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Rock Band 3 is an upcoming music video game, and the third main game in the Rock Band series. Harmonix Music Systems is the primary developer for the game, and will be published and distributed by MTV Games and Electronic Arts. As with previous games in the series, Rock Band 3 allows players to simulate the playing of rock music and other genres using special instrument controllers mimicking lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. Rock Band 3 expands upon previous games by including three-part vocal harmonies—previously used in The Beatles: Rock Band and Green Day: Rock Band—and support for a keyboard instrument, a MIDI-compatible 25-key unit.

Rock Band 3 will feature a new "Pro" mode, which is designed as a learning tool to accurately mimic playing of real instruments: guitar and bass players will have to match specific fingering on frets and strings, drummers will have to strike cymbal pads in addition to snare and toms, and keyboardists will use precise fingering across the whole keyboard. MadCatz and Fender will be manufacturing controllers and add-ons to support the Pro mode. The introduction of the new keyboard and Pro hardware was done to make Rock Band 3 a "disruptive" title to revitalize the struggling rhythm game market after poor performances in 2009, while striving towards Harmonix's goals of incorporating real instruments into video games.

The game will include 83 songs, many designed to emphasize the keyboard instrument. Existing game content, including prior downloadable content and songs from the Rock Band Network, will carry forward into Rock Band 3, with the full Rock Band library reaching 2,000 songs by the end of October 2010. Rock Band 3 is designed to take advantage of players' existing libraries by providing user-created set lists and challenges and tools to easily search and select songs from the library.

Rock Band 3 will ship on October 26, 2010 in North America, October 29 in Europe, and October 28 in Australia and New Zealand.[1] It will appear on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii consoles; a Nintendo DS version is also being developed.[2]

Gameplay

Rock Band 3 allows for several players, locally or through online game services, to use various instrument controls to simulate the playing of music. In addition to the four instruments from previous Rock Band games—lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocalsRock Band 3 adds support for three additional players, two through backup vocal harmonies with the lead singer (a feature previously introduced in The Beatles: Rock Band), and one playing an electric keyboard.

The overall goal of the collective band is to successfully complete a song by using their controllers to strike correct notes in time with note tracks shown on the game screen; or, in the case of the vocalists, to sing in relative pitch to the original artist. Each player has a performance meter, which increases when correct notes are hit and falls when notes are missed; a band performance meter represents an average of all players. If a player's meter should drop to zero, that player will temporarily drop out, silencing their part, and the band's performance meter will start to drop. If the band's meter hits zero, the band will fail the song, and depending on the game mode, either be required to start over or to opt to continue on after allowing for players to change difficulty levels. A dropped player can be saved up to two times by the use of "Overdrive" collected by any other player. Overdrive is collected by correctly matching a series of specially marked notes. Certain sections of songs provide "unison moments" where if all players successfully complete the section, they will all get a boost of Overdrive. Overdrive is triggered through various means on the controllers: by tilting the guitar controller vertically briefly, striking a specific drum pad at an indicated time, hitting a controller button on the keyboard, and making a loud noise during marked sections for vocalists.

Prior to a song, each band member selects from one of four difficulty levels, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert, which influence the number and rate that notes appear on the note track; they also can select the Pro mode for guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. As the band performs, they score points. Subtle changes have been made to tracking of fast-moving parts such as trills, tremolo picking, and drum rolls, rewarding playing for being exactly on cue but not penalizing for small differences.[3] Each player can build up a multiplier by hitting consecutive notes correctly, up to a 4x value except in the case of the bassist who can go up to 6x through "bass groove". Overdrive can be unleashed separately by each player to temporarily boost a band multiplier by 2x, with potentially up to a 10x multiplier if each part triggers Overdrive. After successfully completing a song, the band is rated on a 5-star scale based on pre-determine scoring values. A "5 gold star" rating can be earned if the entire band is playing in Expert mode and their score well exceeds the required score for a normal 5 star performance. The best performance by a player for each song in the player's library is tracked separately based on instrument, Pro mode, and difficulty, and used to provide and compare leaderboard statistics.[4]

Song library and game modes

thumb|left|Road Challenges provide new ways for Rock Band 3 players to interact with their library, providing numerous tour options and performance challenges. These provide "spades" in addition to stars for good performances, and individual performances are tracked during a song to provide additional feedback to players. Players will have better tools to sort though songs to help manage a song library that is expected to be larger than 2000 songs by the end of 2010.[5] Sorting options will include filters based on Pro mode support, keyboard or vocal harmony support, difficulty, genre, decade, numbers of times played, leaderboard positions, and when the player acquired the song; any numbers of these filters can be applied to fine-tune the sort, such as selecting all "moderate-difficulty metal songs from the '80s that support keys and harmony vocals".[4] Players will be able to rate songs from 1 to 5 "lighters" and use this as a sorting metric.[6] A default "Party Shuffle" mode will pull random songs based on the current instruments being used by the band and favoring higher-rated songs.[4] The rating system will also allow Harmonix to suggest new songs to players in the Rock Band store.[7] Players will also be able to create, save, name, and design art for custom set lists which they can share through the game's online services or through the Rock Band website.[6][8] The "Battle of the Bands" mode featured in Rock Band 2, in which Harmonix created daily and weekly themed challenges based on the library of songs, will extend into Rock Band 3, but allowing players to create the challenges themselves from the within the game or the website, including the type of challenges, what instrument(s) it is aimed for, and how long to allow the battle to run, then advertise them through social media services like Twitter and Facebook.[6][8] Harmonix will also continue to create custom setlists and battles.[8] The official Rock Band website will be updated to reflect these new features, as well as allowing players to track their own bands or friends' bands.[9]

The game features a more in-depth career mode; players will be able to design more detailed characters, and will appear nearly at all points alongside the narrative, making the game "one story of your band", according to Harmonix senior designer Dan Teasdale. The career mode includes over 700 career goals, similar to Xbox 360 Achievements or PlayStation 3 Trophies, to help continue to urge the players to progress in the game.[10] "Road challenges" combine features of the Tour mode of Rock Band and Rock Band 2 with Mario Party concepts, according to Teasdale, and is based on feedback from Rock Band players. For example, the band may be challenged to re-invigorate the virtual crowd using copious amounts of Overdrive after they were disappointed by an opening act, or in another challenge, the band will be required to play as accurately as possible for a crowd of critics.[11] Numerous versions of these challenges will be available that vary in the amount of time to complete (from 30 minutes to 3 hours) and difficulty. Some of these challenges feature multiple gigs; after playing through one gig, the band is presented with three choices for songs to play at the next gig, either from pre-made set lists, customized set lists, or random selection from all available songs. With each song completed within a challenge, the players earn spades; one spade for each star based on the overall scoring, and additional spades for meeting the challenge goals. These challenges are tracks on the scoring leaderboards for the game.[12]

The playing modes will be wrapped in an "overshell", which allow for players to sign in or out of game console profiles, manage players in the band, and jump in or out of the game with any available instrument at any point, including while playing a song.[13] Players also will have the ability to pause the game and make changes in difficulty; when leaving the pause menu, the song will rewind a few seconds to allow all players to synchronize before the scoring restarts. Due to the limitations in the number of local players on some consoles, only four of the five parts (lead and bass guitar, drums, harmonized vocals, and keyboards) can be played in online and local career and competitive modes. The game provides the option of a local "All Instruments" quick play mode where all five parts are utilized allowing the full seven-member band to play; the vocals are not assigned to a console player but instead are based on the input (if present) from USB-connected microphones, and the vocal results are not scored along with the other playing members.

Custom character support

Rock Band 3 includes support for using pre-made and custom avatars to represent band members on stage during performances, as from previous Rock Band games. These avatars can include a variety of clothing styles, hair styles, accessories, makeup, and instruments to allow users to customize their performance. While custom characters have been a part of the Rock Band series from the start, Harmonix wants players to feel more connected with their characters and band within Rock Band 3.[14] Harmonix' Chris Foster stated that they realized the game is wish-fulfillment for most players in taking one's band through the rise of success, and structured a weak, non-presuming narrative to help guide this without forcing any particular aspect of the band's story.[15] One aspect to connecting the player to their band was to constantly show the characters throughout all parts of the game screens, such as on the main menus, during song selection and loading screens, and during practice mode.[14] Another approach was to allow more detailed customization tools to encourage the player to create themselves or other characters as they wanted in the game. They wanted to advance the looks of the avatar characters, making them like living dolls with near-realistic features but highly idealized visual elements, such as smooth skin and hair. This was achieved through the use of improved shaders that gave the appearance of realistic services but with Rock Band stylized art aesthetic.[16] The team aimed to provide something that was in between the complex creation tool for Mass Effect and the simple set of tools for Miis.[14] Rock Band 3 custom character creator allows for more direct customization of the character's facial looks, using a combination of pre-made face styles (including those already from Rock Band 2), facial components such as noses or chins, and adjustment sliders to change size, position, and other details. Numerous additional hair styles are available in addition to the existing elaborate and showy styles from the previous game. Additional controls can be used to further adjust the tone of the character's body, and players are able to apply tattoos across most anywhere on the character's body. Players can then purchase clothing and instruments in the various in-game shops, with items becoming unlocked as the player progresses through the game.[14]

Pro Mode

[[File:Rockband3-gameplay.jpg|right|thumb|300px|Rock Band 3 adds support for a 25-key keyboard (left track) in addition to guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Pro mode will challenge lead and bass guitarists, keyboardists, and drummers with a more realistic playing experience, such as requiring keyboardists to use a full range of keys, drummers (center) to strike proper cymbals as noted by round gems, or guitarists (right) and bassists to use accurate fingering on the fret bar. The on-screen display for the guitarist and bassist shows the numbered fret and string for the base fingering, and, for chords, a waveform that shows where the fingers should be positioned on other strings relative to the base fret. This screenshot shows Spacehog's "In the Meantime".]] Rock Band 3 introduces a "Pro" mode, which is aimed to provide a more realistic playing experience by requiring a more exact accuracy of the playing of the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard instruments. Pro mode players will be able to select difficulty levels; one can play Pro mode on the "Easy" difficulty level, which reduces the number of notes to hit, but still would require proper fingering or hitting the correct cymbal.[5] The progression of difficulties in Pro mode is aimed to help the player become familiar with the new playing style. For example in Easy Pro guitar, the player may only be required to finger single notes, while Medium will introduce chords.[17] The Pro mode is available across all game modes, and is selectable at the same time as when selecting the desired difficulty and handedness for the instrument. Pro players can play alongside normal mode players in any game mode.[5]

To further help players with the Pro mode, trainers will be included with the game. The trainers were developed in conjunction with the Berklee College of Music to help ease current players into the more realistic playing experience.[18] The training modes use songs created by Harmonix artists designed to help the players become comfortable with the instruments and interface over a series of lessons. According to Harmonix' Dan Sussman, there are about 60 to 80 songs specifically made for the trainer; at present they will only be available for that mode, but Harmonix has considered placing the songs onto the Rock Band Network at a later date.[19] Players are able to slow down songs in this mode as well.[20]

Instrument controllers

All existing Rock Band and other compatible controllers will continue to work for all game modes beyond the Pro mode.[5] Guitar controllers can be used to play non-Pro keyboard parts, while the keyboard controller can also be used to play non-Pro guitar/bass parts.[6] A special MIDI adapter, also made by MadCatz and sold separately, will allow players with existing MIDI-compatible keyboards or drums to use them within the game; the unit will not work for existing MIDI guitars due to the additional data that Harmonix registers over the MIDI data.[21] In April 2010, Harmonix and game controller manufacturer Mad Catz entered a multi-year deal to allow Mad Catz to produce and sell its controllers alongside the Rock Band games.[22]

In addition to the standalone game and controllers, Harmonix and MadCatz are shipping Rock Band 3 a bundle package that includes the keyboard controller and game. Licensing prevents this bundle from being sold to PlayStation 3 users in the United States, but Harmonix worked with vendors to offer a "soft bundle" of the standalone game and keyboard at the same cost as the bundle, and to honor existing pre-orders for the bundle.[23]

Guitar and bass

Template:Imageframe Existing "5 button" guitar controllers from previous Rock Band and other compatible games (such as Guitar Hero) can still be used for non-Pro parts in Rock Band 3.

For Pro guitar and bass, one of two official controllers will be required that has the ability to track fingering on specific frets either as fret buttons or strings, and will present this for on-screen feedback to the player.[17]

Mad Catz will be producing a new guitar controller, based on the Fender Mustang for the game's Pro mode, where instead of five colored buttons, there will be 6 buttons across 17 different frets, for a total of 102 buttons; the player will be required to strike the corresponding buttons on the right frets similar to guitar strings.[5][21] The player uses the "string box" that contains six stainless-steel strings which can detect which strings are being strummed, replacing the "strum bar" from the typical "5 button" controller.[24] The controller will remain compatible for standard "5 button" Rock Band or other similar game play. There are five specific fret rows of buttons marked on the Mustang to match the standard five colors; any button within those rows will be treated as the colored button, while any string can be strummed to replicate the strum bar.[24][25]

A second guitar controller will be made with Fender in the style of a Squier Stratocaster, featuring six strings instead of fret buttons. The instrument is a true electric guitar with MIDI support, playable outside of the game, but features additional electronics that are able to detect where the player is holding down strings.[5][21][26] A demonstration of the unit at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo shows the Fender guitar controller being played directly through an electric amplifier alongside other players on the other controllers while playing the game.[27] The Squier will not be able to be used for normal guitar/bass play.[25] The Squier will not be available at launch of Rock Band 3, but is expected to be out by the end of 2010.[25] The Squier will be console neutral, producing MIDI output and requiring players to also purchase the MadCatz MIDI adapter specific for their console.[28]

During Pro mode play for guitar and bass, single notes are represented by a number, representing the fret on the guitar, over a single string. Chords are represented by solid bars that mimic waveforms. The base position for the player's hand on the fretboard is given by a number on a specific string. The shape of the bar over the other strings provide relative fret positions for the player's hand on the controller.[29] The instrument controllers provide feedback to the player by sensing the player's current fingering, which is then shown as a waveform drawn at the base of the note track, in the same style as the chord representation, allowing the player to match their waveform to the chord's shape.[30] Players can optionally enable a feature that numbers every fret position for a chord.[30] Chord names are shown at the side of the track, approaching the appearance of a guitar tablature.[17] In addition, Pro Guitar and Bass will include legato-style playing through hammer-ons and pull-offs, as well as slides on sustained notes along the strings represented by sustained note gems with slanted tails.[31] Pro Guitar also includes open chords, arpeggios where the player holds a chord and plucks specific strings for it, and left-hand muting of notes.[30]

Within Easy Pro mode, the game will only present signal notes to the player; Medium difficulty introduces chords, while Hard difficulty is a less-dense version of the full guitar track charted for Expert mode.[30] The game will adjust which frets to use depending on which Pro model guitar is used.[3] Some leeway is given on Pro Guitar such as by missing a chord by one offset string.[31]

Drums

Existing drum kits from Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and other games, including the ION electronic drum kits, will continue to work for regular drums within Rock Band 3.[32] For Pro drums, a three cymbal-pad set is added to the core drum kit; notes on screen will be marked as a rounded note instead of rectangular to indicate a cymbal hit instead of a drum hit.[33] MadCatz and other manufacturers already produced a three-cymbal add-on set for Rock Band 2 drum kits, but will introduce a new wireless version with the release of Rock Band 3.[21] The player can optionally use 1 or 2 additional cymbal pads, configuring the Pro Drums mode to only recognize those.[33] Players can also add a second foot pedal and configure the game to act as a second bass drum pedal or as a hi-hat pedal.[33] Additionally, existing ION drum kits will work in Pro Mode for Rock Band 3, and ION will also be releasing an updated brain for their drum kits adding the second pedal port which was previously unused on the Rock Band 2 kit.

Keyboard

[[File:Rock band 3 keyboards.jpg|thumb|right|upright|200px|The new keyboard controller is a functional MIDI keyboard with 25 keys, and can be used either horizontally or worn as a keytar, with an effects touchpad in the "arm" of the unit. In normal play, players simply strike one of five keys from Middle C to G on the keyboard, as indicated on-screen, while Pro mode requires precise fingering of each key.]] Rock Band 3 introduces keyboard parts for songs. MadCatz will produce the new keyboard controller for the official release. The controller resembles a keytar with a handle to one side and the ability to attach a guitar strap to wear the unit.[13] Optionally, the unit can be placed on a horizontal surface and played in that fashion.[34] The keyboard features 25 full-sized velocity-sensitive keys, and is MIDI compatible, allowing it to be used outside the game;[16] for instance, the band Freezepop, which has close ties with members of Harmonix, has used the keyboard controller as a keytar for their stage shows.[35]

Players will need to strike notes and chords, marked to specific keys on the display, to score points. In normal play, five white keys, from the middle C to G, each correspond to colored notes on screen, and are played in a similar manner to existing guitar and bass parts; these keys can also be used to play guitar and bass parts on the keyboard.[36][13][5][6] Overdrive is launched by pressing a special button on the controller.[10] A touch-pad in the handle of the unit functions as a pitch wheel, providing for a whammy bar-type effect on sustained notes.[10]

On screen, Pro mode for keyboards will show ten white keys and the corresponding black keys, as the full range cannot be displayed on screen; Two visual cues are given to the player to identify what position on the controller they should play relative to the keys shown on-screen.[36] One cue is through highlighting the entire lane that corresponds to a played note whether correct or not; this is designed to help keep the player's hand positions correlated on the unit.[36] A second cue is uniquely grouped coloring of a channel containing a set of 5 keys matching similar markings on the keyboard unit to identify the correct area of the keyboard that the player should be on.[36] Pro keyboard charting includes notes and chords using a combination of white and black keys. On Easy or Medium Pro keys, the range of keys on screen will not shift. On Hard or Expert Pro mode, the ten white key range will move up and down as the song necessitates, requiring the player to move their own hands in turn.[37] Arrow indicators will be displayed to indicate when the displayed area is about to shift left or right, giving the player time to compensate.[5][6]

Vocals

Any USB-compatible microphone can be used for the vocal parts. A USB hub can be used for up to three microphone players. Rock Band 3 does not require the vocalists to be signed in on the console's systems; this allows Rock Band 3 to surpass the usual limit of four local players that exists on the Wii and Xbox 360.[21] Vocal harmonies cannot be performed by separate players over networked connections due to latency issues.[38] Pitch correction technology developed by iZotope will be integrated into the game, allowing vocalists to add effects to their vocal performances within the game.[39]

Nintendo DS version

[[File:Rockband3 ds screen.jpg|thumb|right|The Nintendo DS version of Rock Band 3 is similar to Rock Band Unplugged or Lego Rock Band for the DS, and requires the player to manage playing four tracks at various times to prevent any single performance meter from dropping to zero.]] The Nintendo DS version of Rock Band 3 follows the gameplay format of Rock Band Unplugged for the PlayStation Portable or the Nintendo DS version of Lego Rock Band. There are no special instrument attachments; instead, gameplay is designed around matching notes using the face buttons on the DS. Each of the 26 songs, a subset of the songs available on the Rock Band 3 disc for other consoles, are presented as a set of four tracks, one for each instrument, with the player able to move between them. To perform well, the player must move between tracks using the shoulder buttons and succeed to match a phrase of notes using the face buttons of the controller in order to boost the band's performance meter; in normal game modes, this will cause the track to play automatically by itself for a brief period allowing the player to focus on the other tracks. The player can fail a song if they cannot match notes correctly, or by ignoring a single track for too long. The DS version includes a single-player career mode and both cooperative and competitive play modes.[40] Additional features that were present in Unplugged also are included in Rock Band 3 for the DS, but have been renamed to match changes in the game's console modes. For example, the "Band Survival" mode from Unplugged, requiring the player to keep all the instruments going without any respite after successfully completing a track section, will be called "Pro Mode" in Rock Band 3 for the DS.[41]

Development

Despite previous success of rhythm games, the genre as a whole saw nearly a 50% drop in revenues in 2009;[34] sales of top-tier titles The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5 were significantly off from initial projections.[42][43] Part of this has been attributed to the late-2000s recession limiting new purchases, but other analysis have speculated that consumers had grown tired of purchasing new iterations of instrument controllers for the same gameplay.[44][45][46] Harmonix, in designing Rock Band 3, sought to capture the playing experience that "really started this whole phenomenon in the first place", according to project director Daniel Sussman.[34] Harmonix's CEO, Alex Rigopulos, stated that "Our ambition for Rock Band 3 was really to re-energize and reinvigorate the (music game) category and advance it and move it forward."[34] The primary change in the game, the introduction of the Pro mode, was seen by Rigopulos as the envisioning of Harmonix' long-standing desire to include authentic simulation within music games. Rigopulos considered the transition from their work on Guitar Hero into Rock Band through the addition of drums and vocals as an opportunity to further explore the possibility for guitar.[47] In introducing the game to journalists at a closed media event about a month prior to the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Harmonix called Rock Band 3 a "disruptive title" for the music game industry.[11] Another aspect that Harmonix considered was "a ground-up rebuild of the Rock Band platform" and how players could interact better with the game and music library, according to Sussman.[48]

Harmonix included the keyboard controller to help address these goals. The keyboard functionality was "designed basically to answer that staleness factor" that has been seen in music games, as said by Sussman.[5] In designing the keyboard, they had to consider several factors, such as making sure that the unit was "party accessible" and could be learned easily in normal play, while the pro keyboard tracks felt authenic and yet still playable with one hand, considering those that may play the unit while standing.[36] The team also included the "pro" mode to help invigorate existing players to give them new challenges, aimed at those that "had any aspirations of connecting with the music in a deeper way", according to senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky.[34] Sussman commented that the combination of existing and new gameplay modes provides "an experience that is both accessible to players who are just getting into this thing, and builds something for the hard-core player who is maybe a little bored with where music games are".[5] Sussman noted that there still remains a large gap between mastering the Pro modes and playing real instruments: "We see Pro as a different experience from the five-button simulation, but not necessarily a track to expertise."[16] Sussman further commented that inclusion of Pro mode, particularly at higher difficulty levels, was "because it shows the potential ceiling of where this can take you".[16] However, Harmonix was still dedicated to helping to "open doors" for players interested in learning real musical instruments, such as by including appropriate music fundamentals that can be used outside of the game.[16] Harmonix created the Pro Guitar charts for songs through careful audio interpretation of master tracks and through watching live performances of the songs to ensure they were using the correct chords.[31]

Promotion

Image:RockBand3ComicCon2010.JPG Rock Band 3 will be distributed by Electronic Arts after the two companies reached a continued agreement for distribution of the series, which was initially set to expire in March 2010, with the final EA-distributed title to have been Green Day: Rock Band.[49][50]

A pre-E3 event occurred on May 20, 2010, to provide exclusive coverage of the game to selected gaming journalists, who would remain under news embargo until June 11, 2010, just prior to E3.[51] The first evidence that Rock Band 3 would include keyboards came from a teaser image for the game in the Green Day: Rock Band demo, released in late May 2010; the image showed 5 icons, 4 representing the existing instruments in the game and the fifth showing a keyboard layout.[52] Ars Technica claimed via a mole, that the unit would be a "keytar", and the inclusion of the Pro modes.[53] Ars Technica later claimed that Harmonix requested to have the article removed due to the embargo, and insisted that the unit should not be referred to as a "keytar". Ars Technica further commented that while other gaming sites had to wait until June 11th when the embargo was lifted, USA Today was able to reveal their stories the day before, scooping the other sites who had originally remained quiet on Ars Technica's story for fear of breaking the embargo.[54]

The 2010 E3 Game Critics Awards awarded Rock Band 3 for the "Best Social/Casual Game",[55] and included both the new keyboard and the Pro guitar peripherals as "Best Hardware" nominees.[56] The game was also awarded the title of "Best Music Game" as well as being nominated for "Most Innovative" by GameTrailers.[57][58]

Several offers are available for players that pre-ordered the game, depending on vendor.[59] In North America, those that pre-ordered through Gamestop received access to three downloadable tracks for the game; "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads, "My Own Summer" by Deftones, and "Blue Monday" by New Order. Players preordering the game through Amazon.com or Best Buy received immediate access to a unique in-game guitar for their avatars.[59]

Soundtrack

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).

Contents


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

The full soundtrack for Rock Band 3 will feature 83 songs, including a mix of tracks that will make use of the new keyboard peripheral.[60][59] Prior to the 2010 Gamescom convention in mid August, 2010, Harmonix had officially revealed about 50 of the songs in the game; however, inadvertently during a video interview at the conference, most of the remaining set list was determined from a Rock Band 3 demonstration screen showing the song list in the game in the background of this interview.[61] The next day, Harmonix members, including John Drake and Dan Sussman, created a makeshift video from Gamescom, officially rejecting the reliability of the list from the previous interview, asserting themselves as "communication professionals" that would "never accidently leak" the full setlist—while at the same time, scrolling through all 83 songs in Rock Band 3 in the video's background as a means of confirming the full setlist.[62][63] The full setlist list was formally announced a few days later.[59]

The Nintendo DS version of the game will feature a 26-song subset of the consoles' setlist.[40][59]

Downloadable content

Existing content for other Rock Band games, including on-disc songs, downloadable content, and songs from the Rock Band Network will be playable in Rock Band 3.[5] Most content from Rock Band 2 will be exportable in the same manner as Rock Band content was, but the cost or what songs will not export has yet to be determined.[25]

Harmonix has authored previous downloadable content since the release of Rock Band 2 with the necessary cues for cymbal strikes, allowing most existing songs to be immediately playable in Pro mode for drums.[3] However, the interaction of older downloadable content with other new features in Rock Band 3 has yet to be fully determined.[3] According to Harmonix' Dan Sussman, they "have the facility to add those parts to existing songs" and that there is "a lot of stuff in that back catalog that's ripe for keys and even Pro mode"; Harmonix is encouraging fans of the game series to provide input on what content and features they would like to see updated after Rock Band 3Template:Infobox musical artist Template:Portal Rush is a Canadian rock band originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, currently composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their definitive form when Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour.

Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for the instrumental skills of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first albums, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. They have influenced various musical artists, including Metallica,[64][65] The Smashing Pumpkins[66] and Primus,[66] as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater[64] and Symphony X.[67]

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their careers, the individual members of Rush have been acknowledged as being some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units.[68] Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.

The band recently finished promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows with an intercontinental tour. The second leg began in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, and ended on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana.[69]

History

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The early years (1968–1976)

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The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson. After several lineup reformations, Rush's official incarnation was formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush's early shows.[70][71]

After gaining stability in the lineup and honing their skills on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the band came to release their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", credited to Rutsey and Lee. The single generated little reaction and, due to record company indifference, the band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974, which was considered highly derivative of Led Zeppelin.[72] Rush had limited local popularity until the album was picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ and music director working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans and this new found popularity led to the album being re-released by Mercury Records in the U.S.[73][74] Image:Starman.png

Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey resigned in July 1974 due to his affliction with diabetes and a distaste for touring. Rush held auditions and eventually selected Neil Peart as Rutsey's replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career. Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first epic mini-tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.[76] However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut.[77][76]

Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 1975's Caress of Steel, a five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth." Caress of Steel was reported by some critics to be unfocused and an audacious move for the band due to the placement of two protracted numbers back-to-back, as well as a heavier reliance on atmospherics and story-telling, a large deviation from Fly by Night.[78] Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour."[79] In light of these events, Rush's record label pressured them into molding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion. However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112. It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.[80] The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.[81][82]

The progressive rock era (1977–1981)

After 2112, Rush retreated to the United Kingdom to record 1977's A Farewell to Kings and 1978's Hemispheres at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding their use of progressive elements in their music. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements. The lyrics up to this point (most of them written by Peart) were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112.[83]

Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.[84] Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U.S. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.[85] Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush's popularity reached its pinnacle with the release of Moving Pictures in 1981. Moving Pictures essentially continued where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of highly accessible and commercially friendly pop-progressive rock that helped thrust them into the spotlight. The lead track, "Tom Sawyer", is probably the band's best-known song[86] with "Limelight" also receiving satisfactory responses from listeners and radio stations. Moving Pictures was Rush's last album to feature an extended song, the ten-and-a-half-minute "The Camera Eye". The song also contained the band's heaviest usage of synthesizers up to that point, hinting that Rush's music was shifting direction once more. Moving Pictures reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[87]

Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit...Stage Left, in 1981. The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours. As with their first live release, Exit...Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in 1982.[88]

The synthesizer period (1982–1989)

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While Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic front-lines[89][90] as evidenced by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track "Subdivisions". Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.[88] Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U.S. top-40 pop hit, "New World Man",[91] while other more experimental songs such as "Digital Man", "The Weapon", and "Chemistry" expanded the band's use of ska, reggae, and funk.[92] Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in 1983. These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.

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The style and production of Signals were augmented and taken to new heights on 1984's Grace Under Pressure. It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. Producer Steve Lillywhite, who gleaned fame with successful productions of Simple Minds and U2, was enlisted to produce Grace Under Pressure. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Lee said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word....after agreeing to do our record, he got an offer from Simple Minds, changed his mind, blew us off,..so it put us in a horrible position." Eventually Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album in his stead.[93]

Musically, although Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Peart's adaptation of Simmons electronic drums and percussion. Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals.[94] Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" serve as prime examples.

With new producer Peter Collins, the band released 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", (the album's modest-charting single) with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon." Lifeson, like many guitarists in the late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush.[95] Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in November 1987, although it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard 200.[96]

A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released by Mercury following the Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, demonstrating the aspects of Rush in the 80s. A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1.5 stars, claiming Rush fans viewed their favourite power trio as "the holy trinity".[97] Nevertheless, A Show of Hands managed to surpass the gold album mark, reaching number 21 on the Billboard 200.[98] At this point, the group decided to change record labels from Mercury to Atlantic. After Rush's departure in 1989, Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles (1990).[99]

Returning to their roots (1989–1997)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush started to deviate from their 1980s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, these two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 1989's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 1991's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles. "Roll the Bones", for instance, exhibits funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" features several jazz components.[100] This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mid-90s, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula.

The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the 1993 album Counterparts[101] and its follow-up, 1996's Test for Echo, again both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Musically, Counterparts[101] and Test For Echo are two of Rush's most guitar-driven albums. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.[102] For instance, "Time and Motion" possesses multiple time signature changes and organ usage, while the instrumental track "Limbo", consists of several relatively complex musical passages repeated throughout. Musically, Test For Echo still retained much of the hard rock/alternative style already charted on the previous record. Lifeson and Lee's playing remained more or less unchanged; however, a distinct modification in technique became apparent in Peart's playing due to formal Jazz and Swing training under the tutelage of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber during the interim between Counterparts and Test For Echo.[103] In October 1996, in support of Test For Echo, the band embarked on an extensive and successful North American tour, the band's first without an opening act and dubbed "An Evening with Rush." The tour was broken up into two segments spanning October through December, 1996 and May through July, 1997 with the band taking a respite between legs.

Hiatus and comeback (1997–2005)

After wrapping up the tour promoting Test for Echo in 1997, the band entered a five-year hiatus mainly due to personal tragedies in Peart's life. Peart's daughter Selena died in an automobile accident in August 1997, followed by his wife Jacqueline's death from cancer in June 1998. Peart took a hiatus to mourn and reflect, during which time he traveled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 miles). At some point in his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey. In this book he writes of how he had told his bandmates at Selena's funeral, "consider me retired."[104] On November 10, 1998 a triple CD live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline. Mixed by producer Paul Northfield and engineered by Terry Brown, it contained three discs packed with recorded performances from the band's Counterparts, Test For Echo, and A Farewell to Kings tours, marking the fourth officially released live album by the band. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end After a time to grieve and reassemble the pieces of his life, and while visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In early 2001 he announced to his band mates that he was ready to once again enter the studio and get back into the business of making music. With the help of producer Paul Northfield the band returned in May 2002 with Vapor Trails, written and recorded in Toronto. To herald the band's comeback, the single and lead track from the album, "One Little Victory" was designed to grab the attention of listeners due to its rapid guitar and drum tempos.[105] Vapor Trails marked the first studio recording not to include a single synthesizer, organ or keyboard part since the early 1970s. While the album is almost completely guitar-driven, it is mostly devoid of any conventional sounding guitar solos, a conscious decision made by Lifeson during the writing process. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album.[105] The album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career.

A triple CD live album and dual Rush In Rio DVD was released in late October 2003 featuring an entire concert performance recorded on the last night of their Vapor Trails Tour, November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, June 2004 saw the release of Feedback, a studio EP recorded in suburban Toronto featuring eight covers of such artists as Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands that the members of Rush cite as inspiration around the time of their inception.[106] Also in the summer of 2004, Rush hit the road again for the very successful 30th Anniversary Tour, playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On September 24, 2004 a Frankfurt, Germany concert was recorded at The Festhalle for DVD (titled R30: Live in Frankfurt), which was released November 22, 2005.

Snakes & Arrows (2006–present)

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

During promotional interviews for the R30 Live In Frankfurt DVD, the band revealed their intention to begin writing new material in early 2006. While in Toronto, Lifeson and Lee began the songwriting process in January 2006. During this time, Peart simultaneously assumed his role of lyric writing while residing in Southern California. The following September, Rush chose to hire American producer Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce the album. The band officially entered Allaire Studios, in Shokan, New York in November 2006 in order to record the bulk of the material. Taking the band five weeks, the sessions ended in December. On February 14, 2007, an announcement was made on the official Rush web site that the title of the new album would be Snakes & Arrows. The first single, entitled "Far Cry," was released to North American radio stations on March 12, 2007 and reached #2 on the Mediabase Mainstream and Radio and Records Charts.[107]

The Rush website, newly redesigned on March 12 to support the new album, also announced that the band would embark on a tour to begin in the summer. Snakes & Arrows was released 1 May 2007 in North America, where it debuted at #3 in the Billboard 200 with approximately 93,000 units sold in its first week.[108] To coincide with the Atlantic ocean hurricane season, "Spindrift" was released as the official second radio single on June 1, 2007, whereas "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)" saw single status on June 25, 2007. "The Larger Bowl" positioned within the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock and Media Base Mainstream charts, however, "Spindrift" failed to appear on any commercial chart.[109] The planned intercontinental tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began on June 13, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, coming to a close on October 29, 2007 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.[110]

The 2008 portion of the tour started on April 11, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and culminated on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.[111] On April 15, the band released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album documenting the first leg of the tour.[112] Those same performances featured on Snakes & Arrows Live filmed at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 16 and 17 of 2007 was released November 24 as a DVD and Blu-Ray set, which also includes footage from the 2008 portion of the tour, recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta.[113][114] [115]

As the band neared the conclusion of their Snakes & Arrows tour, they announced their first appearance on American television in over 30 years. Rush was interviewed by Stephen Colbert and they performed "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report on July 16, 2008.[116]

Musical style and influences

Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Their debut album is strongly influenced by British-Blues rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Over the first few albums their style remained essentially hard rock, with heavy influences from The Who[117] and Led Zeppelin,[72] but also became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement.[118] In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote protracted songs with irregular and multiple time signatures combined with fantasy/science fiction-inspired lyrics; however, they did not soften their sound. This fusion of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Rush successfully merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with New Wave, reggae and pop rock.[119] This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion. It is largely agreed that the culmination of this era of Rush was in 1987 after the release of Hold Your Fire.[120] With the approach of the early '90s and Rush's character sound still intact, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.[121] The new millennium has seen them return to a more rock and roll roots sound, albeit with modern production.[117]

Band members

Former members

  • John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
  • Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

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Reputation

More than 30 years of activity has provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, such changes have inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. The bulk of the band's music has always included synthetic instruments in some form or another, and this is a great source of contention in the Rush camp, especially the band's heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards during the 1980s, particularly on albums Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire.[122][123] Still, most fans saw this as nothing less than artistic growth and support for the band remained unwavering through each transitional phase.[120]

The members of Rush have themselves noted that people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. To the chagrin of fans, the band has not been nominated for entry into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since their year of eligibility in 1998. The Hall's refusal to induct Rush may be a consequence of the band's insistence on remaining outside the mainstream of rock when it comes to self-promotion, in favor of maintaining a high degree of independence.[124] To this day fans earnestly clamor for the band's inclusion into the Hall by citing noteworthy accomplishments including longevity, proficiency, and influence, as well as commercial sales figures and RIAA certifications. However, Lifeson has expressed his indifference toward the perceived slight saying "I couldn't care less, look who's up for induction, it's a joke".[125] Rush has gained a degree of recognition in popular culture despite any official recognition from the Hall.[126]

As a band, Rush has been nominated for and received various awards throughout its career. Likewise, the individual members have received coverage in various modern music magazines with specific technocratic recognition for instrumental ability. See List of Rush awards for more details on this topic.

Geddy Lee

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Geddy Lee's high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band — and sometimes, a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush's career when Lee's vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a "wail".[127][128] His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and ability on the bass guitar have proven influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden,[129] John Myung of Dream Theater,[130] Les Claypool of Primus[131] and Cliff Burton of Metallica[132] among others. Lee is notable for his ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is mostly evident during live shows when Lee must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a performance, as in the song "Tom Sawyer".[118] Because of this he is required to remain in one place during songs containing complex instrumentation. Lifeson and Peart are, to a lesser extent, responsible for similar actions during live shows.

Alex Lifeson

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Instrumentally, Lifeson is regarded as a guitarist whose strengths and notability rely primarily on signature riffing, electronic effects and processing, unorthodox chord structures, and a copious arsenal of equipment used over the years.[133][134][135] Despite his esteem, however, Lifeson is often regarded as being overshadowed by his bandmates due to Lee's on-stage multi-instrumental dexterity and Peart's status as a drummer.[136]

During his adolescent years, he was influenced primarily by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[137] For versatility, Lifeson was known to incorporate touches of Spanish and classical music into Rush's guitar-driven sound during the 1970s. Taking a backseat to Lee's keyboards in the 1980s, Lifeson's guitar returned to the forefront in the 1990s, and especially on 2002's Vapor Trails. During live performances, he is still responsible for cuing various guitar effects, the use of bass-pedal synthesizers and backing vocals.

Neil Peart

Music

Peart is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of, if not the greatest rock drummers.[138] He is also regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the in-concert drum solo.[139] Initially inspired by Keith Moon, Peart absorbed the influence of other rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, and John Bonham.[140] Incorporation of unusual instruments (for rock drummers of the time) such as cowbells, glockenspiel, and tubular bells, along with several standard kit elements, helped create a highly varied setup. Continually modified to this day, Peart's drumkit offers an enormous array of percussion instruments for sonic diversity. For two decades Peart honed his technique; each new Rush album introduced an expanded percussive vocabulary. In the 1990s, he reinvented his style with the help of drum coach Freddie Gruber. Image:Neil Peart3.jpg

Lyrics

Peart also serves as Rush's primary lyricist, attracting much attention over the years due to his eclectic style. Known for penning concept suites and songs inspired by literature, music fan opinions of his writing have varied greatly, running the gamut from cerebral and insightful to overly pretentious and preachy. During the band's early years, Peart's lyrics were largely fantasy/science fiction-focused,[141] though since 1980 he has focused more on social, emotional, and humanitarian issues. Peart's lyrics continue to divide audiences today. For example, in 2007, he was placed second on Blender magazine's list of the "40 Worst Lyricists In Rock".[142]

Sales

Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[143] placing them within the top 4 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.[144] Rush ranks 78th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units.[144] Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units.[145][146][147][148]

Despite having completely dropped out of the public eye for five years after the gold-selling Test for Echo (which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200) and the band being relegated almost solely to classic rock stations in the U.S., Vapor Trails reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release in 2002 with 108,000 albums sold. It has sold approximately 343,000 units to date. The subsequent Vapor Trails tour grossed over $24 million and included the largest audience ever to see a headlining Rush show — 60,000 fans in São Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, Vapor Trails remains their first album not to achieve at least gold status.

However, Rush's triple CD live album, 2003's Rush in Rio, was certified gold by the RIAA, marking the fourth decade in which a Rush album had been released and certified at least gold. Moreover, in 2004 Feedback cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received radio airplay. The band's most recent album, Snakes & Arrows, debuted at #3 (just one position shy of Rush's highest peaking album, 1993's Counterparts, which debuted at #2) on the Billboard 200 selling approximately 93,000 copies in its first week of release.[149] This marks the 13th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 27th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Top Internet Albums chart when the album was released on the MVI format a month later.[150] Still, Snakes & Arrows has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse Vapor Trails or Rush in Rio.

The two consecutive tours in support of Snakes & Arrows in 2007 and 2008 accrued $21 million and $18.3 million, respectively, earning Rush the number 6 and 8 spots among the top ten summer rock concerts.[151][152]

Live performances

The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. Toward this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included in their concert equipment a capacious rack of digital samplers which the band members use, in real-time, to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" that are familiarly heard on the studio versions of the songs.

In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs, with each member triggering certain sounds with his available limbs, while playing his primary instrument(s). Each band member has one or more MIDI controllers that enables him to use his free hands or feet to trigger sounds that have been loaded into the samplers for a particular song.[153] It is with this technology that the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity that fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member.[154]

The band members' coordinated use of foot-pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.

A staple of Rush's concerts is a Peart drum solo. Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, making each performance unique. Each successive tour sees the solo more advanced, with some routines dropped in favor of newer, more complex ones. Since the mid-1980s, Peart has used MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimba, harp, temple blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, orchestra bells, tubular bells, and vibraslap as well as other, more esoteric percussion.

Philanthropy

Rush actively participates in philanthropic causes. The band was one of a number of hometown favorites to play Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, also dubbed SARStock, at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 30, 2003, with an attendance of over half a million people. The concert was intended to benefit the Canadian economy after the SARS outbreaks earlier in the year. The band has also sustained an interest in promoting human rights. They donated $100,000 to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a concert they held in Winnipeg on 24 May 2008.[155] Rush continues to sell t-shirts and donate the proceeds to the museum.[156]

The individual members of Rush have also been a part of philanthropic causes. Hughes & Kettner zenTeras and TriAmps have been endorsed and used by Lifeson for many years. A custom signature amplifier was engineered by Lifeson and released in April 2005 with the stipulation that UNICEF will receive a donation in the amount of $50 for every Alex Lifeson Signature TriAmp sold.[157] Lee, a longtime fan of baseball, donated 200 baseballs signed by famous Negro League players, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in June 2008.[158]

The band is featured on the music album Songs for Tibet, appearing with a number of other celebrities as an initiative to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The album was made downloadable on August 5 via iTunes and was released commercially August 12.[159]

Discography

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

Studio albums


See also

References

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Further reading

Books

Scholarly articles

External links

Template:Spoken Wikipedia Template:Commonscat Template:Wikiquote

Template:Featured article Template:RushTemplate:Link FA

ca:Rush cs:Rush da:Rush de:Rush et:Rush es:Rush fr:Rush (groupe) hr:Rush id:Rush it:Rush he:ראש (להקה) lv:Rush hu:Rush mt:Rush nl:Rush (band) ja:ラッシュ (バンド) no:Rush nn:Rush pl:Rush pt:Rush ro:Rush ru:Rush simple:Rush (band) sk:Rush (skupina) fi:Rush sq:Rush sv:Rush tr:Rush (grup) uk:Rush zh:匆促樂團s release.[160][25] According to MTV Games' Paul DeGooyer, they have already identified one band that is willing to help to update songs to include Pro mode, and further have selected a number of fan favorites and other songs that they expect to upgrade with Pro features.[161]

Harmonix will continue to create additional downloadable content following the release of Rock Band 3, launched by a set of twelve songs from The Doors during the launch week.[162] Post-release content will include, when appropriate, keyboards and Pro keyboards and vocal harmonies; due to the cost and effort to create Pro guitar and bass authoring, Harmonix expected to release these additional authored parts as a separate download for a limited number of songs. DeGooyer has suggested that the Pro guitar and bass portions of songs will cost an additional $1 in addition to the core price $2 per song due to the additional work required, however, Harmonix has not yet confirmed the final pricing.[161] For instance, three of the release-week songs from the Doors will include Pro guitar and bass parts, but the other nine will not.[162] Future downloaded content released by Harmonix will no longer be compatible with previous games in the series due to changes in the song format.[163]

Rock Band Network songs will also be playable in Rock Band 3; they will be playable in all modes in random setlists, challenges, and customized setlists, instead of being limited to select modes as they were in Rock Band 2.[164] The Rock Band Network will gain new features to support vocal harmonies, keyboards, and Pro drums and keyboards, but will not initially support Pro guitar or bass due to complexities with authoring and the testing userbase.[165]

Reception

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Instrument controllers

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References

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Discussion
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