Rush Concert Review

RUSH – SECOND LEG OF SNAKES & ARROWS TOUR

Show Date: June 28, 2008
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Website: www.rush.com

You would think that they were being forced at gunpoint to play for over three hours, but no, that’s just Rush being Rush.

Rush took the stage at 8 pm and didn’t leave (despite a well deserved ten minute intermission) until 11:20 pm.

Seriously, who does that? The answer is simple; nobody but Rush does that, and that’s just one of a long list of characteristics that sets this band apart from the competition.

This was my 4th Rush show and my mind continues to be blown by how ridiculously stellar this trio is live. There is not a single band on this planet that sounds as good live as Rush does, and with each song they perform, Rush mirrors a studio sound quality that makes you feel like you are listening to the original album cut. I should be used to Rush‘s commitment to music by now, but still find myself scraping my jaw off the pavement after one of their concerts. The impression Rush instills in you was perfectly captured on the face of the four year old boy sitting atop his father’s shoulders in my vicinity. As Rush opened with the always pleasing “Limelight”, the little tyke’s eyes grew to the size of baseballs and his mouth gaped open with bewilderment (I stood by waiting to catch his pretzel because I swore he was going to drop it). I’m pretty sure the youngster was instantly scarred for life as a Rush fan.

The current Rush tour is a continuation of last years Snakes & Arrows Tour, which was one of the biggest grossing Rush tours of all time. Rush decided to treat their fans to another round, and though the set list stayed pretty much the same as last years, it was revamped just enough to not seem recycled. The third song Rush played was worth the price of the ticket alone. “Ghost Of A Chance”, a favorite of mine, which was only played during the Roll the Bones Tour and has been in storage ever since, caused me to have goose bumps because it was so wonderfully executed. Geddy Lee‘s voice shines on this exquisite song, and its addition to the set list left me overwhelmed.

Along with the classic oldie Rush songs (which Geddy referred to as “veteran” songs) like “Red Barchetta”, “The Trees”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Spirit Of Radio”, “2112”, “A Passage To Bangkok”, “YYZ” and “Freewill”, the new tracks from the Snakes & Arrows album measure up with the mighty Rush classics. “Spindrift” (the beginning sounds like Pantera‘s “This Love”), “Armor & Sword”, “Far Cry”, “Workin’ Them Angels” and “The Main Monkey Business” continue to prove Rush can still churn out fantastic songs 34 years after their first album.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and the best drummer of all time Neil Peart are so musically gifted that they are in a completely separate stratosphere than the typical musician. Rush impeccably delivers their complex music with a professionalism that is unmatchable. Rush plays like they are scientists curing cancer, and if you have not been to a Rush show then you have not been to a concert. I cannot say enough about this uniquely underrated band and am forever indebted to seeing them live, buying their albums and flaunting their shirts.

Rush’ set list:

Limelight
Digital Man
Ghost of a Chance
Mission
Freewill
The Main Monkey Business
The Larger Bowl
Red Barchetta
The Trees
Between The Wheels
Dreamline

Intermission

Far Cry
Workin’ Them Angels
Armor and Sword
Spindrift
The Way The Wind Blows
Subdivisions
Natural Science
Witch Hunt
Malignant Narcissism (Neil Peart’s drum solo)
Hope (aka Alex Lifeson’s Guitar Solo)
The Spirit of Radio
2112: Overture / The Temples of Syrinx
Tom Sawyer

Encores:
One Little Victory
A Passage To Bangkok
YYZ