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Sleep Country Amphitheater - Portland, Oregon (Ridgefield, Washington)
TIME MACHINE TOR PICTURES
June 28th, 2011
The "Time Machine 2010-11" Tour spanned from June 29th through October 17th, 2010 and March 30th through July 2nd, 2011
| Tour Dates | --- | Set List | --- | Tour Book |
"Band Knows Its Place as Object of Worship Among Hardcore Fans"
Rush is one of those bands that has generated a special kind of fan base, one filled with, as one concertgoer so aptly put it after their three-plus hour set at the Sleep Country Amphitheater on Tuesday night, "people who play music or are complete nerds."
In the former camp were the many young and old men who played air drums along with the entire concert (with surprising accuracy, I hasten to add) and debated the effects of bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson not using amplifiers anymore (they go right through the PA these days).
The latter were those who followed the almost 40-year history of the band closely enough to know all the words to the two new songs Rush sprinkled into their set list from their unfinished 19th album and knew that the trio would close out the night with the one-two punch of the self-indulgent instrumental "La Villa Strangiato" and one of the band's earliest tracks, "Working Man."
In other words: lifer rock fans.
Rush obviously knows their place as an object of worship and knows what these mostly male acolytes want to hear from them: as many classics as possible, an extensive Neil Peart drum solo, and any chance for Lifeson and Lee to show off their prodigious instrumental prowess.
To that cause, the band didn't disappoint. Apart from the occasional diversion into newer material, they stuck with the rock standards, including "Subdivisions," "The Spirit Of Radio," and the opening sections of their epic album "2112." Peart got 15 minutes to vamp on his enormous kit, and his bandmates threw in their own bits of fleet-fingered fireworks.
They also left nothing to chance. The live mix was audibly sweetened by invisible backing vocalists, acoustic guitar lines and other instrumental tidbits. TelePrompTers on stage fed Lee his lyrics. And Lee's synthesizers had small stickers on the keys to let him know where to place his fingers.
Who wouldn't forgive Rush these little indulgences? They freely admit their growing age. Right before the 30-minute intermission that split up the set, Lee said, "Since we're 100 years old, we have to take a short break." And this was, after all, a stadium show with triple-digit ticket prices and an elaborate stage set-up that involved multiple video screens and pyrotechnics. Near perfection was darn near a requirement.
And considering the level of fandom the band was surrounded with -- the woman with the "star man" from the "2112" album cover tattooed on her arm, the gent with the RUSHHHH custom license plate hanging around his neck, the many people who doled out $100 for their own Rush baseball jersey -- they could have gotten away with much, much more.
-Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune
The following photos from the June 28th, 2011 Portland, OR (Ridgefield, WA) show are courtesy of Daria DeBuono