I had the DVD of “Rush in Rio” playing in the background while I caught up on bills and mail. When YYZ came on, I just had to go watch it. Even 25 years later, the guys still play it flawlessly. It’s funny to watch the musicians, though. They each have such different personas on stage.
Neil (drummer) plays like he’s in deep concentration, like a brain surgeon at the most difficult part of the operation. One false move and the patient dies. Except during the easy parts, Alex (guitar) looks somewhat winded, like it takes all his effort to keep up with the onslaught of notes. Occasionally, he gets musician bliss face. And Geddy (guitar, keyboard) looks like he’s having giggly fun the whole time, even while adding in extra flourishes he didn’t play on the studio track. He seems he could give another 50% before breaking a sweat.
This tune was nominated for the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental in 1982, but lost to “Behind My Camel” by The Police. I like both pieces of music, but which one do 80,000 people a night still pay to hear?
Here’s a lower quality pirate version of the performance: