RUSH, what can actually be said about a band like this that has been around for over 40 years? Same three dudes, amazing song catalog, and still enough in the tank to throw down on a 3 hour plus concert.
Maybe there is something to be said for 3 piece bands. ZZ Top (who will be at BOK Center tonight, Sept. 23), The Police (when they decide to lay down their differences) and Rush, never a change in faces and amazing longevity. Other bands that have revolving doors of personnel could take a lesson.
On an evening where most bands that have been around this long would just be churning out a greatest hits type show, Rush took a different look at what they wanted to present to the packed BOK Center Tuesday night. Sure the songs you would expect to be there were there, but after 19 albums and another in the works you have plenty of music to choose from. The tour dubbed "Time Machine" was every bit of that and then some as a set list of 26 songs would keep the Canadian trio busy and fans going nuts.
The evening starts with a video clip of a young polka band attempting to find their sound. The bands name, RASH. The video plays to this as though this is the beginning and "true" story of how Rush came to be. In the corner of a sausage diner, while three strikingly familiar looking folks take their jabs and give advice to the youngsters. One of the three, a rather portly fellow breaks out the "Gefelter", a machine designed to help the band find their sound is also equipped with a curious "time machine" button. The button is "accidentally" engaged and we are off on our evening of incredible music and master musicianship.
From show opener "The Spirit of Radio" the stage is set ablaze with some of the most recognizable sounds you will ever hear. It is amazing to me that this kind of sound comes out of a 3 piece band. Absolutely incredible. Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson are as tight a unit as you will ever see and the songs truly sound as fresh and spot on as what you find on the albums. I mean even after years and years of touring and aging, Lee has still got the pipes it takes to hold down the classic songs, as well as a new found energy and passion for the new songs yet to come. Two of which were showcased on this night, "Brought Up To Believe" and "Caravan." Both of which have a much edgier sound than early stuff.
The show was broken down into two sets, the first of which containing some of their well know songs as well as some stuff only a true Rush fan would be able to recognize quickly. "Time Stand Still," "Presto,"Working Them Angels" and "Freewill" to name a few. The a pause takes place, as Geddy says, "We are not spring chickens anymore so we need to take a break, we will be back in a few." This sets up the second half of the show and quite possibly the primary draw for many in attendance, the entire Moving Pictures album played song for song.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
After the intermission, which had a huge ticker clicking down the years to give the crowd a perspective of where we were heading. The timer clicks over to 1980 and we are off, as "Tom Sawyer" brings a thunderous ovation and at times the crowd out sung Lee. It was to be awed. The whole album is played to perfection. "YYZ," "Red Barchetta," "Vital Signs," "The Camera Eye" and "Limelight" and others take you back to a time when most of us were teens and getting our first real exposure to "The Holy Triumvirate." A band that has always pushed the envelope of sight and sound and has always come out better than before.
The evening concluded with a 2 song encore featuring "La Villa Strangiato," and "Working Man" cap off a night that was full of surprises and gave the eager crowd their money’s worth and then some. Will we see this power trio again in Tulsa, only time will tell.