Rush : Show Review :
by Dave Dalka
Rush, Setting Themselves on Fire!
Earlier this summer I went to see Rush
and a friend and I found ourselves a little let
down by the performance in terms of song selection
and the overall quality of the performance. The
rust from several years of not playing together
after Neil Peart's unfortunate personal tragedies
were present on that night, which would be expected
of any group who had gone through a five year
Photo by Paul Parks.
Interestingly the official Rush website
has this quote on it, "Success is not the result
of spontaneous combustion: you must set yourself
on fire." Apparently, Rush themselves were not
totally satisfied with the shows this summer and
this apparently lit a fire inside of them. They
apparently spent considerable time and effort
altering set lists, practicing and with Neil reconfiguring
and lengthening his drum solo to a full eight
minutes! On this night, the sound guys did an
outstanding job as well, the mix was nearly flawless
and they were indeed on fire! The interaction
between Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson was sincere,
playful and even more fun than usual. Geddy openly
laughing during Alex's new spoken word segment
was excellent as well. The use of different lighting
from lasers to pyrotechnics, were simply phenomenal.
Besides the standard songs and a small smattering
of songs from the Vapor
Trails album, there were some gems that
you don't get to hear all too often like Working
Man. I could put in the standard Rush show review
and say I wish they would have played "___________",
but what is the point of that?
Highlights of the set included "Big Money", which after many years suddenly
has a new relevance again in our society, the message of the song is
even more real and timeless now. The fact that they added "The Trees"
to the set list right after "Big Money" has an amazing irony with recent
The Geddy Lee bass solo during Driven demonstrates the brilliance of this song
and the amazing, unique and quiet superiority of
Geddy's bass playing, whichcommands attention and
still sets the standard for which all other bass
players are judged by. It's also amazing to note
that the old school Rush fans that used to be resistant
to the new songs were openly cheering absolutely
anything that was older than Vapor Trails. All these
songs had "graduated" to the classics category.
I guess good music with the passage of five years
does that to a person's perception.
That Thing Alone
of the Syrinx
Spirit of Radio
& the Snow Dog
Based on this performance, it's clear that Rush is clearly capable of putting on an awesome
and inspiring show as they now play to crowds in their fourth decade. This feat alone puts
them in rare company. Based on the trio's accomplishments, class and complete lack of scandal
whatsoever; you could easily argue they are ablaze at the top of this class. I intend on
reading Neil's book as a result of this show. If Rush comes to a city near you anytime soon,
I'd strongly urge you to catch a glimpse of Rush's current tour.
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