Review + Photos + Setlist: Rush Shows 'Em How It's Done at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Sunday, August 22
Rush shows are a marathon, not a sprint. They're also not for the faint of heart or for the casual fan: Over forty years into its career, the Canadian trio still plays for close to three hours. Last night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, the prog innovators delivered exactly the kind of set its die-hard fans have come to expect.
Todd Owyoung Rush's Geddy Lee. More photos from the show here.
View an entire slideshow of photos from Rush's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Concert.
The show - part of what's dubbed the "Time Machine" tour -- opened with a beloved song, 1980's "The Spirit of Radio." The tune is quintessential Rush: Guitarist Alex Lifeson's beehive-quivering riffs claw at the air, as Neil Peart's clanking rhythms and Geddy Lee's helium yelps swirl around. Parts interlock where necessary or push against each other to create tension; space-rock tendencies linger but never overwhelm. From there, the band jumped eras and albums. Highlights included the Counterparts cut "Leave That Thing Alone" - an instrumental driven by Lee's chunky funk bass and airy, evocative Lifeson riffs - and a killer version of Permanent Waves' thinkpiece, "Freewill." (Much crowd fist-pumping ensued when the title popped up in the lyrics.) Peart's spotlight drum solo - which let him show off a rotating drumkit and genres ranging from jazz to "Rush rave" - was also impressive, of course. (And easily defined as "prog porn.")
Later in the night, Lifeson played delicate acoustic guitar to open a superb "Closer to the Heart," a tune functioning as an apertif for another show highlight. As 2112's iconic Starman logo sailed into view on a video screen, the crowd cheered for nerd-rock heaven: "2112: Part I (Overture)" and "2112: Part II (The Temples of Syrinx)." As the band started playing, hellmouths opened. Wizards cast spells. Black holes swallowed galaxies. Knights slayed dragons. In short, the song lived up to expectations.
|Rush drummer Neil Peart. More photos from the show here.|