The August show was the 15th on the tour, and this was the third to last, so I was interested in seeing how things might have developed over the last year on the road. I did the same thing with The Police reunion, catching the second or third show on that tour and one near the very end. In that case the band was very, very rough at that first gig and was obviously still working out arrangements and even the keys of the songs. At the second, they were super tight.
Well, in Rush’s case they were tight both shows. I am not sure which one was better to be honest. They were visually stoked to play The Camera Eye on the front end of the tour and I think Alex Lifeson’s solo was better at that first gig. But I have to say, Geddy was on fire in Portland, jumping around and hitting every note – and I mean EVERY note. How he keeps his voice in shape on a long tour like this is beyond me.
While Neil Peart looked tired, he played great and my friend Dave who has seen Rush a million times thought the center section of Freewill might have been the best he’d ever seen.
So yes, same setlist, same awesome band. For me the highlights were Marathon, Subdivisions, all of Moving Pictures, which was still AWESOME to see live all the way through, and the new stuff – Caravan and BU2B. They were really fired up to play these new songs.
I still think the setlist was weird. Time Stand Still and Presto were not great choices for second and third place but whatever. Overall this tour was a real treat and I am looking forward to the DVD that will likely come from the Cleveland appearance.
In the meantime, here is video I shot at the show last August: