Rush’s recent release Clockwork Angels was a terrific album to add to such a legendary collection of releases. The touring that following created a huge buzz within the Rush fandom and the show itself has seen many evolutions. With no support act the band took to the stage at around 19:40. After a film clip Set 1 began with a beautiful performance of Subdivisions. This then went into equally terrific shows of The Big Money and Force Ten. Geddy welcomed the crowd to the show before introducing Grand Designs. The rest of the first set consisted of Middletown Dreams, Territories, The Analog Kid, The Pass, the instrumental Where’s My Thing? which had the addition of Neil Peart’s wonderful drum solos, before the first set closed with Far Cry. Each of these songs was performed with fluency and technicality and even those at the back of the arena were smiling throughout the whole set.
For Set 2 the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble set up behind the drum kit. From here they played almost all of Clockwork Angels. Explosions and fireworks were also added (used once or twice in the first set). It is a bold move for a band like this to be performing a lot of songs off the new album, thankfully Rush still have the ability not only to perform but also write fantastic songs. Neil was granted another drum solo, whilst Alex Lifeson’s guitar intricacy seemed even better than normal, and Geddy’s fluency was untouchable. For a man of his age to hit the closing note to Headlong Flight… just incredible. This delve into the latest album ended on The Garden. The string sections wonderfully complimented the band, however they weren’t needed. Still a nice addition.
A third solo played between Dreamline and Red Sector A. After this it was the big songs, the ones a fair amount of the crowd definitely came to see, and though hardcore Rush fans may sacrifice all of these for something like Hemispheres, every single one cheered when the bells to YYZ began. After this the strings left and the band burst into The Spirit Of Radio before leaving the stage.
Another quick film played before Tom Sawyer’s ever recognisable introduction began. Once the raised air drum hands dropped the band played Part I, II and VII from the masterpiece 2112.
Sadly this was time for the band to leave. If member’s of the audience left disappointed they shouldn’t be allowed to buy a ticket in future. A splendid performance, and even though everyone says ‘for men of their age they’re great’ that isn’t a diminishing factors. For men of any age they are an example of how all bands should be.
‘I wish that I could live it all again’