Tuesday, 17 May 2011

'Time Machine' Tour

Last evening was spent at the Motorpoint Arena here in Sheffield for a concert by Rush, a Canadian band who've been recording since 1974 and whom I've been following since my teens. It was the first time I'd been to a concert at the Arena, and I have to say it's an impressive space. My only quibble would be the 25 minute wait to be served at the t-shirt stand, but otherwise a great venue.

Unlike many bands Rush are not touring a new album at the moment - they've got one in the pipeline, but are waiting to complete this tour before putting the finishing touches to 'Clockwork Angels'. Having said that, they did include two tracks from the forthcoming album: 'BU2B' and 'Caravan', both of which were released as a single last year.

The main purpose of the tour is to mark the 30th anniversary of their classic 1981 album 'Moving Pictures', and part 2 of the show began with them playing this album in full. The rest of the set included songs from across their repertoire, from their eponymous first album to their last release 'Snakes and Arrows', all of which were performed with skill and energy by consumate professionals. The lighting was complimentary and at times spectacular, as were the occasional pyrotechnics, and the set was punctuated and illustrated with video footage performed by band members and animation sequences. If I had one complaint it would be that it was a bit loud, but then this is an old man talking!

Highlights for me: Spirit of Radio, YYZ, the opening sections of 2112 and La Villa Strangiato as the first part of the encore. A great night, with a great band!

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