I always forget how far Jiffy Lube is.! (about 100 miles!). I got there in time to park and get in about 15-20 minutes before show time.
This was only the 2nd show of the tour. The lights dimmed not long after the scheduled 7:30 start time and began with the now expected intro movie. For this tour it stars Jay Baruchel from the Judd Apatow-gang of actors (he was in TV "Undeclared", in "Knocked Up", etc.)
The first set was heavy on their 80's output.
They began with the now classic "Subdivisions", a quintessential examination of teenage suburban alienation,a feeling that if not carful, turns into adult apathy.
"some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps.."
The band then launched into a 5-song run that included 4 from 1985's "Power Windows" album :"Big Money""Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" (not played since the 1986 tour) and the still relevant "Territorries".
The album is not a favorite among the fans of 70's-era Rush, but it was a pleasant surprise. ("Force Ten" from "Hold Your Fire" was in there as well)
Geddy then mistakenly introduced "The Analog Kid" as being from the same album. It is one of the best songs from the "Signals" album and in our current crazy Digital age, reminds me of youth and when I was the Analog kid. lol.
I had been chatting with the guy next to me who also bought his ticket on the day of the show. He also came by himself. He warned me that he might cry during the next song, "The Pass" from 1990's "Presto" . You may laugh, but isn't that what music does to us? Help us get in touch with emotions that we bury in our everyday interactions? I believe the song is about suicide, so God only knows what this guy went thru. The loss of a friend or a family member? I patted him on the back and smiled" no worries man"...
"...all of us do time in the gutter...."
Next the band launched into the instrumental "Where's my Thing". It gave them a chance to stretch out a bit and as my new concert buddy said, "They probably play this more for themselves than anybody else; to have some fun". Neil Peart did the first of his shorter drum solos. He would go on to do two other short and different solos rather than one long solo.
I had the setlist from the previous concert on my phone so I knew "Far Cry" would be the last song of the first set. A newer song that just never clicked for me, I decided it would be a good time to go get a soda and visit the restroom while it wasn't crowded.
From reading the setlist, I knew the 2nd set would focus mainly on the new album, "Clockwork Angels". The intermission was ending and a small string section came out to position themselves for the second set. This is the first tour Rush has ever had other musicians on stage with them.
The new cd is a concept piece. Opening with "Caravan" (released as a single in 2011) from the new cd, the band went on to play a total of 9 songs from the new cd. A bold move. I'm sure they lost some people with this strategy. I thought I might be one of them. i had listened to the new album few times and it sounded like most of their recent stuff, lacking hooks, but live it took on a new dimension. They played it as a piece. The visuals were excellent and the strings, while I couldn't hear them very well in the mix, certainly added a different dynamic to the show. I've been since listening to the new album all this week and have grown fond of it. The themes of the passage of time resonate deeply as "the Watchmaker" has only given us a finite amount of time in this life...
Geddy introduced "The Garden" as "our favorite" from the new album. Easy to see why. They've turned in a song with as much emotional depth as they've ever recorded. I now get chills when I hear the refrain "It's a measure of a life"...
"The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect"