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CLOCKWORK ANGELS TOR
Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
October 28th, 2012
The "Clockwork Angels" Tour spanned from:
September 7th through December 2nd, 2012 and April 18th through August 4th, 2013
|Tour Dates| --- |Set List|
Rush turns back time with Clockwork Angels tour stop at The Q
This has been a really trying political season, so Sunday night offered a welcome respite from wondering whether Gerald Ford can hold off Jimmy Carter and instead head out to the Richfield Coliseum for a good ol' Rush concert.
Yeah, yeah, that was a few years and a different political season ago, but maybe H.G. Wells should have been the promoter for Sunday's visit to The Q by 2013 Rock Hall nominees Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. It felt like stepping out of a time machine and being engulfed by 28 songs out of the band's arsenal of 24 gold and 14 platinum records.
A near-sellout crowd of 8,000 listened as vocalist-bassist, keyboardist Lee, guitarist Lifeson and drummer Peart recreated their youth -- and ours -- rolling through tunes like "Subdivisions,'' "Grand Designs,'' "Force Ten,'' "Territories,'' "The Pass,'' "Clockwork Angels'' and more.
"Big Money,'' only the second song in a night broken down into two sets ("because of our ancient age,'' joked Lee; like Lee, Lifeson is 59, and Peart is the senior citizen at 60), showed that the band hasn't lost an iota of its prowess during a career that began in 1974.
Though everyone in the arena knew what the next two hours would bring, "Big Money'' showcased the complexity of a group that is more than a power trio. The three players are acknowledged as among the best on their instruments. But it's Peart's style of drumming -- kind of a jazzy fusion variation of rock that sounds like an entire drum line instead of a single player -- that has no peer. His syncopated beats and accents are light years beyond the simple backbeats in the usual rock song.
Even in the live shows, Rush is able to almost perfectly mirror the lush arrangements initially created in a studio by virtue of tape, effects and samples via devices and pedals controlled from the stage by the three players. The group's collective insistence on being able to do that offered an added bonus to the mostly late baby boomer crowd: The sound probably was the best ever produced in the acoustically challenging Quicken Loans Arena. In a venue that turns crowd noise into sonic mud during sporting events, notes remained remarkably pure and unadulterated. Even the lush tones from the violas, violins and cellos of the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble, came through like a Snuggie for the ears.
None of this would've made a lick of difference if Lee's high tenor had been ravaged by time, as happens to many rockers. But he remains perfectly capable of hitting each and every note. Truthfully, it may be helped by some of the technological wizardry that is a Rush trademark, but the reality is that you can't build a brick house out of straw.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that we had to wait nine whole songs into the night before the first Peart drum solo, on "Where's My Thing?'' His crossover beats on the snare and a pair of toms while adding 16th notes on the kick drum were more than noise; they truly were music.
That was just a sample of what was to come midway through the 17-song second set (including four encores -- "Tom Sawyer,'' "2112 Part I: Overture,'' "2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx'' and "2112 Part VII: Grand Finale'')
Peart, who bears striking resemblance to the late stone-faced comedic actor Buster Keaton, darn near smiled during that drum solo, made special by his ability to turn beats into melody.
But even if that near-grin was just gas, there were plenty of others among the weary but happy crowd exiting The Q time machine.
-Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer
The following pictures are courtesy of Scott Julian
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