Words + Photos by B51Photography / Mark Brown
“You never know what is going to happen, so why take the chance? If this truly is it, then I am not going to miss it, ” said Max Matern, a 51-year-old Rush fan from New Jersey.
That sentiment alone was going through everyone’s minds as they entered The Prudential Center in Newark on June 27th. Celebrating their 40th year of playing together, bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy Lee , guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart are on one last tour of this magnitude, the 40th Anniversary Tour. To many of the fans, this is simply the farewell tour, but to the diehard Rush fans, this cannot be accepted.
Rush is the last of a certain generation of bands, that still remain intact with the original members – a rarity for pretty much anything these days. So it is without great surprise that it is a packed house on this night.
The first set, labeled “ The World Is…The World Is,” featured material from their most recent album, Clockwork Angels, all the way back to 1982’s Signals.
The concert kicked off with the “The Anarchist,” and then right into a bevy of songs going back in time. In one of the funnier moments of the night, Rush enlisted the help of “celeb” friends to lip-sync the rap video portion for “Roll the Bones”. Rush resident celebs Jason Segel and Paul Rudd made the cut, as well as Jay Baruchel, The Trailer Park Boys, Tom Morello, Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and most importantly, Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones fame.
In a surprise move, Rush then brought to the stage violinist Jonathan Dinklage, the brother of Peter Dinklage, for “Losing It”, from Signals. It’s a powerful song from Rush, and an even more powerful moment as Rush has never really asked another musician to join them on stage.
The second set, dubbed “No Country for Old Hens”, had fans in a frenzy over the opening arena rocker, “Tom Sawyer”. The next couple of songs came from the most popular era of Rush, including “The Camera Eye”, “The Spirit of Radio” and “Jacobs Ladder”. The heart of the second half of the show centered around Cygnus X-1 and 2112 before closing out with a four-song encore.
If this really is Rush’s last tour, I salute them. To accomplish what they have as friends and musicians for 40-plus years is simply amazing. This show will be remembered as one of the tour’s highlight performances.
SET 1: THE WORLD IS..THE WORLD IS
The Main Monkey Business
How It Is
Roll The Bones
Between the Wheels
SET 2: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD HENS
The Camera Eye
The Spirit of Radio
Cygnus X1 Book Two: Hemispheres Prelude
Cygnus X1 Book One: The Voyage: Prologue
Cygnus X1 Book One The Voyage: Part 3
Closer to the Heart
2112 Overture / The Temples of Syrinx / Presentation / Grand Finale
What You’re Doing
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