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Concert review: Rush rocks the '80s in Tampa show

4

November

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Rush fans are impossible to please when it comes to writing concert reviews of their beloved band, so I learned a while back it's best to turn over those duties to one of their own. And there's few fans as qualified as Chris Stainton, the frontman of Rubix Cubed (the official '80s cover band of Stuck in the '80s), who also dined near the band Friday night in Tampa. Here's his review of their Saturday concert at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre. (Photos courtesy of Pete Anzalone.)

Our beloved decade was well represented last night at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Ampitheatre on Saturday night. Set one was almost all '80s! No lasers. They could have had lasers. I like lasers. They played one or two songs from albums Signals through Roll the Bones (1991) -- skipping 1989's Presto in that first set -- and for the most part, the band was dead on. Sure it's tough hitting the same notes from 30 years ago, but venerable frontman Geddy Lee was pretty close.

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Ampitheatre folks said attendance was officially at 11,000 and pretty much all the seats were filled, with a good 1/3 of the lawn populated. That's where I sat this tour, a "Far Cry" from my usual rows 1-5. After the previous night's encounter, I was ok with that. Plus, as blasphemous as it sounds, and despite purchasing Clockwork Angels the day it was released, I am still having a hard time getting my head around the songs. Nothing worse than sitting up front and having the boys look down and see you not singing along.

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Still, it was a good show, with excellent staging and themes for set two. The string section was pretty animated and added a depth not heard before. When Rush got Stuck in the '80s after the hour of Clockwork Angels material, the strings were really neat. Hearing them play along to YYZ was a real thrill.

Also something to cherish: Two drum solos, ripping guitar solos and massive bass. It was definitely a great show for Rush, and '80s fans.

Here's the setlist, which was a little different than the one this blog predicted days beforehand:

  • Subdivisions
  • The Big Money
  • Force Ten
  • Grand Designs
  • The Body Electric
  • Territories
  • The Analog Kid
  • Bravado
  • Where's My Thing? (with Drum Solo)
  • Far Cry

Set Two, with string section

  • Caravan
  • Clockwork Angels
  • The Anarchist Carnies
  • The Wreckers
  • Headlong Flight (with Drum Solo)
  • (guitar solo)
  • Halo Effect
  • Seven Cities of Gold
  • The Garden
  • Manhattan Project
  • Drum Solo
  • Red Sector A
  • YYZ
  • The Spirit of Radio

Encores:

  • Tom Sawyer
  • 2112 Part I: Overture
  • 2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx 2112
  • Part VII: Grand Finale

[Last modified: Sunday, November 4, 2012 8:49pm]

    

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