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Rush At The NEC Birmingham, 11th September 2004

After an absence of well over 10 years, Canadian trio Rush hit the UK to perform their 30 years anniversary shows. A capacity crowd were entertained to a nice selection of their back catalogue and three cover versions of their favourite songs. The lights dimmed, and the huge LED screen projected animated images from album covers from their long career.

The opening was a medley of older material, and featured such gems as Finding My Way, Anthem and Prelude from Hemispheres. After the crowd cheered away, Geddy Lee took to the mic and the band stormed into Spirit Of Radio. The other two members Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart played immaculate throughout the three hour set, and Geddy Lee just hopped around the stage between verses.

Split in two halves with a break in the middle, classics like Subdivisions, Red Barchetta (which featured The Beatles Day Tripper at the end!!), Red Sector A, Force Ten, The Trees and Roll The Bones were in the first half.. From 2002's Vapour Trails, we had Earthshine featuring some nice pictures on the screen. Ending the set was a cover of The Who's The Seeker.

There was a nice buzz around the NEC Arena during the interval, many peoples voices were saying it is a great show, and saying how long it had been since their last visit. But the second half soon arrived to the power of Tom Sawyer, with Geddy playing keys and bass pedals. The drum solo from Neil Peart got everyone cheering, and the closing part was an old jazz clip from the 50's with Neil joining in with the trumpets and other instruments. Then Alex and Geddy appeared to give Neil a little break with their acoustic guitars.

What came after this was to be the highlight of the evening with the trademark Rush songs. We had By-Tor And The Snow Dog, a 2112 medley, the ultimate classic Xanadu and La Villa Strangiato. The trio ended the second set with Working Man.

The band appeared for the three encores, Crossroads, Summertime Blues, and their own Limelight.

This will go down as a great show, the entrance fee was well worth it, and I feel everyone including myself will hope for their swift return!

Danny Mayo



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