By David Chiu
These days, Rush is the last of a dying breed in a scene dominated by indie bands that frown virtuosic musicianship and progressive rock excess. For the latter, Rush has been certainly guilty of those things as one of the preeminent stadium rock bands. But before you label them dinosaurs, it is worth checking out R30, a a 2-DVD set of a recent concert during their 30th anniversary tour. Although the members are older and a little bit on the heavy side physically, (though bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee looks ageless), the band can still kick it from the earlier bombastic stuff (the R30 Overture containing “Finding My Way,” “Anthem,” and “Hemispheres”; through classic fare such as “The Spirit of Radio,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight”; to recent works like “Roll the Bones,” “Subdivisions,” and “Dreamline.” Not one of the guys seem to have lost a step in his playing: Lee’s high-pitched vocals, guitarist Alex Lifeson can still deliver those lightning speed licks, and drummer Neil Peart’s adroit precision. And at least give the group credit for having a sense of humor—the stage visuals include actor/comedian Jerry Stiller, wearing a Rush T-shirt, introducing the band on video screen, and a laudry machine in the background. The other DVD contains interviews with the band and archival performances throughout the 30 years. This probably won’t win over the critics, so it’s strictly for die-hards.