Clockwork Angels Tour

Rush

The thick sounding double punch of the keyboard-bleeding "Subdivisions" into "Big Money" opens Rush's 2013 live release (Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD) Clockwork Angels Tour. Not that anyone would ever need any confirmation of what an amazing drummer he is, but Neal Peart absolutely kills it on "Grand Designs" from 1985's Power Windows album, while the loud guitar of Alex Lifeson drives "Territories."

The riff-tastic "Analog Kid" is here, proving that Rush really does rock hard with the breakneck speed playing and that thick keyboard-laden chorus. The power ballad "Bravado" and instrumental "Where's My Thing" from 1991's Roll The Bones reveal how revered Peart is as he gets a drum solo in this early on in the proceedings. It's a tom roll mash-up of a thing with a consistent triggered, low-bell sound, the usual hard snare, and Peart's amazing footwork in a punctual solo moment.

The set features many songs from Rush's 2012 studio release Clockwork Angels: the heavy, eastern-influenced "Caravan," the flangy title track with those Geddy Lee keyboard spikes from his foot pedals, Peart pushing the whole band on "The Anarchist." Lee's bass playing is truly fantastic, not to mention he's singing all the while. The heavy and plotting "Carnies" catapults through as does the equally bass-tastic "Headlong Flight," the drum-dominated "Drumbastica," "The Wreckers" and Alex Lifeson's trilling high-end solo at the beginning of "Peke's Repose (Guitar Solo) Halo Effect)."

Lifeson picks through the beginning of "Dreamline" which goes into Peart's percussion solo instrumental "The Percussor," which features the drummer playing to keys, very inventive stuff to be sure that flows perfectly into those big Lifeson power chords of "Red Sector A." For older Rush fans, "YYZ," "The Spirit Of Radio," "Tom Sawyer" and the truncated "2112" medley are what keeps them coming back. Lifeson is just on fire throughout and "Tom Sawyer" is as big and chunky as always, with Lee's range at a slightly lower timbre than on the original from Moving Pictures.

A big hall echo is heard on the soundcheck recording of the band's run through of "Limelight," another spot on recreation, though Lee saves his voice here and doesn't sing the higher parts. "Middletown Pass," another one from Power Windows, has Lee's vocals on the mark, while the stirring ballad "The Pass" and "Manhattan Project" end the set. Not that we probably need another live release from Rush, but Clockwork Angels Tour is yet another spectacular notch from a band that shows no sign of stopping.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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