Rush Concert 2002

Rush formed in 1968 alongside Lee and Lifeson with their original drummer John Rutsey, they performed cover tunes throughout o­ntario. In 1974 Neil Peart took over for the ailing Rutsey o­n drums and the direction of the band was to change forever.  Gone were the cover tunes, as Peart became the wordsmith behind Lifeson's and Lee's psycho-art musical forays.  Rush was awarded The Order Of Canada in 1997 and the band has garnered 23 consecutive gold or platinum records, quite the achievement. The rest is history along with what has most recently been written about Neil Peart's personal tragedies that almost put an end to Rush's future. Back to the present; high atop The Bell Center's press gallery all seemed well down below.  I must admit that it is difficult to review a show from the nosebleed section, but sometimes we have no other choice. Having seen Rush a few times before helps fill in the gaps.  From my perspective however the sound was muddy and loud.  The musicians were smaller than life and so was the so-called "giant screen" behind them.  Just prior to the opening of the show the "giant screen" depicted the faces of the three band mates with the names Geddy (Lee, yes), Neil (yes, Peart) and Brad Pitt (?), that should have read Alex (Lifeson) written under their faces.  o­nce again maybe I was too far away to decipher the message or to actually read the words. Unable to photograph this concert, the photos were supplied by o­ne of our readers, thanks Dave.  The sparsely filled stage sported what looked like three white washing machines behind Geddy Lee, maybe they were amps but they looked like washing machines from were I was. The mix of songs was superb. The Toronto art trio opened with their pop anthem Tom Sawyer and moved into a more recent number with Distant Early Warming. This evening was a wonderful culmination of old and new.  Surprisingly the band did not play Closer to the Heart and Fly by Night, two of their biggest hits.  My favorite part of the showed culminated towards the end of the show when the oldies came out in full force.  The mostly middle aged audience related to the songs of their youth and rejoiced.  Check out the set list below (thanks for sending the list Biff).

Tom Sawyer (with Three Stooges intro)
Distant Early Warning
New World Man
Roll The Bones
Earthshine
YYZ
The Pass
Bravado
The Big Money
The Trees
Freewill
Natural Science (abbreviated, same arrangement as T4E tour)

(-Intermission-)

One Little Victory (with dragon intro)
Driven
Ghost Rider
Secret Touch
Dreamline
Red Sector A
Leave That Thing Alone
Rhythm Method (drum solo, w/full big band section)
Resist (unplugged)
2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx
Limelight
La Villa Strangiato (missing o­nly guitar intro, includes Lerxt's dream rant)
The Spirit of Radio
Encore:
By-Tor and the Snow Dog (abbreviated)->
Cygnus X-1 (abbreviated)->
Working Man

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