The '70s may forever be remembered as the decade of the "live album," where many rock artists (Kiss, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick, etc.) used the format for their commercial breakthrough. While Rush's All the World's a Stage is not as renowned as the aforementioned bands' live albums, it is still one of the better in-concert rock releases of the decade, and helped solidify the trio's stature as one of rock's fastest rising stars. Eventually, Rush would polish their live sound to sound almost like a studio record, but in the mid-'70s, they were still a raw and raging hard rock band, captured perfectly on All the World's a Stage Comprised almost entirely of their heavier material, the album packs quite a punch -- "Bastille Day" and "Anthem" prove to be a killer opening combination, while over-the-top renditions of their extended epics "2112" and "By-Tor & the Snow Dog" prove to be standouts. Even their more tranquil studio material proves more explosive in concert ("Fly by Night," "Something for Nothing," "Lakeside Park," "In the End"). All the World's a Stage was a fitting way of closing the first chapter of Rush, as the liner notes state.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato