Rush at The 02
Legendary Canadian rock titans Rush embarked on their Clockwork Angels World Tour back in September 2012. Tonight sees the band come to London for just one show, but what a show it is. Given that they’ve been going for the best part of four decades, Rush’s back catalogue is – to put it in modern lingo – super-sized. For this evening, the adherents of Rush are treated to a mammoth three-hour set, fulfilling frontman Geddy Lee’s early prediction: “We’ve brought with us far too many songs!”
It’s the lively keyboard throbs of Subdivisions that initiates the proceedings and within moments the extent of Rush’s aim to entertain is revealed. The stage is crammed with amusing props (brains in jars and popcorn machines), the suspended lighting rig ascends and descends, and the enormous drum kit revolves. But that’s all nothing compared to the gigantic high-definition video screen and its loopy visuals that are probably viewable from Canary Warf, let alone the back of the 02 Arena.
Of course, fancy toys don’t build careers and unsurprisingly it’s Rush’s collective musicianship that is the real star tonight. The proficiency of guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart is exhibited throughout: in the first hour, they deliver tracks like The Body Electric and The Analogue Kid with such pizzazz you’d be forgiven for forgetting they were written almost thirty years ago. Soon after, amid a wash of pyro, Where’s My Thing? and Fry Cry bring the first half of the set to a close.
Following the interval, Rush return to deliver tracks from 2012’s Clockwork Angels, with the added presence of an eight-piece string ensemble that makes the likes of Caravan, The Anarchist, and Carnies, truly astounding live. The latter’s frenetic ending is made even more rapturous with a blitz of fire, spark showers, and mini rockets. From then on, it’s just a case of how many crowd pleasers they can fit in, with The Spirit of Radio, Tom Sawyer and the crowning jewel 2112 eventually capping off a marvel of a show.
For further information and future events visit Rush’s website here.
Watch the video for 2112 here: