After a year of heavy touring, Canadian rock legends Rush are planning to take 2003 off. But fans can still enjoy the new The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits: 1974-1987, and an untitled DVD is slated for spring. The DVD features a November 23rd concert in Rio, a stop on the band's first ever tour of Brazil. "I think we had a forty-camera setup for this shoot, so it's going to be quite exciting," says guitarist Alex Lifeson. "We shot a lot of stuff that whole week, just casual things, traveling around, at the hotel, in the dressing room."
Although the DVD is Rush's first, singer/bassist Geddy Lee doesn't see it as any different than the concert videos the band has previously released commercially. "It's just a different medium and, of course, there's a few more bells and whistles," he says, "but essentially it's concert footage that you're editing and concert sound that you're mixing."
Another concert, filmed in Toronto five years ago during the Test for Echo tour, was put on the backburner after drummer Neil Peart's daughter died in a car accident and his wife died of cancer. Lifeson says the band is considering including some of that footage on the new DVD.
The Rio show was part of Rush's touring schedule behind Vapor Trails, the band's first all-new studio collection in over five years. "I think we played the best we've ever played," says Lifeson. "There was a renewed energy in the way we approached our live performances that we've always had high standards for."
On February 27th in Toronto, Rush will make their first, and likely only, public appearance of 2003 when they are be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, an honor usually reserved for industry figures.