Living in the Limelight: A Rush Concert Review

How?

I mean, seriously. These guys are close to 60. You know? What are they still doing on stage?

What they do best: playing insanely incredible music.

I’ve seen some amazing bands. Muse, Tool, Silversun Pickups … Rush tops them all.

They played 2 new tracks, entitled “BU2B” and “Caravan.” Both were unbelievable. Keep in mind that these guys have been around for over 36 years. And they STILL put out amazing music. Not just amazing–phenomenal. Superb. Think of a superlative adjective. It will work.

The opening of the second set is one of the main reasons I went to the show. Moving Pictures is considered their foremost recording to date. To be sure, it stands the test of time extremely well. Released in 1981, it contains some of their best work, like “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” “YYZ” (one of the best instrumentals EVER), “Red Barchetta,” but then there are songs like “The Camera Eye” that are probably too long to garnish any radio time but far and away is one of the best songs they’ve ever written. “Witch Hunt” and “Vital Signs” are fantastic. There’s a reason this CD is considered a part of the rock and roll pantheon.

To hear the ENTIRE CD played live is an experience I’m sure that will never be repeated. For one, they have 19 CDs. To isolate one and continuously play it front to back at every show from here forward would, in my mind, diminish the roles of their other works. But for this tour–their “Time Machine” tour, they played every song on that CD, in the order they originally appeared.

And thanks to Steve Jobs and the Apple Family, I got it all in high def 720p. Thank you, iPhone! I will post vids when I can, but for now, know that they’re out there for the finding.

The pics aren’t the greatest, but under such low light, it’s not surprising. Some of them turned out really well though. Again, I’ll post those when I can.

They pulled out some gems for this tour, too. “Marathon” hasn’t been heard since about 1990, but “Presto” has *never* been played live … and we got to hear it!!! WHOO! “Faithless,” off of Snakes and Arrows, wasn’t played last tour, but they played it last night. One of the stand-out songs on that CD.

This is Neil’s drum solo. Shot in HD with my iPhone. I seriously love that thing. I can blog, take pics and vids and post all from the convenience of my phone.

Shot in HD with my iPhone. I seriously love that thing. I can blog, take pics and vids and post all from the convenience of my phone.

Here’s the entire set list, copied in portion from Cygnus X-1’s site:

Set One
Introduction Video – Rash: The Real History of Rush — Episode No. 2 “Don’t Be Rash” — Goofy take on The Spirit of Radio — Polka/Disco/Country Version with Alex in a fat suit, Neil as an Irish Cop and Geddy…oy, you have to see it I say…

  • The Spirit of Radio
  • Time Stand Still
  • Presto — (with vintage magic show footage playing)
  • Stick It Out — (with original Stick it Out video playing)
  • Workin’ Them Angels — (same video from Snakes & Arrows tour)
  • Leave That Thing Alone — (same video from Vapor Trails tour)
  • Faithless — (with dream landscape video playing)
  • BU2B — (with “old typewriter typing out the lyrics to the song” video playing)
  • Freewill
  • Marathon — (with extended guitar solo)
  • Subdivisions

Intermission

Introduction Video – Rash: The Real History of Rush — Episode No. 17 “And Rock And Roll Is My Name ” — Geddy on Drums, Neil on Guitars, Alex on Bass

Note: Most songs from Moving Pictures is preceeded by a short second Monty Python-esque video featuring the Parliament Building and/or the red-suited movers in one way or another.

  • Tom Sawyer
  • Red Barchetta — (Ferrarri 166MM pulls up with a race car number 2112 on the door)
  • YYZ
  • Limelight
  • The Camera Eye — (with NYC and London scenes video playing)
  • Witch Hunt
  • Vital Signs
  • Caravan — (Steampunk theme video featuring blimps flying over a burned out world playing)
  • Drum Solo (Love 4 Sale) — (Steampunk Robot Drummer video playing)
  • Alex Lifeson Solo leading into…
  • Closer to the Heart
  • 2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx
  • Far Cry — (same video from Snakes & Arrows tour)

Encore

  • La Villa Strangiato — (Geddy & Alex Playing a Polka-inspired intro)
  • Working Man — (With Reggae-inspired intro)

So, you can see that the set list was spread out. Some CDs weren’t represented, but when you have 19 studio albums to select from, there are going to be some neglected works, obviously.

Here’s the thing with Rush. You never know what to expect. From the opening videos all the way to the band walking off the stage after the encore … you never know what to expect. Even after the show was over, it still wasn’t over. If you’ve never seen “I Love You Man,” the movie at the end would have made no sense. Thankfully, my brother pointed that out to me, so I watched it the night before the show. Thankfully! It was hilarious. Peter Klaven and Sydney Fife. That’s all I’m going to say. HA HA HA!!

To the band, even though I’m fairly confident you’ll never read this, thank you. You guys are world-class, and I’m glad you guys keep making incredible music. We are the fortunate ones who get to indulge in your offerings for decades to come. For this, we can never repay you other than offering our heart-felt and sincerest thanks.

Here are some pics I snapped last night. Keep in mind, iPhone camera from about 25 yards away in the dark. They’re not the worst, but they’re not the best.

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