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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

The Spirit of Rush - Live at Mephisto - 2001

At the end of last year, an important event took place in Barcelona, not seen ever before throughout the music history of our land, Spain. Xavi Martinez's dream (guitar) about performing live the music of Rush was at last fulfilled. This way, together with his musical adventures companion Dani Muñoz (bass) plus the adding of Lluis Cots (drums) , and the gorgeous Isla Nieto (vocals), succeeded in making the Canadian trio's golden notes to be heard in the Spanish territory. Three months later we can already listen to everything what happened (almost) that night.

Before discussing about the setlist, I would like to talk about the musicians abilities about playing so much difficult stuff, specially the great work done by Xavi on guitars, and Lluis on drums. Dani does his job without any flaw and Ricardo puts the ice in the cake with his effects and keyboard work. Speaking about choosing a female as the lead singer, it is a good idea…honestly, her voice fits the songs much better than any Geddy Lee clone, or any high-pitched voice heavy metal vocalist. To end this, the sound quality is worth to mention, good enough for a self recorded live and fairly well mixed.

The CD opens (to say something) with "Dreamline". Unfortunately, the sound engineer forgot to roll the tape on before the concert intro. The song begins on the chorus, an unforgivable error that you forget quickly thanks to the musicians quality. After this one, a frantic version of "Stick it out" and the first surprise….. "Temples of Syrinx", with an awesome intro (acoustic guitar is a bit too loud here) with Isla being much more comfortable with the old stuff than the newer one. The band nails down the original version, and so does with "Bastille day" , where Isla sings like the real thing, more than the own Geddy Lee. The third Rush period is shown with overwhelming renditions of "Show don't tell" and "Analog kid", Isla's voice not being so tight here as the original one. Go back to the "Permanent waves" record, with "Freewill" being a tremendous re-creation of the real one, and I don't exaggerate things when I say that in some moments you'd swear you are listening to the original trio. But the best is yet to come…..a magnificent "Tom Sawyer" including some mighty keyboards that leads to "Red Barchetta" , being so real…. (ahhhh…. "Moving Pictures" , my favorite…). A little break , and after that, Seven Ltd (Xavi and Dani's main band) hits the stage for "Mission", a song they know well, they play it in their shows. Just as you would expect, the song sounds pretty well ,though they have a more AOR-oriented, Journey-ish sound. The end of the party goes like this: "YYZ", where you can see that they aren't Rush, and where only Xavi nails the original; an electrifying "Spirit of radio" and "Closer to the heart", being the ending part similar to the one that appears in "A show of hands".

Obviously everyone could have written their own setlist due to the quantity of CD's to choose from, that is why I miss songs like "Time stand still", "Marathon" or "Limelight". I honestly believe that "Live at Mephisto" is a great live CD indeed, and it collects in a trustworthy way the best Rush tunes. It is also obvious that you can't compare this guys to the original ones, but I tell you, you will enjoy this 80 minutes for sure.

If you want to contact the band, write to xaviermartinez@dipsound.com or call to 0034933 538 320

Alfonso Algora - March 2001
rating - Independent Release

 

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