Rush, US Airways Center, 11/25/12
Rush @ US Airways Center|11/25/12
"We've got 6,000 songs to do, so let's get with it."
Rush bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee might have been joking, but something about his hyperbolic statement, made early in last night's nearly three-hour set by the legendary prog rock band rang completely true. Most 44-year-old bands are content to plot out a greatest hits set, maybe sneaking in a new tune here and there. Not Lee, drummer Neil Peart, and guitarist Alex Lifeson. The band's set was filled with deep cuts, extended solos, and a good chunk of the band's new sci-fi/steampunk record, Clockwork Angels.
Rush @ US Airways (Slideshow)
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The trio's shows are big productions, including elaborate lights and intricate videos (starring Jay Baruchel and the members of Rush as Three Stooges-like gnomes), and featuring, on this tour, a full string section.
Jim Louvau See more photos in the complete Rush @ US Airways slideshow.
But the technical prowess of the three Rush men remains the primary flash, and none disappointed. Lifeson goofed with the crowd and showed off his chops on a black Gibson Les Paul during signature solos in "Analog Kid" and "Force 10"; Peart offered up three (count 'em, three) extended drum solos, including a stint on an electronic kit that led into "Red Sector A"; and Lee, with his distinctive yap and grainy bass manipulation, held the whole thing together, adding quips like Dr. Evil's famous "one million dollars" cackle to the end of "The Big Money" and encouraging the crowd to "raise the roof" during the wonderfully awkward dance section of "Wish Them Well."
Cameramen scurried about during the evening, capturing the detail and pomp of the Canadian power trio for an upcoming live DVD. The fans seemed extra-excited about the possibility of one day seeing their face in an official Rush live release. They unapologetically air-drummed, jumped, and shouted along every lyric. When the band took a breather following the expressive "Far Cry," I heard nearby Rush-philes buzzing about the inclusion of "Middletown Dreams," from 1985's Power Windows. "We got 'Middletown Dreams,'" they excitedly stammered, proving the power of the deep cut.