PHX, AZ 11/25/2012 Review

All The Highlights Of That Headlong Flight

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PHX, AZ 11/25/2012 Review

Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:12 am

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to last night's show here in Phoenix, but wanted to post the review that was written and published in today's paper and online of the show. It's really nice when the person writing the review actually knows and appreciates the band like this guy does.

Rush concert spotlights ‘Clockwork Angels' in Phoenix
By Michael Senft
Special for the Republic | azcentral.com
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:45 AM

There are certain things you can always depend on at a Rush concert — drum solos, dazzling lights and videos, plenty of humor and “Tom Sawyer.” And Rush delivered all of them at US Airways Center on Sunday, Nov. 25. But the Canadian power trio, who filmed the concert for a DVD, showcased their new album, “Clockwork Angels,” at the expense of many longtime favorites. They played the bulk of the acclaimed new album, a steampunk-inspired concept piece about a young man searching for the meaning of life, to the delight of the sold-out crowd. Casual fans only familiar with radio hits like “Freewill” and “Closer to the Heart” were probably confused for the bulk of the three-hour show, however, which ignored many of Rush’s biggest hits. Indeed, they only performed one song from before 1980.

Perhaps they wanted to give singer/bassist Geddy Lee’s vocal cords a rest. He sounded rough when tackling the falsetto that defined their older songs on Rush’s recent live album from 2011, “Time Machine: Live in Cleveland.” But if he was struggling at all during the show, it wasn’t evident.

Or perhaps they wanted to focus on newer material after greatest hits tours in 2004 and 2011.

The first set did just that — showcasing Rush’s synth-heavy work from the ’80s.

Taking the stage to a surreal, Python-esque video involving the band members being assembled in a carnival-like factory — they launched into “Subdivisions,” the synth-driven hit from 1982’s “Signals.” From that opener, they stuck to big-hair territory, playing such rarely-heard chestnuts as “Grand Designs,” “The Analog Kid” and “Middletown Dreams,” songs not played live for over 25 years. The 1985 album “Power Windows” was heavily featured, with Rush showcasing five of its eight tracks during the show.

“Where’s My Thing,” an instrumental from 1991’s “Roll the Bones,” moved things forward and featured an economical solo from drummer Neil Peart, the first of three he performed during the show, before the first set closed with “Far Cry.”

Peart, long known for his lengthy drum solos, toned them down this year. While Peart is a master, drum solos, especially long ones, can get annoying quickly. By breaking them up and scattering them throughout the set, they seemed more relevant to the music and did not disrupt the show. Alex Lifeson also performed a brief solo piece leading into “Halo Effect.”

While casual fans may not have recognized many tunes, longtime fans may have been confused as well — especially when a string ensemble came onstage during intermission. The eight-piece ensemble joined Rush for the bulk of the second set, which featured a hefty dose of “Clockwork Angels,” from the lighter “The Wreckers” to “Headlong Flight,” a hard rock monster reminiscent of early Rush tracks like “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” and “Anthem.” Rush’s finest song in 30 years, the sublime ballad “The Garden,” provided an emotional close to the “Clockwork Angels” portion of the show.

The string ensemble stuck around for a few more tunes, however, adding some additional flair to the electronic “Red Sector A” and the knotty instrumental “YYZ.”

While the first set was an excellent reintroduction to forgotten album tracks, the second set was revelatory. Rush have always used stunning light shows. During the second set they proved they are at least the equal of Pink Floyd with dazzling lights, intricate videos and the aforementioned string ensemble. Ten rotating video screens added additional effects and the pyrotechnics threatened to set a couple of violins on fire. It almost seemed like they were upping the fire quotient for the cameras.

Unfortunately, the string ensemble wasn’t mixed well and seemed to fade into the background through most of the set. And realistically, their parts weren’t so essential that they couldn’t have been handled on keyboards. It was an unusual visual, however.

Speaking of unusual visuals, mention must be made of the stage design. Instead of amplifiers, pneumatic machines and circular screens sprouted from the stage, fitting with the steampunk motif. At one point, a roadie in a gorilla suit came onstage to “check the settings” on a popcorn machine behind Lee. And during “YYZ” a wizard appeared, helping conduct the string ensemble. Were these special touches just for the upcoming DVD? Regardless, they added to the carnival atmosphere of the show.

After closing with “The Spirit of Radio,” from 1980’s “Permanent Waves” album, Rush returned for the expected encore of “Tom Sawyer” and excerpts from the 1976 epic “2112.” Predictable – yeah, but how else should they have closed the show? Honestly, the second set was so strong, it made the first set seem more of an afterthought. With an album as strong as “Clockwork Angels,” Rush didn’t need to play a three-hour, two-set show. But the added bonus of hearing those long-forgotten songs in the first set made the show extra special.

Set One:

“Subdivisions”

“The Big Money”

“Force Ten”

“Grand Designs”

“Middletown Dreams”

“Territories”

“The Analog Kid”

“The Pass”

“Where’s My Thing?”

“Far Cry”

Set Two:

“Caravan”

“Clockwork Angels”

“The Anarchist”

“Carnies”

“The Wreckers”

“Headlong Flight”

“Halo Effect”

“Wish Them Well”

“The Garden”

“Manhattan Project”

“The Percussor”

“Red Sector A”

“YYZ”

“The Spirit of Radio”

Encore:

“Tom Sawyer”

Excerpts from “2112
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:52 am

Awesome...thanks for posting that.

Sucks that ya didn't make the show, dude.
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:47 am

Liam wrote:Awesome...thanks for posting that.

Sucks that ya didn't make the show, dude.
My pleasure.
As for missing the show... I would have MUCH rather been there than doing what I was, believe me! :cry: :cry:
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:03 am

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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:46 am

I'll make an excuse for Ged on Tom Sawyer.....he was trying something new...not a mistake. LOL
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:34 am

Liam wrote:I'll make an excuse for Ged on Tom Sawyer.....he was trying something new...not a mistake. LOL
Okay... I'll go along with that. If anyone's earned some liberties here and there it's any/all of those 3 yuk-yuks! :lol: :lol:

While feeling sorry for myself last night due to not being at the show, I watched Beyond the Lighted Stage and this gem that I find absolutely hysterical and can watch over and over again. Of the 3, Neil is by far the most inebriated and finds himself laughing so hard he can't get the words out he wants to on more than one occasion!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb-MwVUUy3g
And of course, Alex with his gift from Gedster is just ridiculously immature and sooooooooooo funny!

If I did the math correctly (and if Ged was serious about the 2 bottles of wine they consumed prior to sitting down for dinner,) they managed to polish off 7 (SEVEN!) bottles of wine between them! :shock: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:50 am

That dinner is beyond hilarious. LMMFAO

My favorite line is "It's like Julius Caesar said to the senate...'FUCK YOU GUYS'. then translated to 'et tu Brute'". :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:54 am

Liam wrote:That dinner is beyond hilarious. LMMFAO

My favorite line is "It's like Julius Caesar said to the senate...'FUCK YOU GUYS'. then translated to 'et tu Brute'". :lol: :lol: :lol:
Absolutely, hands-down the funniest part of the whole dinner! What makes it even funnier is prior to Alex's... ahem... "statement", I had never heard him use profanity of any kind - ever! So when he spouted off with that, I lost it! :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:59 am

The one that surprised me was Geddy using profanity for some reason. When he was describing Neil "Such a fucking perfectionist, such a monster musician".
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:08 am

Liam wrote:The one that surprised me was Geddy using profanity for some reason. When he was describing Neil "Such a fucking perfectionist, such a monster musician".
Geddy's been known to drop an F-bomb or two now and then and he's certainly not in the habit of censoring his speech when delivering his thoughts. Now Neil on the other hand.... if he ever let one fly while on camera whether during an interview or whatever the case, I'm not sure my mind would comprehend it. I'd put odds on hearing my Mormon grandmother call someone a "slimy mother-fuckin' douche bag" before I'd EVER believe the Professor would use profanity! :wink: :wink: :lol: That kind of nomenclature just seems so.... "beneath" his level of intellect that he would never resort to that kind of dialog.... if that even makes sense.
Pratt, however, has a mouth like a truck driver!!!! :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:52 am

Oh...what I meant was Geddy in the documentary. I've heard him cuss before..no biggie. I'm with ya on Pratt, though. I'd probably shit myself if that happened. :lol: :lol:
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:30 am

Liam wrote:Oh...what I meant was Geddy in the documentary. I've heard him cuss before..no biggie. I'm with ya on Pratt, though. I'd probably shit myself if that happened. :lol: :lol:
Not to go all philosophical on this topic but.... Oh what the Hell! Bear with me for a tick... :lol:
My appreciation and respect for Peart is complex. I mean first there's the percussionist not of this world. Then there's the Rhoades Scholar-like intelligence that creates and delivers the lyrics the likes of which have never been seen prior or since. Next there's the extremely shy, introverted almost savant-esque being who, until about the mid-nineties had never so much as uttered a word on-camera. So when you combine all those traits, talents, and conditions which was the Neil Peart I thought of when he would come up in conversation, he was almost immortal - and I'm a keyboard player - not even a drummer for Christ's sake!! :lol: :lol:
Now, getting back to what we were discussing about the thought of hearing him use profanity et al... it just seems like he would have to step down - way down - to use that kind of language to express or accentuate a statement given his vast, vast vocabulary. He could come up with 15 other words that would fit so much better and profoundly than any curse word the normal person would use flippantly or off the cuff.

Okay, okay.... enough of that crap! :lol: :lol: But, I think you get what I mean.... (and if so, PLEASE explain it to me 'cause I don't have a fucking clue what I just wrote!) :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby MCM » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:56 am

JRNYMAN wrote:
Liam wrote:Oh...what I meant was Geddy in the documentary. I've heard him cuss before..no biggie. I'm with ya on Pratt, though. I'd probably shit myself if that happened. :lol: :lol:
Not to go all philosophical on this topic but.... Oh what the Hell! Bear with me for a tick... :lol:
My appreciation and respect for Peart is complex. I mean first there's the percussionist not of this world. Then there's the Rhoades Scholar-like intelligence that creates and delivers the lyrics the likes of which have never been seen prior or since. Next there's the extremely shy, introverted almost savant-esque being who, until about the mid-nineties had never so much as uttered a word on-camera. So when you combine all those traits, talents, and conditions which was the Neil Peart I thought of when he would come up in conversation, he was almost immortal - and I'm a keyboard player - not even a drummer for Christ's sake!! :lol: :lol:
Now, getting back to what we were discussing about the thought of hearing him use profanity et al... it just seems like he would have to step down - way down - to use that kind of language to express or accentuate a statement given his vast, vast vocabulary. He could come up with 15 other words that would fit so much better and profoundly than any curse word the normal person would use flippantly or off the cuff.

Okay, okay.... enough of that crap! :lol: :lol: But, I think you get what I mean.... (and if so, PLEASE explain it to me 'cause I don't have a fucking clue what I just wrote!) :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I agree with you on this, I feel like Neil doesn't need to resort to profanity to get his point across. His speech and dialog always seems so carefully thought out and so well delivered that the random "fuck" in the middle of a sentence would really seem out of place. It's always Ged who's throwing out the foul language which also seems out of place as he's so well mannered otherwise.

Further proof they really are human. (hard to believe, I know)
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:25 pm

MCM wrote:Further proof they really are human...
Or are they...? Image Maybe.... Dirk throws in a curse word here and there so as to "appear" as though he thinks like we do. :P :lol: :lol:

Going back to what I said about Neil (I've had to backspace and correct the spelling of Peart's first name 3 times today because I'm so programmed to spelling Schon's! :? :lol: ) not uttering a word, and so on... it reminded me of every show of theirs I attended from the Perm Waves tour on up to about the Hold Your Fire tour in which Alex always had a mic and stand setup for him yet he never said or sang a God damned thing (with the exception of "{{SUBDIVISIONS}}" of course...) But prior to Signals being released, he was pretty much mute up there. I never understood it. :lol: :lol: Seems like HYF was the catalyst that propelled him to start yamming it up. :lol:
Then of course there's the schitzo moment he has during the "Monsters (Reprise)" portion of La Villa which always appears to amuse and surprise the other two based on their reactions and the laughs he gets from them. :lol: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:29 pm

They're machines from the planet Syrinx.
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:35 pm

Liam wrote:They're machines from the planet Syrinx.
Where is this Syrinx you speak of and what other revelations does it hold? :wink: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:41 pm

It is the 3rd planet from the sun as well in the galaxy Mvemjsup. Other revelations there have been keys that plink, and round cans that pound. LOL
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Postby JRNYMAN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:51 pm

Liam wrote:It is the 3rd planet from the sun as well in the galaxy Mvemjsup. Other revelations there have been keys that plink, and round cans that pound. LOL
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Liam » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Can't make this stuff up. :lol:
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Postby MCM » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:03 pm

Liam wrote:It is the 3rd planet from the sun as well in the galaxy Mvemjsup. Other revelations there have been keys that plink, and round cans that pound. LOL


Are there wires that vibrate in the galaxy Mvemjsup?
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Postby Liam » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:40 am

MCM wrote:
Liam wrote:It is the 3rd planet from the sun as well in the galaxy Mvemjsup. Other revelations there have been keys that plink, and round cans that pound. LOL


Are there wires that vibrate in the galaxy Mvemjsup?


Indeed there are. That was the first discovery in that galaxy in the year 2112. (their calendar year is a lot different than ours)
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