by / May 13th, 2011 /

Rush – O2, Dublin

Sometimes words are difficult to find. Finally making their first visit to Ireland, Rush treated their patient fans to a spectacle of giant screens, retractable rigs, resplendent lighting, revolving drum kits and indoor fireworks. Oh, and then there was the music which wasn’t bad either. Behind only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for most consecutive gold or platinum albums sold by a rock band, Rush’s self-proclaimed position of being the biggest cult band in the world looks intact. A video introduction setting the ‘time travel’ theme of the night worked a treat before the stage set was unleashed and the band bounced to deliver ‘The Spirit of Radio’ with menace, followed promptly by an emotive rendition of ‘Time Stand Still’.

A lot of the so called traditional ‘Prog’ bands can be accused of being a bit static or formulaic in their live personalities, allowing their intricate musicianship to do the talking instead. Not so with Rush, as every bizarre time signature change or spaced out lyric was matched with a Geddy Lee fly kick or an Alex Lifeson rock god hand in the air, lapped up time and again by the appreciative audience. Not that there weren’t moments of indulgence- a ten minute Peart drum solo on a revolving stand may have lost some of us towards the end and perhaps there were some errors in judgement too; especially leaving new song ‘Caravan’ to towards the end. While well received it was a slight come down following the run through of the excellent Moving Pictures album played through front to back.

Favourites like ‘Closer to the Heart’ and ‘Tom Sawyer’ were delivered with fervour but the highlight for many was the largely instrumental ‘2112’ which had the floor shaking as the band engaged the crowd in a serious of ‘chants’ and arms raised aloft. After all, Rush had a lot of friends to make having consecutively missed out Ireland on tours across the decades. The great thing was that nobody held it against them and as the curtains came down and the band exited stage left, a mutual respect was founded and Irish Rush fans could finally put a live show to the music.

Photos: Alan Moore

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  • RatedMKD

    One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Absolutely fantastic.

  • chris byrne

    It’s been 30 years since I last saw them live and they put on an astonishing show at the 02.Cant wait to see them in Ireland again.

  • Sergio Montenegro

    I saw the guys twice last year, here, in Brazil, in the Time Machine Tour. There’s no words to define them! Lucky you, irishes!

  • Alan Tobin

    It was great to see the band looking like they were having fun. At the intermission, Geddy said “We’re very old men, we need a rest” – I’m glad to see they don’t take themselves too seriously – a popular misconception. The setlist was good despite the absence of the Trees, Jacob’s Ladder, Between the Wheels, Xanadu, By-Tor or Cygnus X1 – and any number of great songs from the Rush back catalogue. New songs were great, although I’m not mad about ‘Where’s My Thing’, I was blown away by their performance – the entire arena was reverberating. Alex Lifeson making faces during every note perfect guitar solo, Geddy Lee leaping about like a spring lamb, Neil Peart’s solo must have made a mini tsunami along the Quays. Excellent, hopefully they’ll be back. Only thing missing was the amazing laser show for ‘Marathon’

  • CaressofSteel

    Rush in Dublin on Thursday was a revelation to me – even though I’ve always loved this band. Geddy and Alex (both in their late 50s) were leaping about the stage loving every minute of it whilst playing with a precision most bands couldn’t achieve in a studio. The music itself was top-class, quite a heavy setlist. Despite a preference for the older material, the newer tracks were received rapturously by the die-hards and newer fans alike. I wondered why the audience were quite subdued during the songs – they, like me, were mesmerized.

    It was worth the wait.

  • Terry

    When Yes’s Roundabout is played over the PA before the concert starts and the crowd start singing along, you know it’s gonna be a great night! This is probably the best gig I’ve ever been at. Here’s a link to some photos I took:

  • NickSlikk2112

    Sorry, but that was one of the worst Rush shows I have seen.
    Too much dross in the first set which was very badly paced and lacklustre. Great opening song and last three, but what came in between…

    I thought the lighting was poor for a Rush show too, the moveable spider thing promised so much, but delivered so little.

  • Awesome gig! First time I have seen Rush in 32 years! I was so excited about the show I dug out my old Rush concert stubs, 1978, 1978 and 1979 and scanned them and uploaded them on my facebook hahaha. What an awesome night! Kudos to Alex, Neal and Geddy!

  • stevo

    would have prefered more early stuff, alot of the later songs was like a wall of noise, moving pictures was a treat….great band

  • Tom

    First time seeing them,terrific show in front of a terrible audience.