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Concert Review: RUSH At First Niagara Center

Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson (facebook)

Last night I went to see RUSH, a band that I have been following for around 36 years or so. The current line-up of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson have been together for a little over 38 years. How many bands have that kind of longevity?

There was no opening act at last night’s concert. These guys really don’t need one. As the ticket states, it is “an evening with RUSH”. The show started promptly at 7:30 and the band launched into “Subdivisions”. All it took was the first few chords of that tune and the crowd was on its feet. Their first set was ten songs and included: The Big Money, Force Ten, Grand Designs, Limelight (Tour Premiere) and ended with Far Cry.

After a fifteen minute intermission, RUSH stepped onto the stage with their Clockwork Angels String Ensemble and began their second set with Caravan, followed up by the Clockwork Angels (title track from the new CD). As they continued with the newer material, you could feel the crowd was a bit more subdued, most likely with not knowing the new songs.

Later in the set Neil Peart did one of his amazing drum solos, proving to everyone in attendance that he is probably the greatest living rock drummer on the planet. And at 60 years old, this man shows no signs of slowing down. He plays with fierce energy, discipline and the highest level of musicianship. No one else plays the drums as well as Neil Peart.

After the drum solo, the band featured some more familiar material: Red Sector A, YYZ, and set closer, The Spirit Of Radio. These songs energized the audience and brought everyone to their feet..They were soon back on the stage with their encore consisting of Tom Sawyer, 2112 Part I: Overture, 2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx, and 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale. The concert was about three hours long and thoroughly enjoyable. I spoke with some fans who were slightly disappointed that they did not hear their favorite RUSH song, but it would be impossible for the band to please every fan.

I have seen these guys probably ten times over the past 36 years and the one thing I noticed last night is how they seem to be truly enjoying each others company on the stage. They are three very like-able guys. They seem like you could sit down and have a beer with them. Thank you Geddy, Neil and Alex for giving Buffalo a fantastic night of music.

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