Rush‘s critically acclaimed ‘R40’ tour, which celebrated their four decades of hard rock prominence through an extensive set list of deep cuts and fan favorites, catered to audiences across North America earlier this year. It would seem impossible that every diehard Rush fan would be able to attend those shows, considering venue capacity restrictions and life’s complicated intrusions, yet fortunately the progressive rock group’s live show has been captured for an upcoming release.
‘R40 Live’ is currently penciled to hit the shelves on November 20, and although the details on this release are only starting to find their way out into the open, there are a few certain facts; namely, the forthcoming release was recorded during Rush’s pair of hometown shows in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on June 17 and June 19 of this year.
The official version of “Roll the Bones (R40 Live)” has just surfaced online and showcases a vivid and top notch editing and production value, among the quality that Rush advocates have come to anticipate from the band’s live efforts over the years. Rush’s performance of “Roll the Bones” on this tour incorporated an accompanying video featuring guest appearances from Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, Les Claypool of Primus and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, naming a few, during the song’s controversial rap.
Perhaps considering the mixed reception which the album received upon it’s initial release, the title track from 1991’s ‘Roll the Bones’ hadn’t found it’s way into a Rush show since the band’s ‘Snakes and Arrows’ tour in 2007/2008. The song’s reintroduction in Rush’s concerts on their ‘R40’ tour was a show of gratitude from the musicians to their dedicated audience, especially considering that it could prove to be the final Rush tour of that magnitude.
“I have such mixed feelings about it,” Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson would tell The Canadian Press. “In one way, I feel relief. I think that 40 years is a long time to be touring the way we tour. I really like being home with my grandkids. At 61, I don’t feel there’s anything we need to prove.”
The decision to refrain from such frequent, exhaustive runs on the road has nothing to do with not wanting to tour, says Lifeson. In fact, the guitarist assures it’s quite the opposite. “I still love playing. But in [drummer] Neil’s [Peart] case, for example, his job is really tough. Playing the way he does is very, very difficult on his body. He has chronic tendonitis in his arms and he’s had problems with his shoulders. It’s just getting to the point, no matter how much we love doing it, that it’s much more demanding and much more difficult.”
Lifeson added: “I’ve always hated the idea of being one of those guys who’s just up there, old and barely able to move — just doing it for fear of not doing it, or not making an extra buck or whatever. If this is the last major tour that we do, [I want to] go out with flying colors, where everybody remembers the show they went to as the best Rush they’ve [seen]. That’s a nice legacy to leave behind — rather than the worn-out shadow of something you once were.”
It would be challenging to argue with that stance, especially after watching Rush’s rendition of “Roll the Bones” which is included for your viewing pleasure below.