Friday, 27 May 2011

Gig Review: Rush @ The O2 Arena 25/5/11

Rush - 'Time Machine' Tour 2011

Never cool, always geeky...
Firstly, the epic set list:

First Set:
1) The Spirit Of Radio
2) Time Stand Still
3) Presto
4) Stick It Out
5) Workin' Them Angels
6) Leave That Thing Alone
7) Faithless
8) BU2B
9) Freewill
10) Marathon
11) Subdivisions

Second Set:
12) Tom Sawyer
13) Red Barchetta
14) YYZ
15) Limelight
16) The Camera Eye
17) Witch Hunt
18) Vital Signs
19) Caravan
20) Drum Solo
21) Closer To The Heart
22) 2112 Part 1: Overture
23) 2112 Part 2: The Temples Of Syrinx

24) La Villa Strangiato
25) Working Man

It's amazing to think that after 40 years, the band that was rejected by critics in their early (and sometimes even later) stages, could still pull together 23,000 people for a two and a half hour show comprising of their greatest hits and 'Moving Pictures' in it's entirety. But, once again, Rush are proving their critics wrong and in spectacular style. Even in the charmless and corporate O2 Arena they still manage to pull off something that no other band in the world can. 

The 'wizards'
Opening with 'The Spirit Of Radio' (arguably their most 'radio friendly' song to date), Rush immediately hook the 20,000 strong crowd with their passion, energy and enthusiasm. Despite nearing bus pass age, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart (or Pe-art, i shall explain later) show no signs of slowing down. The first set comprises of their greatest hits, including the thought provoking 'Faithless' and crowd favourite 'Freewill'.  They also provide a treat with two new songs from their forthcoming album 'Clockwork Angels', the first of these being the sublime BU2B, an album that Neil Peart has quoted as being his 'best lyrical and melodic achievement to date', can't wait for that! The final song of the first set 'Subdivisions' closes what would have been, for most bands, an entire set. 

After a short intermission, we are treated to a performance of  'Moving Pictures' in it's entirety. Flawlessly performed, 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Limelight' being crowd favourite's as always. Then it is on to the second airing of their new material, this time it is the turn of 'Caravan' which gets almost the same reaction from the crowd as the likes of  'Tom Sawyer' and 'The Spirit Of Radio'. We then saw the master at work; Neil Peart's drum solo. He truly is the best; not just for his technical skills, but for the effortless ease with which he hits each drum. The whole audience was mesmerised. The beautiful 'Closer To The Heart' provides the crowd with a good chance to sing along, bring some (including myself) close to tears. Then it is on to, there's no other word for it, epic stylings of  two songs from '2112'. Finally, the encore. It came all too soon, and marked the end of the show of a lifetime. 'La Villa Strangiato' is the first, the song which all musicians aspire to play. No note missed, everything is pitch perfect. Then, onto an odd but enjoyable reggae version of 'Working Man'.

Then, all too soon it is time for the gig to be over and for us to leave. But not before we've been treated to this:

Rating: 10/10


  1. That was a nice review to read there Sarah! :-)

    I'm still trying to get to terms with the gig myself.. it's still needs to sink in lol.

    I loved the set and as i said the on the night, they played everything i hoped they would. My jaw dropped at Pearts solo too which is also worth a mention. I think he's raised the bar for any other drum solo that i see in a gig from now on.

    I don't know how they all do it really, especially for their age, they play with more energy and precision than some bands a lot younger.

    They've always fought hard to go against popular trends and do what they want without control from record companies. Despite being criticized for it in their early days, i think they've come out on top and have had longevity. I still think they have enough steam in them yet too if their new songs are anything to go by. It's probably going to be one of their heaviest records, so their not going easy listening as most people would expect.

    Terrific stuff and well done on the review! :-)

  2. Oops! Haha was so caught up i forgot to mention Peart's drum solo! Consider it mentioned :)

    As i said, they're almost at retirement age and they're still going. I hope i have their energy when i'm their age lol.

  3. I love Rush and I love this, hoping that when they release Clockwork Angels I'll be able to see them again, if they tour it. Last time I saw them they did the South Park skit at the beginning, eeeeeveryone was laughing xD