But in his latest blog our bastion of classic rock urges a note of caution for those addicted to DVD entertainment: you have been warned. Read our resident blogger’s views right here every week.
Time Machine, Rush’s latest DVD is released in the next few days and on a scale of one to 10, my anticipation levels are hovering around the six mark.
That’s not to say I won’t be buying it at the earliest opportunity – nor have I any doubt I will enjoy its content which features the excellent set list fans saw on their recent UK tour earlier this year.
It’s the fourth tour in succession, the Canadian power trio have decided to release as a DVD following hot on the heels of Rush In Rio, R30 and Snakes And Arrows. But and if the product’s as good as its predecessors, we’re all in for a treat.
So why my low levels of excitement? Let me take you back to the day I obtained a copy of Rush in Rio.
At the time, I was not aware of earlier releases by the band on video of their Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure and Show Of Hands tours so when I watched the footage from Brazil, it was the first time I’d actually seen Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart since attending a 1980 gig at Newcastle City Hall.
It was a surreal experience, being able to not just listen to but watch a band, who bar a six year period in the 90s when my interest in music cooled, had played such an important part of my life.
And it was the same when I bought my first DVDs featuring AC/DC, UFO, the Scorpions, Neil Young, Aerosmith…I could go on.
For anyone of a similar age to me who was interested in rock music – a genre which rarely featured on terrestrial television, being able to watch these bands in your own living room was something quite special.
Of course, a decade on and it’s not quite the same. These days, there are countless music channels even if precious few play the music we like. But the internet provides adequate compensation.
You can watch clips from a concert you’d attended just hours earlier, simply by logging on to YouTube and Googling the required words. Whole concerts can be viewed through cyberspace, whether on an iPhone, a laptop or a home computer.
And Rush aren’t the only band who mark the end of each world tour by releasing a new DVD.
Growing up 30 years ago, it couldn’t have been more different. I remember queuing up at around 10pm at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle to watch Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same. For me, my mates and the vast majority of their fans, it was their only chance to see the band in the flesh, so to speak.
Between 1979 and 1982 when rock music featured quite prominently in the singles charts, word would spread like wildfire that Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, UFO or AC/DC were appearing on Top of the Pops that night.
Invariably, those appearance disappointed with singers looking distinctly uncomfortable having to mime their songs and fellow band members looking stilted and bored working within such a suffocating environment, a million miles away from the concert hall.
Even so, these rare glimpses of our heroes were lapped up in the same way that the generation before us would flock to the cinemas to watch Pathe News, putting a face to the voices they were listening to on their wireless.
In the 70s and early 80s, we had The Old Grey Whistle Test, Rock Goes To College and Sight And Sound but in the main, being a music fan was strictly an aural experience.
It all began to change with the arrival of MTV which turned David Coverdale and Whitesnake from a moderately successful but outstanding band into an outstandingly successful but moderate band. And while the likes of Rush, Black Sabbath and UFO rarely featured, the music world had changed forever.
In 2011, there is no longer any mystique about a band. Setlists are posted on the internet minutes after the opening gig of a world tour and YouTube has become a third eye. We live in a world where it’s access all areas.
Is this a good thing? Undoubtedly. Just don’t expect me to get too excited about the release of a favourite band’s DVD anymore.