Rush levels Red Rocks with three hours of power and precision
The second clip featured a similar emphasis on time travel, with Rush cycling through different iterations as fictional characters played havoc with a time machine. In the clip, the trio played "Tom Sawyer" as caricatures of their '70s selves; as cavemen; as babies; and as apes. Huge props that looked like relics from some Industrial Revolution warehouse served as real-time "Gefilters." A stream of fake sausage emerged from a pipe at one end, and actors would periodically come out to dump food items into the faux machines.
The bizarre scenery served as a framework for an epic set, one that covered the gamut of Rush's storied career. The first set included live versions of 1989's "Presto," 1993's "Stick It Out" and 2007's "Workin' Them Angels." Older material, like 1980's "The Spirit of Radio" and "Free Will," also figured into the first set, as did entirely new material such as "I Was Brought Up to Believe."
The trio offered well-rehearsed, faithful performances during the first half of the concert, following album patterns for the dizzying stretches of modal-based melodies and the dense stints of soaring solos. Lifeson switched between several guitars, favoring Les Pauls, but also put in some work on a Telecaster and even switched instruments for a brief solo on the bazouki. Lee, meanwhile, favored a single bass to coax out his rapid-fire lines, accompaniment that often took on a lead role and reminded the crowd why the bassist played such a formative role in the sound of musicians like Les Claypool.
Peart's drumming was consummate: His massive drum kit offered a vast array of textures and sounds, and his furious attacks typified the best styles of his generation. It's a dense, percussive sound that recalls the work of Peart's contemporary masters like Terry Bozzio, but one that also hints at jazz giants like Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa.