Rush, US Airways Center, 11/25/12
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But the band's Clockwork Angels set, which opened the second half of the show and found the trio aided by an adept and theatrical string section, was the heaviest section of the night. The band's crunchy new record translated well live: "Caravan" thundered like classic material, whereas "Carnies" was more pop-focused, with grind and swing that modern hard rock bands should take a cue from.
"The Garden," with its psychedelic imagery and slow-motion stomp temporarily lost me, but the band quickly rebounded with "Manhattan Project," another one of those "big idea" songs that had the crowd chanting and screaming as video projections of Hiroshima's destruction rolled on. Heavy, indeed.
The band's closing set was joyful, just pure rock exuberance. Classic instrumental "YYZ" revved up to the band's classic single "Spirit of the Radio." It could have ended there, but band returned to offer up its most popular tune, "Tom Sawyer," and then just to prove indifference to the radio and mainstream popularity, segued into parts of the side A-filling "2112" suite, from 1976's 2112.
"We have assumed control," the loud speakers blared as the Lee, Peart, and Lifeson triumphantly vamped. But the band had control from the moment it took the stage, and the fans couldn't have been more pleased about it.