Rush Turns Back the Clock in 40-Year Retrospective

MGM Grand Garden Arena, July 25

RUSH at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV

Photo by Erik Kabik

Is this really the end? That is the overwhelming question hanging over the storied Canadian trio as it winds down its R40 Live tour, commemorating the 40th anniversary (technically 41st) of drummer Neil Peart joining guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee. It certainly felt like a book being closed as Rush charted course through a career retrospective that began with “The Anarchist” from 2012’s Clockwork Angels and hit all but four of their 19 studio albums as they backpedaled through the last four decades. The stage props and video backdrops also reflected each specific era, devolving throughout the night as stagehands intermittently removed pieces of equipment from the stage even as the band ripped through favorites such as “Tom Sawyer” and “Red Barchetta.” Besides the classics, Rush also exhumed rarities such as “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Lakeside Park” and “What You’re Doing,” all of which hadn’t been played in more than 30 years prior to this tour. For the encore, the backdrop resembled a plain curtain, harkening back to Rush’s days playing small theaters, before changing for the final time to look like a high school gymnasium as the threesome teased the ending of show closer “Working Man” with “Garden Road,” an unreleased original that was last played live in 1974. The show surely had all the trappings of a farewell to kings, but let’s hope that it was simply another chapter in Rush’s majestic career. ★★★★★

Photos by Erik Kabik /

The Anarchist
Clockwork Angels
Headlong Flight (w/ “Drumbastica” drum solo)
Far Cry
The Main Monkey Business
One Little Victory
Roll the Bones (w/ “Celebrity Rappers” video)
Distant Early Warning
Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
The Spirit of Radio
Jacob’s Ladder
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage (Prologue, drum solo, Part 3)
Closer to the Heart
2112 (Parts I, II, IV and VII)

Lakeside Park
What You’re Doing
Working Man (w/Garden Road outro)

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