Tuesday, 28 May 2013

RUSH - LG Arena - Birmingham

Once again RUSH proved just why they are the greatest band in the world! Starting off with Subdivisions right through to 2112 the sound and set list was perfect.
The tour is in support of their latest album 'Clockwork Angels' which has instantly become one of my favourites. The tour started September 7, 2012 in Manchester,New Hampshire, and is scheduled to end August 4, 2013 in Kansas City Missouri. Some 56 shows including the European leg each one around 4 hours duration.
I've said many times before how amazing it is that 3 guys can make so much noise! In a constructive way of course, how Geddy Lee manages to sing, play Bass and keyboards is a complete mystery??
The LG Arena was packed to the rafters and I was a mere four rows back from centre stage. As you would expect from RUSH you get the whole package, incredible light show, intro and outro videos , massive screen displays and the usual humour.
The tour is notable for featuring an eight-piece "Clockwork Angels String Ensemble", marking the first time the band has toured with accompanying musicians aside from opening acts. It is easy to see why Neil Peart is widely heralded as the greatest drummer in the world. Effortless is the word that springs to mind and we were treated to three drum solos in total.
For me Alex lifeson should be much higher than the current ranking of98th in Rolling Stone Magazines list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He is an integral part of the unique RUSH sound that is so instantly recognisable.
The only word to sum up Geddy Lee is 'Genius' simple as that.
It's hard to believe at times that next year both Geddy and Alex will be joining Neil in the 60 plus age group! On tonight's evidence there is no sign of them retiring just yet.
One of the highlights was that 4 songs from 1985's 'Power Windows' were played. This is probably my favourite album and the first RUSH album I ever purchased. Although having said that 1984's 'Grace Under Pressure' comes a close second.
In total there were 9 tracks from the 'Clockwork Angels' album.
The show itself was split across 2 sets.

Set 1 
  • Subdivisions
  • The Big Money
  • Force 10
  • Grand Designs
  • Middletown Dreams
  • Territories
  • Analog Kid
  • The Pass
  • Wheres my thing (with drum solo)
  • Far Cry
Set 2 With Clock Angels String Ensemble

  • Caravan
  • Clockwork Angels
  • The Anarchist
  • Carnies
  • The Wreckers
  • Headlong Flight (with drum solo)
  • Halo Effect (with guitar solo)
  • Wish them well
  • The Garden
  • Dreamline
  • The Percussor (drum solo)
  • Red Sector A
  • YYZ
  • The Spirit of Radio
  • Tom Sawyer
  • 2112 Overture
  • Temples of Syrinx
  • Grand Finale


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Stratford Upon Avon - May Bank Holiday

A Bank Holiday and glorious sunshine ! A rare combination indeed and far too nice to stay at home. What started out as a trip to Broadway in The Cotswolds ended up with a diversion to Leamington Spa. It seemed that we were not the only ones with the plan to have an away day and the roads were a nightmare. Salvation came in the form of the 'Park 'n' Ride' and we thankfully abandoned the car. All was fine until the bus broke down.... A quick transfer to a fully functioning bus and we were on our way again. In the Square there was a large gathering of vintage motorbikes and a mixture of classic and sports cars. All sorts of stuff on show including the £200,000 Mclaren P1 Sports car and various Aston Martins. Enjoyed looking at the old Triumph motorbikes especially the 'Bonneville'. After all this horsepower it was time fir a relaxing meander along the riverbank and some peace and tranquility. It seemed half of the midlands folk also had that idea , it was rammed! Still nice to see RSC theatre in sunlight for once and all the craft that had taken to the water. The lethal combination of too much sun and beer led to it's inevitable outcme as we witnessed a fight break out. Thankfully the local constabulary soon had the situation under control again.