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Rush - No exercise in nostalgia
This year has seen many veteran bands tour the world, like the guys from The Police. But unlike this classic trio, Rush were not on a reunion tour. Aside from a break in the late '90s and early 2000’s, due to personal tragedies, these Canadians have been going strong for more than three decades. Tonight and tomorrow’s show in Rotterdam’s Ahoy is filmed for a future DVD release. The setlist on this tour is so very different from their previous tour; it justifies the recording of a new live DVD. Not only playing hits from their long career, they also performed a lot of songs from their latest release Snakes and Arrows.  So it isn’t just an old band reliving past glories. 

The stage is strangely decorated to say the least. Some giant glowing rotisserie of chickens, with a chef occasionally coming on stage to baste them, is placed behind bassist and singer Geddy Lee. The top of Alex Lifeson’s guitar amps is decorated with a large collection of plastic dinosaurs. Their function on the stage is not really clear, guess it is just typical Rush humor.
The use of pyrotechnics and the large screens, showing crystal clear live footage and computer generated short films, is a lot more understandable. As the live shots serve to illustrate just how accomplished they are as musicians, the short animations show the sense of humor of Rush. Like the kids from South Park introducing ‘Tom Sawyer’ as L’il Rush. Cartman in a black wig singing the wrong lyrics, and simply retorting: “I can sing whatever I want, I’m Geddy Lee”.
The light show is also impressive. ‘Between The Wheels’ is lit with strobes and floods, while ‘Dreamline’ sees Ahoy cut through with lasers. Songs such as ‘Limelight’, ‘Freewill’, ‘Entre Nous’, ‘Mission’, ‘The Spirit of Radio’ and ‘Circumstances’ were all greeted with enthusiasm, but surprisingly the crowd was cheering wildly for the new song ‘Far Cry’ like it was an old favorite. 
Because their music is so complex the three of them can’t play every sound, so of course they use foot-triggered samples. You could criticize them for this, but it heightens the versions of the songs played. There was actually not much to complain about - Lee's voice sounded crystal clear; Lifeson was lively on guitar; and Peart had no trouble pounding out complex rhythms on his revolving drum kit. 
‘YYZ’ closes a beautifully selected and brilliantly performed set. It’s delightful to experience that in this era obsessed with fake celebrity and fame, it is a trio of unfashionable veterans demonstrate how to put on a rock show. This might have been their last tour of Europe and even their last tour ever; I sure hope that they return any time soon for one last encore.