Rush, one of the greatest live bands of all time, is on tour this summer. The tour is called the “Time Machine” tour and I got the chance to catch their show at USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City on August 5, 2010. I really hate the traffic and parking situation at USANA Amphitheatre and I avoid going to any concerts there because of that. It takes a special band like Rush to get me to brave the traffic nightmare of USANA Amphitheatre.
As usual the night began with the aweful traffic jam to USANA. Having a single road servicing all those parking lots is just horrible for traffic flow. We finally got parked in a dirt lot and hiked down to the Amphitheatre. In all fairness, once inside USANA Amphitheatre it’s not so bad. The grass is in great shape and we found a perfect spot to watch the show.
The concert began with a hilarious video of Alex, Geddy and Neal dressed up and playing characters in a restaurant. The video featured a band called Rash who had three members playing accordion, tuba and drums. Nobody liked the sound Rash had so Alex, who was dressed in a fat suit, whipped out a machine that warped the bands sound. He kept dialing it in until the band sounded like Rush. He then said “Never press this button” which he then pressed and the machine warped the actual band Rush to the stage and the show was on!
The video segued perfectly into Rush playing Spirit Of Radio for their first song. The stage which was all decked out like a complex time machine was very visually stunning. There were no amplifiers visible as they were integrated into the elaborate time machine stage set. The stage was fascinating to look at while the band rocked on Rush classic after Rush classic.
The high tech lighting rig was also spectacular and featured high intensity LED arrays. The lights moved every direction giving the audience an excellent visual show as well. The stage show also featured pyrotechnics and fog. At the back of the stage was an absolutely beautiful HD LED screen that broadcast video of the band as well as animated videos that were synchronized to the music. I was very well pleased with how amazing the stage was.
The band played as good or better than I’ve ever heard them. They were tight and perfectly in sync with each other. You can tell that they’ve been playing together for many years. The only signs of aging are some wrinkles and a bit more thickness around the middle for Alex and Neal. Geddy looks trim, fit and very athletic. The only other sign that this wonderful band is getting older is with Geddy’s vocals. He struggled with some high notes in the course of the night. They were still able to play their classics but it does make me wonder how many more years Geddy will be able to pull of the entire Rush catalog live. At least he hasn’t slipped like poor Robert Plant.
Rush played two sets of music rather than having an opening band. That’s fine with me because the more Rush I can hear at a Rush concert the better. The band took a 25 minute break in the middle of the show and came back onstage to perform the entire Moving Pictures album from start to finish. It was excellent to hear them play the entire album in sequence and for me it was the highlight of the show. I’ve always loved the Moving Pictures album.
As for the inevitable drum solo, yes Neal Peart played his drum solo. I have to tell you that I rarely pay attention to drum solo’s anymore. They bore the life out of me. But Neal Peart isn’t just any drummer as I’m sure you all know. He plays his drums much more from a musical standpoint than a standard drummer does. I was honestly riveted to Neal’s drum solo and enjoyed every second of it. It was long but it was so filled with musicality that it was like listening to a well composed song. Good on ya Neal!
Rush also played two new, unreleased songs titled “BU2B (“Brought Up to Believe”) and “Caravan.” They are hard rocking Rush songs and feature loads of excellent guitar. The songs fit very well with all the classics that Rush were playing on this night.
It was a great show and I’m very glad I went to see Rush playing live once again. The show was so good it made the nightmare of getting out of USANA’s parking madness a little more bearable.
Rush – August 5, 2010 Salt Lake City Set List
The Spirit of Radio
Time Stand Still
Stick it Out
Workin’ Them Angels
Leave That Thing Alone
The Camera Eye
Neal Peart drum solo
Alex Lifeson acoustic guitar solo
Closer to the Heart
Temples of Syrinx
La Villa Strangiato
Performance time: 3 hours, 10 minutes (with a 25-minute intermission)