Live Review: Rush Triumphant in Return of ‘Clockwork’ Tour

Published on May 9th, 2013

575Rush perform on an additional leg of the ‘Clockwork Angels’ Tour on May 7, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland at the 1st Mariner Arena

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart may be the newest members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it should come as no surprise they aren’t sitting around to ponder their new recognition.

For years, the Rock Hall denied Rush their due entry into their coveted, yet often-maligned institution. The band couldn’t have cared less. The fans were outraged.

Now, Rush says the induction earlier this year made them feel “relieved” for their fans, who could rest easy knowing their progressive rock heroes were no longer being kept out.

Consider the Clockwork Angels 2013 Tour, which arrived to Baltimore, Maryland’s 1st Mariner Arena on Tuesday, a large-scale celebration of a band quite worthy of the Rock Hall, but certainly not in need of it.

A Rush tour is always a spectacle, and this one is no exception. On stage, the band is joined by a wide array of unrecognizable time travel gadgets which serve the sole purpose of looking cool. Lee’s keyboard has been transformed into a chaotic mess of metallic gears in the steampunk style. Lifeson plays in front of whirring orbs which look as if they’ll start spinning him in circles back to 1969 at any moment a la Austin Powers.

Behind them, the video screens carry short films, unbelievably lush in production, for each song. As always, the band is introduced on stage with a quirky and delightfully unintelligible story line involving caricatures of themselves.

The three members could have a new career in cult movies if they chose it.

All this creativity comes as two members of Rush are turning 60 this year (drummer Peart passed the milestone last year).

The set list is also part of the adventure in unpredictability from tour to tour. A thunderous “Subdivisions” brought the band into their 1980s, keyboard-laden era where they remained for much of the first half.

Clockwork Angels, their latest work, was given a prime slot to be fleshed out in near-entirety during the middle of the set. Drawing from all of their previous eras, there’s a strength in ‘Angels’ found in few albums from bands in their fifth decade.

Whether on new material or old, Geddy Lee’s voice held up with relative ease. But that’s not to say his face was without emotion when hitting those signature high notes.

Before departing the stage after a marathon over 200 minutes in length, Rush gave their classic ’2112′ a spin for old times’ sake and left a crowd mostly stammering in awe of their heroes.

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