The first one, in Toronto, afforded a view from the upper bowl. The second, which was on the second leg of the tour, was at “The Hammer”.
As many Rush fans already know the Clockwork Angels tour included a string section! The eight players joined Rush onstage for most of the second set. This enabled rush to reproduce many of the songs it included on that Clockwork Angels album, And it also allowed them to add some different colour and texture to some of their old favourites.
The upper bowl view provided some interesting perspectives, as well as a few challenges from a photography point of view. It was nice to still be able to use my point-and-shoot tool to get both a whole – stage perspective, as well as zoomed in shots on the band.
Here’s a nice perspective on the whole stage:
And here we are zoomed in on Neil, who is waiting for gravity to provide him a drumstick: And here is Neil being distracted by Sasquatch:Alex’s extensive pedal board and 1976 Gibson ES 355. Alex really loves this guitar and it shows that Gibson could make some great axes during the Norlin years!
Here’s a view of the podium for the eight-member string section, which was located behind and above the goofy Steampunk props that pass for a “backline”:Rush never forgets the Pyro! Here’s Geddy with a beautiful Fender Jazz Bass in Seafoam Green, with a Tortoiseshell pick guard. This is the first tour that we have seen this bass. Gorgeous! Alex on a recent Gibson Historic Gold Top Les Paul: Don’t you just love dry ice? Nice to see Rush bring some of that back for this tour. That used to be ubiquitous for bands in the 70s – just don’t see it that much anymore. I think it adds a really nice atmosphere to a stage presentation.Geddy in the fog: Alex with one of his Gibson Access signature Les Pauls. Also note what looks like a 1958 reissue Gibson custom shop Les Paul on one of Alex’s Omega stands (which I believe he holds a patent on): Alex plays a keyboard solo in “The Garden” – one of Rush’s most beautiful songs ever! Here’s Geddys set up: a big honking poly-synth (brand unknown), a Moog Little Phatty, and synth-triggering pedals all housed in a Steampunk–themed cabinet Alex on a Telecaster with a Rosewood fingerboard: Had a decent angle on Neil: Here’s Alex creating tomfoolery with the string section: I think this is Father Time with a Steampunk Gnome? Neil caught in full drumstick twirl! I remember reading that he says he does these more when he feels he’s happy!! The Professor on the drum kit!Was fortunate enough to be closer to the stage for the show the following July in “The Hammer”!
Got a very nice sequence of pictures that capture the friendship but Alex and Geddy have shared since they were both kids in Elementary School!! As mentioned in the documentary movie Beyond the Lighted Stage, Alex and Eddie soon discovered that they shared a ‘maniacal love of music’.
It looks like there is no question that continues to this day:
This was a fantastic performance by the band, and they were in great spirits – really into the performance. My location allowed me to get a few shots with Alex and Neil: And some better close-ups!Didn’t forget the Pyrotechnics here either:
Stage perspective on the band with a string section. This angle really gave me some nice views of the fantastic light show. Rush always takes great care in planning and presenting a fantastic light show that is state-of-the-art and always enhances the music. This is one of the main reasons why Rush doesn’t change their set list the lot (that and the fact of their songs are so complex and they insist on having them incredibly well rehearsed). Howard Ungerleider is the man when it comes to designing and operating the light show. Howard has been with the band since the first tour – got to love the loyalty factor with Rush! Endlessly rocking! A foggy day near Lake Ontario: Another Neil drumstick twirl:Geddy’s Jazz Bass:Geddy being accosted by the string section! I bet Rush treated these musicians very well on the tour, and they must’ve had a blast being on the tour.
It’s always the Cello players! These are some new high-tech LED lights that were used throughout the show. Very versatile a very bright! Again Rush will always try and include some of the latest technology available for the light show.These two scenes capture some of the complexity of the light show, as well as some of the moods that can they create for the music:
Neil Peart has a large drum set. It’s so large it’s hard to photograph him! When the drum pedestal rotated 180° and Neil switched to the more electronic second kit there some nice photo ops: Alex and Neil: More light show enhancements: Alex back on the 355 and Geddy’s on his old mid-70s Jazz Bass:
A great show, and the fans really appreciated it!
Rush are all now into their sixties. That, at some point, is going to run into their uncompromising desire to put on a long, complex, and high level performance every night. We are so lucky to have had the chance to see them through the years, and, if all goes well. we may see them again in 2015. Alex has stated there very possibly will be a tour and there may be more of an emphasis on deeper cuts! I say, bring on Jacob’s Ladder, Xanadu, and Lakeside Park!