Rush celebrated 40 years of music with an epic performance that spanned their entire catalog to a capacity crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The performance by Rush at the Palace was outstanding. Alex Lifeson (guitar), Geddy Lee (bass), and Neil Peart (percussion) gave the fans their hearts wrapped in music. The adoration of the crowd was palpable. The emotional intensity generated by the audience could have lit the stage. The electric pulse of music played by these gifted musicians resonated through everyone.
The show featured over three hours of music with two sets and an extended encore. If the fans had it their way, Rush would still be playing at this moment. All of this captivating music was encased in a dazzling light show with a few choice pyrotechnics. Large video screens provided some exceptional close shots of the band in action. The audio quality at the Palace was superb with a great mix and enough volume to let the audience know they were at a concert without destroying eardrums.
Rush took the audience on a journey back in time during the show. Each song pushed back further into the band’s extensive catalog of music. As the music moved backwards in time, so too did the stage settings. Gigantic stacks of amps giving way to the early days of a single amp with a mic laying across the speaker.
The first set rang in with “The Anarchist,” “The Wreckers,” and “Headlong Flight” off their Clockwork Angels album. Geddy mentioned it was tough to put together a set list from so much material. However, he did say that “Our Little Victory” was one tune that the band agreed needed to be in the set.
During “Roll The Bones,” a video played with actors Peter Dinklage, Jason Segel, and Paul Rudd along with Tom Morello and Les Claypool handling the rap section of the tune. This received many cheers from the audience and showed that everyone loves Rush. They closed out the first set with “Subdivisions” from the Signals album in all of its 80’s synthesiser glory.
There was a short intermission that ended with a video called “No Country For Old Hens.” This was hilarious as it consisted of a series of outtakes from Rush videos mixed into a bad dream sequence. Geddy as a Scotsman in search of chicken was classic. The video sequence climaxed with the South Park kids as Lil Rush playing “Tom Sawyer,” which segued to the curtains rising and Rush kicking into the same tune.
The second set continued the retrospective with the band playing the technically challenging “Prelude” from Hemispheres and “Cygnus X-1” off of A Farewell to Kings with ease. Neil Peart demonstrated why he is a legend in the world of percussion with a fantastic drum solo. Both of these songs are masterpieces of progressive rock and the fans loved it. They also played “Xanadu” with everyone in the audience singing the chorus.
Rush concluded their second set with choice cuts from 2112 which included “Overture,” “Temples of Syrinx,” “Presentation,” and “Grand Finale.” The guitar and bass playing on “Presentation” was phenomenal. It embodied the emotional core and musical talent that runs so very deep in this band. Even after so many years, these songs continue to inspire and impress.
With a “Thank You, DETROIT!” Rush headed off stage. A video segment with SCTV’s Mel Slirrup introducing Rush as openers on the Rock Pile show drew cheers and many laughs. His commentary that the band needs a couple of more members as “three guys does not a rock band make” was comic gold. The band then returned for an encore that included “Lakeside Park” and a supercharged version of “Anthem.” They closed out the show with the seminal “Working Man.”
A brief video montage of the band exiting the stage and more Rush comedy with some backstage antics wrapped up a wonderful evening of fabulous music from Rush. Everyone left the show completely saturated with the greatest gift someone can give: music.