Legendary Canadian rockers Rush are out on the road celebrating 40 years as well as what may very well be their last tour ever. Given the circumstances, it should come as no surprise that shows sold out quickly and the resale prices were through the roof! This past Thursday night found the trio setting up shop at San Jose’s SAP Center for what would prove to be a 3 hour trip down memory lane.
A giant curtain covered the stage as the crowd packed the arena, some holding signs and other filling in their neighbors on how many shows they’d already caught on the tour. A surprisingly diverse crowd both in terms of age and gender, there was one common element … a extreme passion for this band … and when “The World Is…The World Is” intro video started rolling, the pump in the room was palpable.
The curtain was finally lifted and Rush picked right up where they left things off on their last tour, with a pair of tunes off of 2012’s Clockwork Angels, backed by massive video screens and the accompanying Clockwork Angels stage props. As Rush blasted through their set, they seemed oblivious to their red coverall-clad “R40” crew who would randomly appear on stage mid-song to slowly and methodically disassemble and replace the set so that by the time One Little Victory rolled around, the “Bassy, Brainy, Horny and Corny” machines had been replaced with Vapor Trails era washing machines. An hour or so in, it was time for the intermission … “We need to take a short break to rejuvenate. We’ll be right back!”
The second set kicked off with a hilarious video of outtakes from over the course of the band’s career, the curtain finally dropping to reveal a whole stage setup featuring ridiculously high piles of speaker cabinets which the crew immediately set about dismantling. As Rush tore through Tom Sawyer, it seemed hard to believe that these guys have been at it for so long. There are not many bands on the planet that can boast the level of musical and, more significantly, vocal precision after 20 years, much less 40. Watching these guys pull out more than half of 2112 live was earth-shaking and therein lies the explanation for the fanbase’s dedication to this band. Well, that and their wry sense of humor.
The “Mel’s Rock Pile starring Eugene Levy” intro video for the encore was almost alone worth the price of admission … Eugene pitching this unheard of band that has “opened for Kiss twice” before lamenting that, “three members does not a rock band make!” Watching them end the show with their first big hit, Working Man, in a high school gym with a disco ball spinning overhead and was the perfect, and poignant, end to Rush’s 3 hour opus.
- The World Is…The World Is (intro video)
- The Anarchist
- Clockwork Angels
- Headlong Flight
- Far Cry
- The Main Monkey Business
- One Little Victory
- Roll the Bones
- Distant Early Warning
- No Country for Old Hens (video intro)
- Tom Sawyer
- The Spirit of Radio
- Natural Science
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
- Cygnus X-1 (Book One: The Voyage Parts 1… more )
- Closer to the Heart
- 2112 Part I: Overture
- 2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
- 2112 Part IV: Presentation
- 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale
- Mel’s Rock Pile starring Eugene Levy (intro video)
- Lakeside Park
- What You’re Doing
- Working Man (with ‘Garden Road’ outro)
- Exit Stage Left (video outro)
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