REVIEW WRITTEN BY ROB NAGY
For Digital First Media
It could well have been the early 80’s, when Rock and Roll Hall of Famers “Rush” routinely played multiple sellout shows at the now demolished Spectrum in South Philly.
Tailgating fans filled the parking lots, car stereos blasted classic Rush songs, and the scent of beer, contraband and food filled the air. Fans bonded with one another right up until show time.
Decades later, in the twilight of their storied career, Rush returned to South Philly on a recent Thursday night, this time to the Wells Fargo Center, to celebrate 40 years of music history.
One of the few bands whose most prominent enduring line-up (Geddy Lee (vocals and bass), Neil Peart (drums) and Alex Lifeson (guitar)) remains intact, Rush did not disappoint.
Playing host to a capacity crowd of predominantly middle-aged fans, many garbed in band T-shirts, the trio was greeted with ear deafening applause, whistles and cheers as the curtain was drawn and they launched into their opening number.
The thunderous bass playing of Lee, masterfully delivered guitar riffs from Lifeson and the elaborate drumming of Peart led the band from song to song with flawless precision.
Male fans could be seen throughout the evening playing air drums as they watched Peart in awe, especially during his lengthy, mind-blowing drum solo.
Throughout the concert, random videos projected behind the band were interspersed with an elaborate laser light show offering an awesome array of patterns and a sea of colors, merging seamlessly with the music and elevating the visual experience.
Set one featured “The Anarchist,” “Clockwork Angels,” “Headlong Flight” (with Drumbastica mini drum solo), “Far Cry,” “The Main Monkey Business,” “One Little Victory,” “Animate,” “Roll The Bones” (with celebrity rappers video),
“Distant Early Warning” and “Subdivisions.”
Following a lengthy intermission, the second half of the show featured “Tom Sawyer,” “YYZ,” “The Spirit of Radio,” “Natural Science,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres – Prelude,” “Cygnus X-1 Book One – The Voyage: Prologue,” Drum Solo, “Cygnus X-1 Book One – The Voyage: Part 3,” “Closer To The Heart,” “Xanadu” and “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx/Presentation/Grand Finale.”
The evening closed with an extended encore of “Lakeside Park.” “Anthem, “What You’re Doing” and “Working Man” (Garden Road riff at the end).
Leaving fans drained and exhausted from another memorable Rush concert Lee, Peart and Lifeson left the crowd in a frenzied state as they exited stage left.
Rush continues their U.S. tour through August 1st when they wind things down at the Forum in Los Angeles.