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Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee struggled to hit the high notes on the opener, keyboard-centric “Subdivisions,” which was no surprise considering the studio versions helium-high voice. However, Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart were so tight, their musicianship of such high caliber, that the vocal foibles presented a passing observation not a complaint.

Largely eschewing the deep, radio-ready catalog of Terry Brown–produced, 1970s and early ’80s progressive rock, the 60-something-year-old musicians focused on mid-tempo cuts from their late ’80s and ’90s output, such as “Big Money” from Power Windows, “Force Ten” from Hold Your Fire, and “Bravado” from Roll the Bones. Lifeson’s inspired guitar solo during a jauntily paced “Analog Kid” (Signals) had the mostly middle-aged audience ignoring shoulder pains as they threw their arms in the air. Lee ultimately declared, “Since we’re a thousand years old, we have to take a break.”

When the band returned, they had an eight-piece string section in tow. Rush then played half the songs from their latest album Clockwork Angels. The driving “Headlong Flight” was a highlight, harkening back to their heavier heydays. The string section made an impact on the poignant “The Garden”: “The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect/ So hard to earn, so easily burned.”

The encores were all old-school glory: “YYZ,” “Spirit of Radio,” “Tom Sawyer,” and “2112.” A climax that for Rush fans has few equals.

  • Concert: Rush
  • Venue: Valley View Casino Center
  • Date: November “2112”
  • Seats: 7th row, center. OMG!
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