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London Wembley Arena, 10 October 2007
The band's second night at Wembley Arena and the first time I have actually managed to get to see the band after two false starts dating back as far as 1989! I could review the concert in a word - WOW! From the opener 'Limelight' through to the closing refrains of 'YYZ' the band played to their peak of their powers.
The show starts with a light hearted video featuring all three members of the band and includes a pastiche on 'Rosemary's Baby'. Throughout the show the three large video screens are used to great effect either showing the band members and their playing from various camera angles or photograph/video clips which complement the song being played at the time.
Unlike other bands who have been going since the 1970's Rush continue to plough new musical furrows and are not afraid to play songs from their latest album, 'Snakes And Arrows' - in fact they play most of the album!
Highlights? Personally speaking hearing 'Spirit Of Radio' played live and watching the crowd go wild was a real hairs on the back of your neck moment. 'Tom Sawyer', complete with a South Park intro and 'Subdivisions' were also delights to hear live, with Geddy Lee using keys and pedals to create the synth sounds of the original.
Of the new songs the instrumental 'The Main Monkey Business', 'Workin' Them Angels' and 'The Way The Wind Blows' all sounded as though they had been in the set list for years.
Then we have Neil Peart's drum solo - to be honest once you've witnessed this all other drum solos pale into comparison even the mighty Carl Palmer and Cozy Powell (RIP). Peart used two kits on a rotating drum riser with the second kit being linked to a more electronic drum sound.
I could have watched him for longer such was the skill he shows - there was even some neat jazz drumming. Geddy Lee was in good form vocally and he doesn't need to work a crowd like other frontmen have to as Rush fans are on the band's side from the off.
Alex Lifeson's guitar playing was a treat to behold especially as you could see him playing 'Spirit Of Radio' and his dexterous finger tapping.
One of the best gigs I have seen in many a year and Rush are a band every rock fan should go and see at least once in their lifetime, they really are that good. One thing still puzzles me though why they had three chicken rotisseries on the stage next to Neil Peart's drum riser - any ideas anyone?
Setlist (thanks to Ian Pollard)
The Main Monkey Business
The Larger Bowl
Between The Wheels
Workin’ Them Angels
Armor And Sword
The Way The Wind Blows
Distant Early Warning
The Spirit of Radio
Tom Sawyer (with South Park intro)
One Little Victory
A Passage to Bangkok
Review by Jason Ritchie
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