Verizon Wireless Music Center
Friday, June 4 A cool, breezy, early-summer night in Noblesville was just perfect for the 30th anniversary tour from Rush. Their nearly three-hour set was laid-back, low-key and without surprises. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good show, though. The band certainly recreated their classic studio recordings note for note, while none of the members moved more than a few centimeters in any direction all night long.
They kicked things off with a lengthy medley of songs, followed by one lengthy song after another. After a short intermission, the band launched into “Tom Sawyer” and followed it up with other 12-minute album cuts from the band’s extensive catalogue of material.
The band itself has aged more gracefully than some. Geddy Lee, with his hair pulled back, looked like Sean Penn or a Canadian version of Bono. While their interaction with the audience was limited, the fans didn’t seem to mind. Rush’s music never was about spontaneity and an emotional connection with its listeners. It was about virtuosity, abstract song meanings and the radio-friendly classic-rock sound.
From the lawn, though, it seemed as if they’d placed mannequins in front of microphones and piped an old Rush CD through the speakers. It wasn’t the most dynamic show I’ve ever seen.
For the hardcore Rush fans, the night was a rare treat of beloved material. I’m told that most every great Rush song was played. For the rest of us, the era of virtuoso bands standing still and looking at their amplifiers for three hours has come and gone. In that sense, Friday’s show was a rare look back at the glory days of arena rock.