R40 Live, the audio/concert film that documents Rush’s wildly successful, career-spanning 40th anniversary tour, has debuted in the top spot on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart, with sales of 26,637 in its first week of release.
“I would say it was a remarkable accomplishment. Everybody involved with the show really got it,” Rush bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Geddy Lee told me recently about R40 Live (Anthem/Zoe), and the R40 tour itself. Regarding the way the tour’s present-to-past “devolutionary” set list was put together, Lee says, “You try to freshen up something that sounds dated if you can. Some songs are just bass, drums, and guitar, and you just let them rock. Other songs have a little bit more technology involved, so we had to see if there was a way they could be brought into this current era.”
The R40 Live concert film is #1 on the Amazon Best Sellers Music DVD chart and #3 on Billboard’s top DVD Music Videos chart. In addition to taking the #1 spot on Billboard’s Rock Albums chart, R40 Live is #12 on the Top Current Albums chart and #24 on the Top 200 chart. The DVD also debuted at #1 in the trio’s home country of Canada, and landed at #19 on Canada’s Top 200 album chart. R40 Live is scheduled for international release on December 4.
The concert film – which looks and sounds quite stellar on Blu-ray – and its companion live album were filmed with 14 HD cameras and recorded during two sold-out shows at the Air Canada Centre in the band’s hometown of Toronto on June 17 and 19, 2015. Dave Botrill (Tool, Muse) did the 5.1 mix.
Rush, comprised of bassist/keyboardist/lead singer Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart, undertook a 35-date tour this past summer to celebrate their 40-plus years together. According to Pollstar, the sold-out tour, which included stops in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto, Tulsa, and Vancouver, was one of the year’s most successful.
Watch Rush perform “Roll the Bones,” from R40 Live, and keep an eye out for some high-profile cameos during the middle rap section that starts at 3:18: