Let me start out by saying that I actually first saw Rush on a local "dance party" TV show that, for some reason, decided to broadcast them playing live from a high school auditorium in Southern Ontario. I was hooked from the moment they started the intro to "Finding My Way". They still had the original drummer and he was the one doing all the song intros and "banter". I don't even think their first album was out yet.
So coming from the perspective of a long time fan, I would say that the current Rush tour is definitely slanted to the "true believers", many of whom are even more die-hard than I am. This is the 3rd Rush tour in 5 years, and the band seems to have decided to dig up some "deep cuts" for the faithful and not repeat too much material from the previous tours (except, of course, for those tunes that would cause a riot if they weren't played). This indirectly results in them leaving out some "A list" tunes that otherwise one might expect them to play, but does provide some nice treats nonetheless. I know the SLC show was reviewed (quite nicely too; thanks folks!), and Rush is one of those bands that doesn't change things up from night to night, so I'll try to touch on the things that weren't covered or only briefly mentioned.
First, the set list, with some notes:
Video intro featuring Alex, Neil and Geddy
01. Limelight (Alex a little quick on the intro, no one else on stage yet?)
02. Digital Man
03. Entre Nous
06. The Main Monkey Business (instr.)
07. The Larger Bowl (short video intro by Bob & Doug, eh?)
08. Secret Touch
10. Between The Wheels
11. Dreamline (with lasers, and a helicopter flyover during the guitar solo!)
Video intro featuring Alex in multiple personas
12. Far Cry (with dragon visuals and "pyro")
13. Workin' Them Angels
14. Armor And Sword
16. The Way The Wind Blows
18. Natural Science
19. Witch Hunt
20. Malignant Narcissism (instr.)
21. Drum Solo
22. Hope (instr.)
23. Summertime Blues (Blue Cheer style)
24. The Spirit Of Radio
25. Tom Sawyer (with South Park "Lil' Rush" video intro)
26. One Little Victory
27. A Passage to Bangkok
The song performances were all top notch (although "Circumstances" seemed to start a little shaky to me), and of course, the Neil Peart drum solo was amazing, but maybe a little more restrained this time than on previous tours. Then again, it takes a lot more skill to know what NOT to play. The new material (yes, they are actually touring to promote a new album) has enough strength to still have presence down the road on future tours (fingers crossed), as far as I'm concerned.
Now I know the lights and visuals were mentioned in the SLC thread, but I have to bring them up again, because regardless of your opinion of such things, Rush still has one of the best "rock" light shows out there. Yes, there were lasers, but they were very tastefully used to complement the regular lighting, like having just a little extra icing on the cake. There were also some pyrotechnics, but when you have a song about witch hunts and another with visuals featuring an amimated dragon, well come on, you have to have some fire, right? The actual stage lighting itself was just phenomenal, with motorized trusses and a good complement of different effects that really did complement the music as opposed to distracting from it.
With this being the third tour in five years, and the second time at Red Rocks, the crowd seemed a lot more attentive and a lot less unruly than the previous Red Rocks show. From what I understand, the show was sold out, and it certainly looked that way from the perspective I had way up in row 63 (hey, I do really like the band, but I have a mortgage to pay). It was one of the few concerts I've been to recently where I could actually enjoy the show without any annoying distractions from members of the crowd.
To finish up, I'd like to echo something mentioned in the SLC review. I really cannot think of any other "classic rock" band that has the "cojones" to tour with a set list that includes nine (!) songs from their most recent studio release (let alone "classic rock" bands that actually have recent studio releases), as well as sprinkling in various chestnuts from the past that you wouldn't necessarily expect them to play. These guys are still plenty capable of doing what they do, doing it well, and putting out new stuff that holds its own in their catalog.
"These guys are still plenty capable of doing what they do, doing it well, and putting out new stuff that holds its own in their catalog."
Thats what happens when great musicians keep it together and avoid ego trips and heroin.
Cheers D-rider. Soo glad you had a good time too.
Nice Review. I've seen Rush about 5 times and have never been disappointed although my taste lean more to the first 3-4 Albums. For some reason I still have a need to hear Working Man, What Your Doing, 2112, and those other songs.
John Rutsey, Rushes equvilent to The Beatles Pete Best
I was there as well, and loved it. I got lucky, and was able to score 14th row center tix for the wife & I. As usual, the sound was excellent. I've seen Rush perform in several different venues, and have to say the 2 shows I've seen at Red Rocks were THE BEST from an audio-geek perspective. Ged's bass sounded amazing, I don't think 10,000 hours of soundboard tweaking could have improved it in any way. Clear attacks, full rich tone, and locked right in with the bass drum... (perhaps they've been playing together for 30+ years?)
To preempt any "old dinosaur" comments, Alex had toy dinosaurs all across and beside his amps...
Geddy pulled out a hand-held video camera, took some crowd shots, told us that some random Canadian official had asked them to film a documentary on American Concert Audiences, then asked everyone to say "Hello Canada!" on three... 1, 2, 3, "HELLO CANADA!!!" from a full Red Rocks crowd with the lights up. LOL!
I was next to a couple guys who had not heard the new material at all. When Geddy ripped into the intro to "Malignant Narcissism", they both perty much shit themselves.
Highlights of the show for me were the One Little Victory / Passage to Bangkok / YYZ encore, CIRCUMSTANCES!!!, the extended jam in Mission, and I loved the live performances of the new material.
These guys can still bring it.
VERY nice review!
I saw them last week, and while I'm not really a fan I was never bored and the whole thing was entertaining.
They are a band that actually has real integrity!!
Who the hell do they think they are?
>>>To preempt any "old dinosaur" comments, Alex had toy dinosaurs all across and beside his amps...
LOL, I didnt notice that but in SLC he had Barbie dolls lined up by his foot pedals. Alex must have a toybox on tour!
Did any of you guys really crave some rotisserie-cooked chicken after your shows? I sure did.
I love the new cd and regret not getting tix for the
any of the recent northern California shows. Great review!
Well done, Posthead!