Band Concert Review
Rush, Snakes & Arrows Tour in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Ahoy Sportpalace Rotterdam, The Netherlands October 16 and 17, 2007
Now you see them, now you don't! It took them 12 years to return to Europe for the R30 tour but the response was so overwhelming, the Three Stooges decided to include us for the new round up. Snakes and Arrows, we're back!
Tonight is the first of two being captured for future DVD release. Armed with 10+ camera's and an extensive setting, the power trio makes way to the stage after the hilarious opening movie. "Limelight" is their powerful first strike and makes way for a three hour set list consisting of their most elusive songs, perfectly interlaced by an overview of their latest release, "Snakes & Arrows" marking the return to their celebrated sound of the early eighties. The stage is similar to their R30 setting with a few minor changes. Instead of being backed by dryers, Geddy Lee finds three "Hen House" rotisserie chicken roasters behind him, where Alex Lifeson is surrounded by Barbie groupies, a collection of dinosaurs and a hugh wall of Hughes & Kettner amps.
The first chop of their newer releases is blended into their first section. Jaw dropping performances of the eclectic jewels "Digital Man", "Between the Wheels", the spiritual "Mission" and oldies like "Freewill", "Circumstances" all rushing by full steam. "The Main Monkey Business" proves to grow as a live-tune and "The Larger Bowl" easily matches the likes of "Vapor Trails" classic "Secret Touch." All the tunes are performed with tremendous power and the pleasure of doing so radiates from the band. Never before have I seen Lifeson enjoying himself so much, smiling ear to ear and constantly seeking eye contact with his fans. Geddy runs back and forth while The Professor lays down a rock solid groove and his signature polyrhythmic drum shuffles. Neil Peart participates more and more with the performance and finds time for some pranks during his hard labor drumming. After all these years of performing and recording together, Rush still is a band of brothers.
"Dreamline" leads us into the intermission, followed by a rather large section of "Snakes & Arrows" with no less than five songs starting of with the first single "Far Cry" and a staggering performances of the mighty "Workin' Them Angels" and "Armor And Sword." "Spindrift" and the intimate "The Way The Wind Blows" warp us back to their earlier years with the pompous "Subdivisions" and "Permanent Waves" classic "Natural Science." "Witch Hunt" makes way for another tune from their recent CD with "Malignant Narcissism" opening for Neil Peart's amazing drum-escapades. His solo has been developing over the years with an anatomical construction tying it all together, while adding news tricks and flicks for depth and color. Returning to the giant stage with newby "Hope" to close this electrifying show with classic "The spirit of radio" building up more tension than the crowd can handle. "Tom Sawyer" is introduced by Lil' Rush, the band around the charismatic Eric Cartman. The movie is hilarious and is an excellent crowd pleaser proving the fine tuned feeling for humor of the three Canucks.
Rush is cheered back onto stage for three encores starting off with the pyro loaded "One little victory" and good old "A passage to Bangkok" which is celebrated by the Dutch audience like an anthem. A full frontal rock explosion follows with their cult classic "YYZ" ending the show with another fun video projected on the huge (3) bright screens.
With this mind blowing performance being taped, we will soon be witnessing the best performances of Rush ever on your home cinema set. The tons of cameras used to capture the performance will leave no room for speculations in regards to the outstanding pleasure performing this tightly ran operation. With everything in place, amazing technical effects, such as the huge suspended lighting rigs, and a myriad of colored lights. Descending down to only ten feet from the stage with strobes and rotating spotlights creating a 3-D experience for the viewers. Another exceptionally aspect is the way the band (and technicians) creates an interaction of movies with their music. "Working them Angels" with angelic working class heroes depicted with wings, and "The larger bowl (A pantoum)" showing controversy in views upon the world of rich and poor. All combined with a crisp and energetic sound, created two nights of sheer magic.