“We’re about to hear fucking ‘Camera Eye’,” one guy comments amidst a men’s room line so painfully long, it can only mean one thing: Rush is back in town. Yes, there are actual women here. But mostly, dudes. Dudes who’ve lived in frat houses, and dudes who’ve been beaten up by dudes who’ve lived in frat houses. Dudes comped primo tickets, and dudes skipping out on rent for last-row seats.
“Camera Eye”? That’s the main attraction, a 27-years-between-appearances live rarity off Moving Pictures, the 1981 album performed in its entirety every night on the trio’s Time Machine Tour. And don’t think anyone here doesn’t grasp the significance. As the 11-minute song begins, a hushed reverence sweeps over the packed MGM Grand Garden Arena. Shh, they’re playing it.
- August 14, MGM Grand Garden Arena
If I’m completely honest, the live “Camera Eye” isn’t life-changing. But “YYZ” is. Ditto for the first two movements of “2112” (yes, Rush songs have movements, silly). A couple tunes (“Presto,” “Leave That Thing Alone) easily out-rock their album versions. And chunky new number “Caravan” proves that, even in their late 50s, the members of Rush can still write. On the questionable side: reggae-castrated encore “Working Man,” a lumbering new take on “Closer to the Heart” and the selection of the recentish “Far Cry” as second-set closer. Also, tag me blasphemer all you want, but Neil Peart’s drum solo feels a little … uneventful. Tonight, I’m more into watching Geddy Lee’s fingers bounce all over his bass during “Vital Sings” and hearing guitarist Alex Lifeson tear apart “La Villa Strangiato.” Hmm, it’s been 33 years since they played “The Necromancer” … what are the chances they’ll bust it out next tour?