Saturday, July 11, 2015

Concert Review: Rush R40 Tour at Sprint Center in Kansas City

The Canadian Royal Trio of Rock and Roll, better known as Rush, played in Kansas City at the Sprint Center on July 9th as part of their R40 tour, celebrating the 40th year of the group with Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson.

I'm a late in life Rush fan, really gaining a rapid appreciation for their music only in the past 6-7 years.  I actually had their comp set "Chronicles" many years ago, but it just didn't stick.  Then, all of a sudden - wham!  I was hit with a complete love of their music, and set out to acquire their studio catalog (done - check).

R40 is the third time I've seen them in concert.  All three of their last tours have come through Kansas City, so I've gone each time, taking a different one of my children along each time.  ("World's greatest living rock and roll drummer" piques their interest a bit, anyway...)

I thought that this was the best performance of the three.  It could be that this is near the beginning of the tour instead of close to the end (their last tour ended in Kansas City), and they are not yet tour-weary.  Regardless, they were in excellent form.  Geddy Lee sounded fantastic - by far the best I've seen him.  Alex and Neil played with more energy than ever.  Together they showed why they are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Seriously, they play so tight, with so much pure energy and vigor.  If you looked up "rock and roll" in the dictionary, you'd see this performance - it was that good. (yeah, I've mixed a metaphor here...onward...)

The set list moved through their career in reverse chronological order, starting with two songs from their most recent album "The Anarchist" and "The Wreckers", and moving backwards through time - "Far Cry", "Roll the Bones", "Subdivisions", "Tom Sawyer", "Cygnus X-1 Book II followed by Cygnus X-1 Book 1, finally ending with "Working Man" in the encore.  The stage props, videos, and show effects followed suit, moving backward through time.  Awesome lasers (see picture below) gave way to a mirror ball in a faux high school gym.  Amazing.

I loved this show, I loved the music, I loved being able to experience a band that, after 40 years, is still at the top of its game.  No one does better rock and roll than Rush in 2015.  Folks, if they come through your town on the R40 tour, go see them.  It may be your last opportunity to see Alex, Neil, and Geddy, and believe me, it's worth it.  Even my 20 year old daughter thought it was a great show.

Kansas City Star Photo Gallery:  link

Set list (courtesy Kansas City Star): The Anarchist; The Wreckers; Headlong Flight; Far Cry; The Main Monkey Business; How it Is; Animate; Roll the Bones; Between the Wheels; Subdivisions. Intermission. Tom Sawyer; the Camera Eye; the Spirit of Radio; Jacob’s Ladder; Cygnus X-1 Book II > Cygnus X-1 Book I; Closer to the Heart; Xanadu; 2112. Encore: Lakeside Park; Anthem; What You’re Doing; Working Man/Garden Road.

Read more here:

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My new book review blog is up!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time To Catch Up

Well hello there good readers.  It's time for me to catch up on a few things here on the blog where I've fallen behind over the past few months.  Mainly, music reviews.  There are some terrific local artists that I want to share with the world, so I'll be getting some album reviews out in the next few days/weeks.  I may throw in a concert review or two for good measure.

One item of note - I'm going to spin off the book reviews to a new blog.  They seem to disrupt the flow over here a bit (unless the books are related to Christmas).  I enjoy doing the book reviews, so they will live elsewhere, with announcements posted here for a while until the new space takes hold.  I hope that some of you have enjoyed the book reviews.  I'm a huge reader, and like to share some thoughts out about what I've read.

Anyway, I'm off to start a new album review.  Check back in a day or so...