What a career these guys already have had; 17 studio albums, several live albums and also a few compilations, that sold more than 30 million copies world wide. Live they have always been top notch and if you have never been to a Rush gig then you really missed something in your life. I have been a fan of the band form the very beginning. I bought their debut album Rush in 1974 when I was 13 years young and I have followed Alex, Neal and Geddy all through the years as these guys seemed to improve musically over the years like no other band. Albums like 2112, Moving Pictures, Hold Your Fire and Presto are true rock classics and should belong in every worthwhile rockcollection. As for live performances I first saw Rush on Pinkpop in 1979, where they played almost the entire Hemispheres album and later on I saw them on during the Presto-tour. However it has been 10 years since I last saw them and so I was really looking forward to their 30th anniversary European tour. I was really curious what they were going to play and I must say that the set list was amazing although I could have done without the covers (The Seeker, Heart Full Of Soul, Summertime Blues and Crossroads). Instead they could better have played a few songs from Presto, an album that has been completely ignored on this tour……..

Alex, Geddy and Neal (sometimes) were really enjoying themselves on stage and the show was amazing, featuring archive videos and animated rather funny cartoons on widescreens. But the music did the talking and what a perfect music show it was: 3 hours and 20 minutes of the best progressive rock music in the world (I know I am not objective here!). They kicked off with an outstanding instrumental medley of songs form the first 6 albums, played in chronological order by the way. So I marveled about Finding My Way (Rush, 1974), Anthem (Fly By Night, 1975), Bastille Day (Caress Of Steel, 1975), A Passage To Bangkok (2112,1976), Cygnus X-1 (A Farewell To Kings, 1977) and Hemispheres (1978).The Spirit Of Radio opened set 1 and further highlights of that set were Subdivisions (from Signals), truly out of this world, Earthshine (Vapour Trails), the instrumental classic Yyz (Moving Pictures) and one of my old time favorites The Trees (Hemispheres).

During the 20 minutes break I could recapture my breath, but in no time Rush re-started with set 2 and an absolute audience favorite Tom Sawyer. Surprising songs in set two were: Between The Wheels (from Grace Under Pressure) and the acoustic version of Resist (Test For Echo). Of course tracks like the 2112-Medley (inclusive The Grand Finale), By Tor And The Snow Dog and Xanadu (brilliant) could not be omitted in the set list. The encores were: 2 covers (why??) and the breathtakingly beautiful Limelight. Three hours and twenty minutes went by in a jiffy; as for me they could have played for three hours more! Rush rules!! And, oh, yes, what did I miss? Natural Science, Camera Eye, The Necromancer, Jacob's Ladder, Manhattan Project, Free Will and The Big Money…. Maybe next time?

Review: Martien Koolen,

(C)2004 RockUnited.com