What to Make of “Rush: Live in St. Louis 1980” Recording?
Back in 2012 a company called On the Air released a recording of a 1980 Rush concert at the Keil Auditorium in St.Louis. The band had just released Permanent Waves and they were playing a two-night stand in the city. The show opened with a scaled-back version of “2112” and ended with “La Villa Strangiato,” although Alex played the intro with an electric rather than an acoustic guitar. The band played all the tracks on Permanent Waves except for the two that are usually left off, “Entre Nous” and “Different Strings.” This was also the tour in which they introduced the reggae version of “Working Man.”
There’s long been a bootleg recording of the show circulating on the Internet (including on Torrent, dimeadozen, and fan sites) and the record is an unauthorized packaging of either that or some other recording of the show. In any case, fans have mixed views of such unauthorized commercial packaging of Rush concert recordings:
“A fantastic soundboard recording from the Permanent Waves Tour,” says one commenter on Amazon. “One of the best live recordings ever! Rush in their prime! Neil’s solo is unreal! A must have!”
“You are a fool to dish out $30+ for a free recording,” another person says. “It is provided free on the internet. It is a bootleg, not an official recording and again I say it is provided FREE on the internet from responsible traders and never sold for a fee.”
A popular bootleg of Rush’s 1974 Agora Ballroom concert in Cleveland had been circulating free on the Internet for years in the same way under the title The Fifth Order of Angels before Rush in 2011 put out an authorized version along with three bonus tracks from their 1975 show at the same venue called ABC 1974. In addition to the bonus tracks, the recording quality on the authorized version had been cleaned up quite a bit, although it’s still a very raw sound.
The band had said its release of ABC 1974 was an effort to reassert some control over its music, and it’s worth wondering if they should do the same thing with this recording. It could give them a chance to make the sonic quality of the recording even better.
From the publisher of Rush Vault:
Rush: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence
Great book, read slowly to fully enjoy it
“A very in depth conversation from Rush’s start to the present. It is not a lot to read. You probably won’t rifle through this in a single sitting, and the author will likely challenge a lot of your interpretations of many of the songs. But more than worth considering the impact on Rush lyrics far beyond Rand and Aristotle. Pick it up.”—Alan L. Emery