The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world










1. The Spirit Of Radio
2. Time Stand Still
3. Presto
4. Stick It Out
5. Workin' Them Angels
6. Leave That Thing Alone
7. Faithless
8. BU2B
9. Freewill
10. Marathon
11. Subdivisions


Set 2:
12. Tom Sawyer
13. Red Barchetta
14. YYZ
15. Limelight
16. The Camera Eye
17. Witch Hunt
18. Vital Signs
19. Caravan
20. Drum Solo
21. Closer To The Heart
22. 2112 Part I: Overture
23. 2112 Part II: The Temples Of Syrinx
24. Far Cry


25. La Villa Strangiato
26. Working Man


I will be the first to admit that I have never been a RUSH fan. I kind of liked 2112 and, well, that’s pretty much it. The band just never held my attention and no one I really hung out with had any of their albums, but enough of the excuses I’m here to give them a try with an open mind, though I am a little apprehensive at embarking on what could be a three hour marathon with no support!


For me it’s not a good start though. I have perhaps the worst seats of the summer trip and have paid more for these ‘nosebleed’ tickets than for anything else on the tour this year! Someone must be making a lot of money out of this tour…


Having got that off my chest things start well. There is an amusing video that sees Rush (or rather ‘Rash)’ playing a ‘sausage emporium’ somewhere in the old world (presumably Germany judging by the sausage obsession and the overdone accents!) It’s a funny video, though presumably less so if you catch multiple dates! Anyhow they play various versions of “Spirit of the Radio” before actually taking the stage to play the authentic version.


Musically it’s the perfect start for a Rush-virgin like me, though a bit ‘old-hat’ for the three guys behind us who could start a Rush encyclopaedia judging by all the banter that goes on between songs where conversation goes like this: “Dude! (Insert amazingly obscure Rush fact)” and the response is always the same “Awesome!” It’s like being trapped in the Bill and Ted movie, albeit with fewer jokes and more Rush. It actually adds to the experience by the end of the night!


Back to the music and I find myself actually enjoying the show which is a bit of a surprise and a huge bonus. Musically it’s excellent, visually it’s interesting and the songs are actually not all about dragons, dwarves and elves! “Freewill” is definitely a winner for me though I find that a lot of the newer songs, especially “Caravan” from the forthcoming album later in the set actually stack up nicely. The first set retains my attention completely and the mix of old and new keeps everything fresh and interesting, then the ‘old guys’ take a break.


After the break is where I kind of drift away. If the first part was ‘unexpectedly good Rush’ then the second set is ‘unexpectedly dull Rush’ I had never had the misfortune to hear Moving Pictures before tonight, though I had heard of it talked about in hushed tones many years ago at school. After hearing said album in its entirety tonight I am really glad I hadn’t heard it before. It is crushingly dull. It is like watching a boring version of the band that opened. I seek refuge in beer after a couple of songs. Apologies to all the ‘Moving pictures’ fans out there who will no doubt ignore me anyway!


Then by magic it’s over and we get the real band back again! “Caravan” is one of my favourite songs of the night so it’s a complete surprise to find it’s a new song. After the unavoidable drum solo “Closer to the Heart” shows me again what a great band Rush can be; and even though I didn’t expect it, to actually get to hear the 2112 songs definitely makes it all worthwhile.


The encores are cool too and whilst the ‘reggae intro’ to “Working Man” perhaps seems a little ‘old hat’ it’s a undoubted high to go out on before the band leaves the stage and we get another home video before the lights come on.


I read David’s review of the Toronto show (see elsewhere on the site) just after I finished writing this up and was actually really surprised to see that the set was exactly the same, I kind of expected a band with this size catalogue to mix it up a little?


It’s not exactly what I expected, but certainly on balance better than I thought.