RUSH Concert Review, Austin, TX, May 16, 2015
Tonight marked the third time in as many decades that I’ve seen RUSH. First time was in Chapel Hill, NC on the Counterparts Tour. My main takeaway from that show was that RUSH was having an off night. They didn’t sound tight and I can remember seeing Peart dropping a stick a few times. Not helping was that Candlebox opened. I also caught the R30 Tour in Virginia Beach, VA. The main thing I remember from that show is how utterly bored I was overall. It was cool that they played By-Tor and the Snow Dog and some other classics, but I just couldn’t get into it. I was supposed to catch them on The Power Windows Tour but my grades were bad and I had to sell my ticket. Bummer.
I hadn’t planned on seeing tonight’s show but after a decent poker game last night, the show ended up being free. I scored a ticket mid-day and rode with some friends to the show. I had spied the current setlists before buying my ticket and the selection looked pretty good.
They opened the show with 3 songs from Clockwork Angels, all of which I was not familiar. They then went into Far Cry, which I like, and The Main Monkey Business from Snakes and Arrows, another that I wasn’t familiar with. They continued with one each from Vapor Trails, Counterparts and the title track from Roll the Bones. As a new song from each album was played, the “crew” from Moving Pictures would change stage props matching what the stage looked like on each respective tour. The setlists from the last 4 shows showed them playing either Distant Early Warning or Between the Wheels from Grace Under Pressure. Sadly for me, we got Between the Wheels. That was pretty much the only letdown for me. They finished their first set with Subdivisions and that finally got the crowd going.
The second started with Tom Sawyer and then into The Camera Eye. Some stops on the tour were getting Red Barchetta. I was a-ok without it as The Camera Eye is probably my favorite song from Moving Pictures. This set was great containing Jacob’s Ladder, Cygnus X-1, much of 2112, Spirit of Radio, Closer to the Heart and Xanadu.
The encore was really good and consisted of Lakeside Park from my favorite RUSH album, Caress of Steel. They then went into Anthem and 2 from the debut to close the show, What You’re Doing and Working Man.
It was an enjoyable show and easily the best of the 3 times I had seen them. Geddy’s playing was superb. He also botched a few lyrics here and there and it was good to see him be a human even though he had a teleprompter on his keyboard. His voice sounded pretty good and he didn’t reach too hard to hit notes he knew he couldn’t hit. Peart was on his game as was Lifeson. It was noticeable, however, that many of the songs were played slower than their original album speed. That was no surprise as those guys aren’t getting any younger.