Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Rush live!

| April 14, 2011

Coming up on four decades of touring, it makes perfect sense that Rush has perfected the formula for their live show. And while it offers repeat customers few surprises, it never disappoints. The latest proof of this came Tuesday night, as the Canadian classic-rockers brought “The Time Machine Tour” to the United Center.

As usual, the show began and ended with film shorts starring the trio making fun of themselves and their music. This time, the closing video featured Jason Segel and Paul Rudd as their Rush-fanatic characters from I Love You, Man, which provided enough comic relief to keep the sold-out crowd in their places long after the band had left the stage.
Also per usual, Rush began the show with a classic (“Spirit Of Radio”) and proceeded to rock through 26 career-spanning songs, from their eponymous 1974 debut through 2009’s Snakes & Arrows (Atlantic) — even including two (“BU2B” and “Caravan”) from their forthcoming Clockwork Angels, which Geddy Lee promised the crowd “will hopefully be finished after we finish this tour.” So once again this was a marathon: three hours of music with no opening act, no guest musicians, and just one 20-minute intermission.
After pleasing the crowd with a combination of staples (“Time Stand Still,” “Subdivisions,” and “Freewill” among others) and deep cuts (“Leave That Thing Alone,” “Faithless,” and “Marathon”) throughout their first set, Rush opened act two by playing through the most commercially successful album of their career, Moving Pictures, in its entirety. This of course meant the crowd was treated to favorites “Tom Sawyer,” “Red Barchetta,” “YYZ,” and “Limelight.”
All the rest of Rush’s typical live-show elements remained in place: the unique stage-design (it was covered with “time machine parts”), instrumental jams (at least five), the mind-boggling eight-minute Neil Peart drum solo using all 360 degrees of his kit, and even the random surprises (like fireworks, and two men in a gorilla suit and a chicken suit wandering around stage).
The one place Lee and co. do like to surprise the fans is with the final encore — tonight it consisted of the more obscure “La Villa Strangiato” followed by a unique, almost-reggae version of “Working Man.”
By the end of the long night, Rush left the crowd feeling like it always does after their shows — fully satisfied yet wondering how much longer the aging rockers can possibly keep this up.
— Carter Moss

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Category: Featured, Live Reviews, Weekly

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