Rush is one band with an overabundance of live CDs, home videos, and DVDs under their belt. But with a full-length live DVD issued in 2003 (Rush in Rio), was it overkill releasing another one just two years later? Realizing this, the band tried a slightly different approach on R30 (titled after the name of their 30th anniversary tour): one disc of a complete live show and a second disc of rarely seen archival footage. Recorded on September 24, 2004, in Frankfurt, Germany, disc one does a fine job of capturing modern-day Rush in concert. As with their last few tours, the veteran Canadian trio pulled out a forgotten nugget or two that hadn't been played in a dog's age, and this time out, the forgotten Grace Under Pressure gem "Between the Wheels" received an airing. But the real highlight is the all-instrumental opening sequence, which incorporates riffs and passages from "Finding My Way," "Anthem," "Bastilles Day," "A Passage to Bangkok," "Cygnus X-1," and "Hemispheres." Disc two, though, is what makes R30 a truly special item for longtime fans. It turns out that Geddy Lee's brother scoured the Rush archives for rare performances, and he did a splendid job, as evidenced by great, '70s-era performances of "Finding My Way," "Circumstances," and "La Villa Strangiato," among others. Also included are some interesting and uncommon interviews, tops being a Q&A with Lee from 1979, one of the entire band together circa 1981, and separate interviews with all three circa 1990 (the latter of which covers the group's entire career up until that point). R30 will hopefully set a precedent for what other veteran rock bands should aim for on future DVD releases.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato