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Rush September 18, 2012

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rushfan4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Rush September 18, 2012
    Posted: September 19 2012 at 06:16
I had the great pleasure of seeing my favorite Canadian trio play live last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills and I have to say that although overall it was a good show, I was mildly disappointed.  It should have been a diehard fan's wettest dream, as they played a whole bunch of "obscure" songs that they rarely if ever had played live, but a Rush concert that omits Freewill, Spirit of Radio, Limelight, Closer to the Heart, Xanadu, Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Natural Science, Red Barchetta, etc is to a certain extent kind of a disappointing show. 
 
They started out great with a trio of 80's hit with Subdivisions, Big Money, and Force Ten.  And then they went for broke with a trio of songs from Power Windows by playing Grand Designs, Middletown Dreams, and Territories, which are all songs that probably have not been played live since the Power Windows tour (if at all). Geddy then mentioned that it was the 30-year anniversary of Signals and they played a wonderful version of Analog Man from that.  This was followed by an excellent rendition of The Pass from their Presto album, which was the first tour that I attended one of their concerts.  From there they played the wonderful instrumental Where's My Thing? which included a short mostly new drum solo from The Professor.  They ended the first set with Far Cry, the only song that they played from Snakes and Arrows. It seemed to me that they lost the crowd after Grand Designs.  Everybody sat down or filed out for beer during Middletown Dreams and Territories, and at least in our section never really stood back up until near the encore.
 
After the intermission, they brought out an 8-piece string ensemble and they went on to play the majority of Clockwork Angels.  Quite frankly, I would rather have heard Signals in its entirety to celebrate its 30th year anniversary.  For me, Clockwork Angels just isn't a strong enough album to deserve all of the concert time that it got last night.  Live it suffered from the same "production" issues that I feel it suffers from on the album.  Geddy's voice sounds horrible, the lyrics are mostly indecipherable, and the bass and drums are too drony/deep and drown everything else out.  From Clockwork Angels they played Caravan, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Carnies,  The Wreckers, Headlong Flight followed by a short Alex Lifeson guitar solo, which was OK, but not nearly one of his best. (They may have played Halo Effect, but I can't remember for sure). They finished it off with Wish Them Well and The Garden, which for me is both the highlight of the album and was the highlight of Clockwork Angels portion of the evening.  The guy next to me kept exclaiming how cool the string section was and how it added that extra dimension to the show, but I felt that they were mostly just drowned out by the bass and drums and a lot of the times you couldn't really hear the string section anyways.  They were most effectual on the quieter songs like The Wreckers and The Garden.
 
Finally finished with Clockwork Angels, they played Dreamline from Roll The Bones.  I believe that this was followed by another short drum solo from Neil Peart.  Rather than his usually long drum solo, we were treated to 3 short drum solos, that may in total have equalled his one long drum solo.  They finished off the show with an excellent rendition of Red Sector A, which is one my favorite songs from them, albeit a very sad song, followed by the crowd pleasing YYZ, and a lounged out version of Working Man.    They returned for their encore and played Tom Sawyer and the shortened Temples of Syrinx version of 2112. 
 
As I mentioned overall it was a good show, but mildly disappointing.  Much of the crowd just didn't have the buzz for either the rarities portion of the show or the Clockwork Angels portion.  Their video clips before, during the intermission, and after the show weren't nearly as funny as previous years had been.  They were going with some sort of joke about a tax collector trying to have a meeting with the Watchmaker to talk about some indiscrepancies, but a trio of leftovers from the Wizard of Oz Lollipop Crew interfered with his ability to meet with him.  They kind of talked in squeaky voices and were kind of hard to understand so I may have missed some of the gist of what they were going for, but it mostly didn't seem to be all that funny. 
 
I'll have to see if somebody else posts a setlist somewhere to see if I omitted anything, but I think that I just about covered everything. 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 06:30
Great review!  I was very pleased to see your comments so soon after the show.  As cool as a "deep cuts" set list looks on paper, I can understand how it might leave the concert a little wanting for "crowd pleasers", overplayed though they might be.  But still, I'll never get tired of "Tom Sawyer" no matter how often it's played.  That's why songs like that are played so often in the first place.

I haven't quite absorbed Clockwork Angels yet, and most of my attempts to do so usually peter out after about 3 songs.  I think if I'm going to go see them this Fall, I should make a strong effort to familiarize myself with that album more.  I do like the focus on 80s stuff in the first set -- the first three tracks alone would have had me in seventh heaven. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 08:25
Thanks.  I am pretty sure that to a certain extent the setlists on this tour are being played with one eye towards the next DVD release.  Which, as a fan of buying their DVDs it will be cool to have a new DVD that covers a whole number of songs played live that can't be found on any of their other DVDs.  I can also appreciate that they are a band that has been touring for almost 40 years, and for nearly the last 30 years they have been playing the aforementioned missed songs 200 nights a year or so and in order to liven things up and feel refreshed they are playing songs that they are playing.  Aside from the Clockwork Angels portion of the show, I did thoroughly enjoy it.  Unfortunately, I just haven't really warmed up to Clockwork Angels yet, and for that reason I felt that their coverage of it was overkill.  I think that if I were as enamored with Clockwork Angels as many PA Rush fans are, I would have probably felt as though I had died and gone to heaven.  For me, I am still waiting for it to click.  I like it better than I did with its first couple of listens, but it still is just an OK album for me at this point. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 08:37
This seems to be the setlist that was played last night:
 

NIGHT B version 1*

Set 1:

Video Intro (Gearing Up)
Subdivisions
The Big Money
Force 10
Grand Designs
Middletown Dreams
Territories
Analog Kid
The Pass
Where's My Thing (with drum solo)
Far Cry

Intermission (Clockwork Angels String Ensemble enters)

Set 2:

Video Intro (The Appointment)
Caravan
Clockwork Angels
The Anarchist
Seven Cities of Gold
The Wreckers
Headlong Flight (with drum solo)
Halo Effect (with guitar solo intro)
Wish Them Well
The Garden
Dreamline
The Percussor (drum solo)
Red Sector A
YYZ
(Clockwork Angels String Ensemble exits)
Working Man (with reggae intro)

Encore:

Tom Sawyer
2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx/Grand Finale
Video Outro (Office Of The Watchmaker)

* played 9/9/2012 in Bristow, VA

 

Source: http://www.rushisaband.com/setlist_pop.php?tour_id=199

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 08:53
Here is a review of the show that was in this morning's Detroit Free Press.  http://www.freep.com/entertainmentnews

Few bands are blessed — and pressured — by the high fan expectations that come with being Rush.

Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the veteran Canadian band delivered an unorthodox set of songs with typically crisp musicianship, for what just might be the lone rock audience whose air drums can nail 7/8 time to start a show.

Attendance appeared to be about 10,000. Show officials declined to release figures.

“We come bearing greetings from your neighbors from the north,” bassist-vocalist Geddy Lee said early on, as the band sunk its teeth into a night that would run more than three hours, with a 20-minute break in the middle.

Whether expectations were met might depend on your fidelity to Rush’s entire four-decade catalog: When it wasn’t focused on 2012 — and just a taste of “2112” — the set defiantly cast its lot with the 1980s, including four numbers from 1985’s oft-neglected “Power Windows.”

It was a song selection that offered a comfort zone for Lee’s 59-year-old voice, whose peaks he tested only late in the show. Still, there were musical chops aplenty — ripping solos from guitarist Alex Lifeson (“The Analog Kid”), elegant multitasking at synth and bass from Lee, and reliable drum magic from Neil Peart, complete with double handed crossovers on the first of three solos.

There remains a purity of purpose to Rush’s performances, even when the band is generously doling out winks — an Austin Powers soundbite tucked into “The Big Money,” say, or Lifeson’s funny faces during “Tom Sawyer.”

In a day when classic rock carries the load for the concert biz, Rush continues to inhabit its own distinct car on the train, with hard-earned credibility to spare: Among its ’70s-vintage peers, there is perhaps no band still as vital and forward-looking, where a new album feels less like an obligatory routine than a relevant artistic effort.

The new one, in this case, was “Clockwork Angels,” the well-reviewed summer release with a hardcover novelization published earlier this month.

Its songs comprised nearly an hour-long stretch of Tuesday’s show, more than one-third of the night’s music. And if it wasn’t a consistent high point, it was at least a chance for fans to demonstrate goodwill toward a band whose decisions they implicitly trust.

“You guys have been patient,” Lee told the crowd. “We appreciate it.”

The new material took on a fresh urgency in the live setting: The tight opening section of “The Anarchist” held its own with the night’s classics; the lurching riff of “Carnies” came bolstered with flames and firework fountains; the instrumental solos of “Headlong Flight” included a squalling bit of handiwork from Lifeson.

All was accompanied by a Rush novelty — eight string players positioned behind Peart’s drum kit, the first guest musicians ever to have toured with the band. The strings were key but subtle, providing a bed for songs like “Halo Effect” and coming to life on the multihued “The Garden,” which featured another first: Lifeson at an electric piano.

The strings stuck around a bit as Rush moved into a homestretch of chestnuts, largely mimicking Lee’s synth lines on “Red Sector A” and “YYZ,” before giving the stage back to the trio for the show’s rousing finale.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Bearded Bard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:06
Great review, Scott! Sorry to hear you were disappointedOuch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:30
I'd like to hear that condensed version of 2112 (Overture/Temples/Finale).  Sounds like that would be a nice tight 10 minute buttkicker.  Is it on any of their live albums or DVDs?

Edited by HolyMoly - September 19 2012 at 13:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:32
It was just a mild disappointment.  As I said, if I had liked Clockwork Angels more it would have been a better show.  I certainly don't fault them for playing the new stuff, as that should be what a band plays when they tour.  To be honest, I really hoped that seeing it live would make me realize how great it was but, instead I just heard the same faults with it live that I have listening to the album.  I'm just not a fan of the wall of bass that I hear when I listen to it.  I'm just not hearing the individual notes, it is more of just a drone.  Probably more the listener's fault than the bands. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:35
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

I'd like to hear that condensed version of 2112 (Overture/Temples/Finale).  Sounds like that would be a nice tight 10 minute buttkicker.  Is it on any of their live albums or DVDs?
They have a 7 minute version of it on their most recent live album Time Machine 2011.  On their R30, they do a 8:24 version of it, and on Rush In Rio they do a 6:52 version of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:38
It is also on quite a few greatest hits compilations in the form of a studio edit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 13:59
Sweet.  Thanks!

I actually have Rush in Rio, I must have forgotten it was on there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2012 at 15:36

Thanks for the review Scott.......Too bad your night was more disappointment than pleasure. Also seems like the sound was not well in the Palace, that never helps

This is the Clockwork Angels Tour, so I expect they will play a lot of the album.....Just like Snakes & Arrows Tour where they played almost the whole album in 2007.
 
I really enjoy CA, so this will be a treat for me. I still think they are prepping their fans for the next tour to be a 70's setlist show.......Kinda like what Iron Maiden did with Somewhere Back In Time Tour.

   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2012 at 13:49
A very good review, Scott, and a pity it wasn't everything you wanted.

I have to say I am struggling with Clockwork Angels. I find it distinctly average, and I will wait for  a lot more listens and time before I review it.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2012 at 17:42
Thanks Scott. A critical review never hurts, we don't want to push too many feathers up our Canadian friends' bums.
Looking forward to seeing them in Amsterdam in June next year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sympathy Orchestra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2012 at 20:36
I enjoyed the Rush show at the Palace. I am a fan of the Clockwork Angels album. After seeing them play Spirit Of Radio, Freewill, Limelight etc on previous tours, I thought that the set list was a refreshing change of pace. I was happy that we saw Revised Set List B as opposed to A. I really didn't want to see Bravado and Manhattan Project once again and The Body Electric has never been one of my favorites. As far as the string section...I thought they did a great job! I was expecting a "traditional" sit down string section. Instead, they were up and rocking. I thought Caravan sounded amazing with strings. They also really added to the emotional darkness of Red Sector A. I also thought the decision to break up the drum solo into three smaller solos was a great idea. Prior to this, Neil's solo has been very similar in form over the past 10 years or so. I was also glad that they returned to the Overture / Temples Of Syrinx / Grand Finale version of 2112, as last performed on the R30 tour. Hearing "Attention All Planets..." always gives me goose bumps. To me, it was a fitting way to end the show. I came away from the show very pleased.

I would like to see them do a tour with an orchestra, similar to what Yes did approximately 10 years ago. They could possibly bring new life into some of their older epics, that they either simply quote, or ignore altogether. I would have faith that they could arrange the orchestra in such a way as to enhance their music without sounding like they just stuck strings on everything, like Metallica did. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2012 at 05:53
I saw the Chicago show (15 Sep) and I loved it! I'm glad they didn't do another greatest hits tour, as thats what the last one was.

I'm not a huge fan of the new album at the moment, though I've warmed up to it since it first came out. I really didn't like it much on my first listen, but now I think it's a decent, but not great album with some of Geddy's best bass playing. I kind of understand where they are going on the songs now as opposed to my first listen.

I thought the new songs were pretty good, live. Headlong Flight got a huge roar of approval, a new Rush concert standard I'm thinkin' Smile (probably not for long though, as I think the boys might do one last album/tour after this one, then retire)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2012 at 06:24
I just saw this thread. Jealousy is a curse but I would have loved to be there. Great times had by all I see. Awesome concert by the sound of it. Hope a DVD is forthcoming soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2012 at 09:54
Originally posted by Jbird Jbird wrote:

I saw the Chicago show (15 Sep) and I loved it! I'm glad they didn't do another greatest hits tour, as thats what the last one was.
The last one was Moving Pictures in its entirety, which at least for me, was more enjoyable than most of Clockwork Angels in its entirety.  I certainly don't fault Rush for playing so many new songs from their new album and trying something new by playing them with the string section and I am sure that I would have been absolutely thrilled if I loved Clockwork Angels, but I don't.  I don't hate it by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess that it just hasn't revealed its brilliance to me yet.  This is sad for me, because I love everything that Rush has done from Not Fade Away through Snakes and Arrows.  I really want to love CA, but it just hasn't happened.  I'll admit that I was lukewarm to Snakes and Arrows prior to seeing them live, but after seeing them play the songs live I had a new appreciation of the album, and now I think it is wonderful.  I hoped that the same would happen with CA, but the same things that disappoint me with the studio album also cropped up live.  To me, Geddy's voice sounds horrible on these songs and the combo bass/drums of Geddy and Neil come across as a wall of heavy bass sound rather than as decipherable musical notes and just kind of drowns out the whole experience.  The strings were a nice touch when they could be heard, but were really hard to hear through the wall of bass. 
 
In regards to greatest hits versus lesser known songs, in theory I am happy to hear the lesser known songs.  As I said in my review, it should have been a diehard fan's wet dream.  I am pretty certain that I have never heard Grand Designs, Territories or Middletown Dreams live.  They did a great job performing them and I enjoyed hearing them, but I also felt that they lost the crowd when they played all 3 songs in a row.  Play 3 "hits" in that time frame and I suspect that the crowd would have gone bonkers.  
 
I get the impression from some of the response posts that I am coming acrossed as though I hated the show, and that is entirely not the case.  "Mildly disappointed" doesn't mean I hated the show.  I quite enjoyed it.  But there is also a reason that a band has "hits" and it is because those are songs that fans like to hear, and when you only see the band live once a year and you pay that kind of money for tickets you hope to hear more "hits", since that is what makes you a fan.  Maybe it will happen next time (ha ha) but if they aren't going to play the "hits" than play the Xanadus and Cygnuses and Trees and if you really want to see a Rush concert go bonkers play Necromancer or Fountain of Lamneth.  (OK half of the fans would go absolutely bonkers and the rest would head up to get a beer but...)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2012 at 16:17
I would like to see Rush play Lakeside Park or Bastille Day again, just for the fact that I've been seeing Rush on & off since 1981, and Caress Of Steel is the only album I have yet to see them play a song from Cry

I realize that Geddy can't quite hit some of those notes any more, but they could down tune, or something.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2012 at 16:21

On the R30 tour they played a part of Bastille Day as part of the R30 Overture, but that is it as far as I can remember.  I agree that it would be great to see Bastille Day or Lakeside Park. 

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