At a Rush concert, a drum solo is not only accepted, it’s appreciated.
That’s because the prog-rock trio, while never a flavor in any particular time, is admired by a core following that values talent and composition over image and calculated posturing.
The devoted masses came out once again for Rush’s Indianapolis stop on their Snakes & Arrows tour. Coming off their 30th anniversary tour in 2004, the band this time eschewed a set list of straight familiar fare, adding a lot of material from (by singer Geddy Lee’s count) their 400th album and some gems from the vault.
The complex acoustics of “Entre Nous” got a welcome airing, and the symphonic showstopper “Mission” got such a rousing response, it’s a wonder they don’t play it more often.
Constants like “The Spirit of Radio” and “Tom Sawyer” were obviously applauded, but there were other selections that received just as much acclaim, mainly because of their musical prowess. The crowd went right along with Rush’s rabbit-hole plunge through the classic “Natural Science,” which had the graphics to back it. The group showed it still had its form when breaking out the fitful “Circumstances” from the ’70s-era album Hemispheres.
The only aspect showing its age was Lee’s voice. He sounded out of sorts on opener “Limelight” and proved he’s not as tensile as he once was on other numbers. That’s where the new material worked best, sounding better geared toward Lee’s singing now, compared to some of the older stuff. But as far as the music — like the soulful sinew of “Far Cry” and “The Main Monkey Business” — they’ve still got it. Others can copy Rush (and many do), but they can’t do better.