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A Farewell To (The) Kings

By Patrick Moreau

    On a Tuesday night in June, RUSH rolled into Boston. The band is celebrating 40 years of music. They've actually been around for 41 years but Neil Peart replaced their original drummer John Rutsey. It's safe to say that they did well and, poor John will forever be the answer to a music triva question. The other members of the last great power trio are Alex Lifeson (guitars, vocals) and Geddy Lee (bass guitar, keyboards, lead vocals). 

    It was an evening with RUSH. The show started with a trio of songs from their last album "Clockwork Angels." They opened with "The Anarchist" to "The Wreckers" and right into the musical jam of "Headlong Flight." In the middle of "Flight," Neil did a "little" drum solo.  Do yourself a favor and listen to them and you might find yourself saying "I've heard these songs before. I didn't know it was RUSH." These songs were the ones that were played on the classic rock stations. (Hey, you're not going to find them on the R&B Hip Hop stations.)
    After their "little" introduction Geddy said hello to the fans at the sold out TD Garden. He called tonight a "celebration of over 40 years of music." He and the band started playing music from many of their albums in reverse order, from the newest to the oldest. They pulled ou
t gems like "Roll The Bones," which probably hasn't been played since the 1991 tour! It is the only RUSH song where they rap. In '91, when rap was newly mainstream, this song sounded a bit like your parents trying to talk hip to you. Let's face it, Geddy, Alex, and Neil are whiter then white bread. For gods sake's, they're from Canada! Well, when the rap section came a video of celebrities did the rap! Am
ong the celebs were Tom Morello, Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage, and you just have to see the rest.

    After the first intermission they started into the early 80's and went to the mid 70's. They opened with everyone's favorite, "Tom Sawyer." That song never gets old. After "The Spirit Of Radio" they went into some seldom played songs like "Jacob's Ladder," "Cygnus" (From the 
Hemispheres album), and "Xanadu" (No, not the Olivia Newton-John movie). Then RUSH went into the "2112 Overture". A 20-minute plus opus that blew people away back in the day. It was the first time I saw Alex smiling from ear to ear. Alex's playing had been great all night. In fact, it's probably the best he has played in the last couple of times I've seen him. He's the one who is usually bouncing around the most, but he wasn't doing it so much this time. Geddy's voice was in really good shape and his playing was as great as ever. Unlike the last few tours, the guys did what they do best - JAM! What they call  "fooling around" is the envy of many people. They were having such a good time that even the ever stoic Neil Peart cracked a smile a couple of times.

Second intermission is over. They have been playing for over 2 hours now.
    Geddy is not one for telling stories. He introduces himself and the guys, but you can hear a little melancholy in his voice. They are down to their last three albums and they are picking out some real forgotten stuff like "Lakeside Park," "Anthem," and "What You're Doing." These guys didn't get to where they are by playing the "Greatest Hits" tour, so why should they do that now? Having said that, they ended the night by playing their first hit single, "Working Man."

What's different about this tour is that THIS IS IT! In recent interviews Alex and Neil stated that it's tough to do this. There is age, health, and family commitments. Geddy, on the other hand, said at the end of the show, "Maybe we'll see you again." I think he was just being nice.

    RUSH is truly the last great power trio. Their journey has been amazing. To paraphrase some long forgotten wordsmith "I don't think we'll see the likes of them again."

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