now we began to worry if all thirteen songs would even fit on a CD, which can only hold 74 minutes. There was some talk of saving a couple of songs for a compilation or something, but Rush has never left any "previously unreleased tracks" for anybody to capitalize on, and we weren't about to start now. All of these songs had taken a lot of time and effort, and we simply couldn't imagine leaving any of them behind. Fortunately they added up to just under 67 minutes, so we were spared any painful choices.

Then there was the album title-never an easy decision. A unifying theme sometimes appears in the collected songs and suggests an overall title, like Counterparts or Power Windows; other times a particular song seems emblematic, like "Test For Echo" or "Roll The Bones." Neither approach seemed right this time, so we went with the song title we liked the best, "Vapor Trail," and made it plural to refer to all the songs. Then I went to work on cover ideas with our longtime art director, Hugh Syme.

The last big challenge we faced, as always, was the running order of the songs, and we fiddled with that right up until the last minute. However, we never doubted which song would open the album, for "One Little Victory" made such an uncompromising announcement, "They're ba-a-a-ack!"

Knowing that our music is nothing if not idiosyncratic, and doesn't really cater to popular "taste," we also envisioned advertising slogans along the lines of, "If you hated them before, you'll really hate them now!" Or, "And now-more of everything you always hated about Rush!"

But of course, like everyone, we do hope people will enjoy our work, and that our shared enthusiasm, energy, and love for what we do communicates itself to the listener. When you set yourself on fire and aim for the sky, you hope to leave behind some sparks of heat and light.

Like a vapor trail.


GEDDY LEE · bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers
ALEX LIFESON · guitars
NEIL PEART · drums, cymbals, electronic percussion

Management by Ray Danniels, SRO Management Inc., Toronto
Tour Manager - Liam Birt
Production Manager - Craig (C.B.) Blazier
Production Assistant - Karin Blazier
Concert Sound Engineer - Brad Madix
Lighting Director - Howard Ungerleider
Keyboard Technician - Tony Geranios
Bass Technician - Russ Ryan
Drum Technician - Lorne Wheaton
Guitar Technician - Rick Britton
Stage Monitor Engineer - Brent Carpenter
Carpenter - George Steinert
Security Director - Michael Mosbach
Personal Assistant - Peter Rollo
Band Nutritionist - Bruce French
Concert Sound by MD Clair Bros. - Jo Ravitch, Brian Evans, Kevin Kapler
Lighting by Premier Global - Rich Vineyard, Shane Gowler, Keith Hoagland, Jamie Gossenkemper
Moving Lights Programming - Matt Druzbik
Rear Screen Projection created by Spin Productions - Norman Stangl
Live 3D Animation by Derivative - Greg Hermanovic
Derivative VJ - James Ellis
Video by BBC - David Davidian, Bob Larkin, Adrian Brister, James George
Lasers by Production Design - Chris Blair
Pyrotechnics provided by Pyrotek Special Effects - John Arrowsmith
Concert Rigging - Ken Mitchell, Brian Collins
Trucking - Ego Trips
Drivers - Arthur (Mac) McLear, Dave Cook, Jon Cordes, Michael Gibney,
Ron Kilburn, David Burnette, Tom Mikita, Bob Reetz, John Petrus
Flight Crew - Frank McGrath, Gil Faria, Don West
Tour Merchandise - The McLoughlin Family
Booking Agencies - Artist Group International, NYC, The Agency Group, London, S.L. Feldman & Associates, Toronto
Tour Accountants - Drysdale & Drysdale -- John Whitehead, Liam Birt
CCE Tour Director - Ian Jeffrey
Art Direction, Design and Digital Illustrations - Hugh Syme
Photography - Andrew MacNaughtan
Additional Photography - Carrie Nuttall -- page 19
Tour Promoter - Clear Channel Entertainment -- Arthur Fogel, Steve Howard, Gerry Barad

visit our site at www.rush.com


Alex Lifeson

Vapor Trails Tourbook, click to enlarge

Big Al uses: Hughes & Kettner Tri-Amp and Zentera amplification
Paul Reed Smith guitars
Gibson guitars
Fender guitars
Ovation guitars
Too many guitars
TC Electronics G Force effects processor
TC Electronics 1210 Spatial Expander
Behringer Virtualizer Pro
Behringer MX 602 Mixers
Digital Audio GCX audio switchers
Custom Audio Midi Footswitching
Shure Wireless Systems
Sampson Wireless Systems
Palmer PDI 03/05
Dean Markley strings
The Omega Stand, of course



Neil Peart

Vapor Trails Tourbook, click to enlarge

The drums are made by DW, with a custom red sparkle finish - sam as the last tour. (DW offered to build me a new set, but these ones still sounded great, so I decided to keep them.)

The bass drum is 22", the toms are 8", 10", 12", 13", 15" (two), 16", and 18". The current favorite snare drum is a 5" x 14" DW Craviatto, and I'm also using a 13" DW piccolo snare, miscellaneous LP cowbells, and DW pedals and hardware.

Out back, and hidden all around, are Roland V-drums and trigger pads, accompanying the Kat mallet controller and Shark pedals, all feeding into Roland TD-10 modules with expansion cards, Roland 5080 sampler, line mixer, and midi converters.

(I have no idea what any of that means.)

Drum heads are remo white-coated Ambassadors, and cymbals are Avedis Zildjian - 8" splash, 2-10" splashes, 13" high-hats, 14" X-hats, 2-16" crashes, 18" crash. 20" crash, 22" ride, 20" Low China, and an 18" Chinese Wuhan.

(That sort of thing I understand better - you just hit them with sticks. Promark 747 "Signature" ones, in this case.)

Someone has also written at the end of this list that I have "a really great drum tech." That would be Lorne Wheaton, better know as "Gump." Or is that "Grump?" Time will tell...



Geddy Lee

Vapor Trails Tourbook, click to enlarge

Hi There, This is the space where I'm supposed to list my, er ... equipment ... It's not very long, but it's terribly exciting to look at ... I'm talking about my equipment of course, so get your mind out of the gutter and get ready for the ultra compelling 2002

LIST OF EQUIPMENT I WILL BE USING ON THE VAPOR TRAILS TOUR

1 Fender Jazz Bass circa 1972 / 4 Fender Jazz Basses circa 1996
Avalon U5 Tube Direct box - for that "clean" sound / SansAmp R.B.I. Bass preamp by Tech 21 - for that "dirty" sound
Palmer-PDI-O5 Speaker Simulator - for that "big bottom" / Trace Elliot QUATRA-VR power amps
Roland XV-6090 Sampler / Synthesizers / Roland and Korg midi foot pedals / Roland D-50 Synthesizer / 3 Maytag dryers (coin operated) ... for that "clean, clean" feeling.
All this gear is superbly maintained by the inimitable Mr. Russ Ryan (bass department) ab\nd the mysterious Jack Secret a.k.a. Tony Geranios (keyboard department) with the complex array of synthesizer and drum programming, sequencing and sonic sampling organized by Jim Burgess of Saved By Technology ... (or is that Waiting for Technology? ... I get those 2 mixed up!) and Eric Bedard.
Well that's about it! ... Riveting stuff eh? ... I know, I know ... you're sad it's over ... I'm sad it's over ... but that's life folks!
See you ... G.L.

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