By <a href="mailto:email@example.com">James Reaney</a> - Sun Media
Original Article - <a href="http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/R/Rus ... 92479.html" target="_new">Click Here</a>
Posted From - <a href="http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/" target="_new">JAM! Music<a>
Rush knew just how to take its time last night at the John Labatt Centre.
Two sets. More than 25 songs. Thousands of Rush riffs to crunch on target before the concert's end.
"We're going to take a wee break -- just a quick heart transplant and we'll be right back," the Canadian rock superstars' bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee told the crowd of 8,700 fans jamming the arena as the first set ended.
These days, Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart are touring to support Snakes & Arrows (Anthem/Universal).
Lifeson just turned 54. Lee and Peart also are in their 50s. They have spent more than 30 years together in the band and sold more than 35 million recordings worldwide.
With fans on the floor standing all night to cheer Rush on, the band opened with Limelight and drilled through Entre Nous, Natural Science, Between the Wheels, Digital Man and many more hits. Snakes & Arrows supplied Far Cry, The Main Monkey Business, Workin' Them Angels and The Way the Wind Blows, a song that threatened to blow on forever.
Among the many Rush-more moments was Peart's mammoth drum solo late in the second set, with the finale and encores still to come.
Having bitched about lousy drum solos, I bow to Peart who showed magnificent command of dynamics and rhythms over his enormous set, including its electronic percussion tools.
It didn't hurt that the big video screens behind Peart carried images of his idol, the late big-band drummer Buddy Rich, while brassy jazz sounds -- from backing tracks? -- were mixing with the drum thunder.
Lifeson, who played great guitar all night, followed Peart's solo with the quiet and lovely Hope, an acoustic beauty from Snakes & Arrows.
Lee did just enough skipping and jumping to show his stage life still has legs, while his voice -- if it hasn't exactly mellowed -- seems to have a sweeter sharpness to its trademark screech. "We haven't been here since God knows when. Thanks for coming out and helping us celebrate our zillionth album," Lee said early in the first set.
He took some time in the second set to lead everybody in a "Take off, eh?" cheer, a nod to Rush's role in TV's Great White North.
While hardcore Rush fans could bask in blast after blast of precise, power trio-tooled progressive rock, others -- like this critic -- could enjoy the jokes that lightens the serious, music and Peart words first, last and always, side of Rush.
There were signs Rush was happy to kid itself about the whole age thing. An army of toy dinosaurs could be seen atop Lifeson's bank of amps. Dinosaur rock, anyone?
Lifeson also had a huge flock of what appeared to Barbie dolls at his mic's base.
Lee had a multi-rotisserie operation standing behind him. It was labelled Henhouse and appeared to house some of his sound equipment and a host of rubber chickens. A guy in a chef's hat checked the fowls.
Yes, it was all a true Rush for a great Canadian band and its boomer fans who are in no hurry to stop rocking soon.