A lot of people have complained about the mixing of this CD, and since Rush has always had high quality control standards, I can offer only this thought.
I’ve never – never – heard a crowd this energized for anyone. I’m not sure they made this much noise for the Beatles at Shea in 1965. Listening to this is almost like looking down on the band from the lawn seats, in terms of what I hear, and the crowd noise excites me as much as anything the band does here. Maybe that influenced the band’s decision not to emphasize their parts unnaturally in the mix, and anyway, I have had no problem making out the instrumentalists or what they’re doing – particularly Lee, who gets the most clarity and warmth he’s ever had on a live album without the benefit of a soundcheck. Sometimes Geddy’s voice and the crowd’s tie for volume, but he’s effortless and in pitch throughout.
Download Real if you don’t have it, and listen to the samples here for a good idea of whether or not their mixing will bother you. To me, several songs are given what sound like definitive renditions ["Big Money," "Dreamline," "Red Sector A"...and even if it's not the clearest recording ever, it's fun to hear Rio drown out Geddy on "Tom Sawyer"] and it would be a mistake to ignore the obvious exchange of energy and emotion between the band and the audience just because the audience hasn’t been muted through the song and jacked artificially for the segues. Casual fans of Rush might do without, but anyone who enjoys hearing Rush live will love this.