Rush at Target Center, 9/24/12
|Photo by Steve Cohen|
Target Center, Minneapolis
Monday, September 24, 2012
When the Toronto prog trio last visited us at the Minnesota State Fair a couple years ago, if they were hinting that the rest of their touring career's set lists would involve bouncing around their back catalog, then last night's three-hour performance at the Target Center really drove the point home. Their random shuffle time machine of 43 years of music took unpredictable twists and turns during the particularly synth-laden first half of the night. The band's '80s music provided a vintage impression of sounds that once came across as futuristic.
Sparking thing off with a Rush staple "Subdivisions" -- with its heavy keyboards and prog jazz-like changes -- the band introduced a theme that's common in drummer Neil Peart's lyrics. They typically focus on individualism and aspects of society, nature and culture -- ideas that wove through songs that were intermixed from the band's underrated Hold Your Fire from 1987, Power Windows and Grace Under Pressure from '85 and '84 respectively.
|Photos by Steve Cohen|
Visual production met new levels, as they always have been an important part of the show. This time, while the same Rush cornball wit was ever-present, there was a much more concentrated and serious tone as the band fleshed out music they hadn't played in years.
With "The Big Money" and "Force Ten," which is steeped in keyboards but driven by Geddy's relentless bass progression, Rush dusted off a new appreciation for the band's technology driven era. What once was pioneering now sounded dated in a sense. Though with the different samplings being reintroduced, since we hadn't heard these songs peformed live in a long time actually inspired a reexamination of the material.
"Hard to Believe Signals is 30 years old now," Geddy sighed introducing "Analog Kid" which really bridges the band's original progressive rock roots with enveloping keyboard washes that were echoed visually by the amazing light display and stage setting which looked like an old science fiction mad professor's laboratory stocked with a large brain encased in bubbling glass and a gigantic popcorn machine, labeled "Corny."