I asked my editors days before Rush’s June 24 concert at the MGM Grand Garden, “Do you want my review before or after the show?” It was said only partly in jest, as I have been an unabashed fan of the Canadian power trio for about 30 years and have seen them perform live about 10 times, coming away from each show with renewed admiration for their musical wizardry. This time around was no different as the band traveled to Vegas again for their Time Machine tour, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Rush’s most popular album, Moving Pictures. While classic-rock staples such as “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” provided highlights during the 2½-hour show, it was lesser-played tracks such as “The Camera Eye” and “Vital Signs” that especially delighted the diehards. Neil Peart continues to display why he is rock’s greatest drummer ever with his lightning-quick, metronome-like precision; Geddy Lee still manages to deliver his high-pitch vocals while showing his dexterity on both bass and keyboards, especially shining during the majestic “2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx”; and Alex Lifeson showed why he is one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history, most notably with his blistering solo during “Freewill.” And Rush isn’t just living off of past glories despite the band members all approaching 60. Songs such as “BU2B” and “Caravan” from their upcoming 19th studio album showed that the band’s time machine still has enough juice to travel admirably into the future for years to come.

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The Flaming Lips

Concert Review

The Flaming Lips

By Sean DeFrank

Judging by frontman Wayne Coyne’s pre-show warning about the intense strobe lights above the stage and how to handle him as he traversed the crowd in his “space bubble,” it was obvious that the Flaming Lips’ June 17 performance at the Cosmopolitan Boulevard Pool would be something to behold. The fuzzy bass and Pink Floyd-like psychedelia of “Worm Mountain” kicked off the two-hour party.