2012 CLOCKWORK ANGELS TOUR
Tue, Sep 11 @ CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA

REVIEWS AND POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: The show is over - what did you think? Give your review or just recount your experience.

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#24 - Posted 09/24/2012 11:32 AM by simon r

Last? 2nd date of my 4 date vacation from UK. Even warmer than DC so enjoyed the river views and the weather. About 20 min walk to Consol from Wyndham hotel. Great view Geddy side even in block 103 row B.Even with floor standing up could see over everyone. I found the sound a bit off for once-Geddy`s bass sounded heavier-I put it down to playing a larger venue in Virginia and not adjusting to a smaller place in Pittsburgh. I found it odd level 3 seemed to be blacked out except directly opposite stage-lack of sales? Surely fans could have got a closer view at sides up there-any one sit there wish to comment?
They did 2112 that night and even Grand Finale for me!! Another great show despite some sound problems.
#23 - Posted 09/15/2012 10:51 PM by 21anagram12 [contact]

This was my 17th Rush show and overall, I was happy with the setlist and the energy of the band. The energy of the crowd was pretty tepid the whole night except during Subdivisions, Far Cry, Working Man and 2112.

Most came expecting Limelight/Freewill/Spirit of Radio/Xanadu/La Villa - but what they got was a sweet rendering of Clockwork Angels and a trip through the mid-80s. All of these songs were done quite well given that it was the 3rd show of the tour and I couldn't've been happier with it.

The room mix was muddy and a lot of bass cancellation was going on in the really low end. The kickdrum was basically fighting with the bass guitar freqs all night, and hopefully the engineers will figure this out as the tour progresses. Most of it was resolved during the 2nd set and encore.
#22 - Posted 09/13/2012 5:53 PM by b2112echoes [contact]

This was my 10th Rush show. This review is highly subjective. I am a fan of Rush, but I dont think everything they touch turns to gold, nor do I think that they will ever pick a setlist I will completely love.

The sound on the floor was way too bassy for two reasons. First- while its well known Neil is a heavy hitter, there is no reason at all to have his bass drum that loud; a compressor would have been nice. If it was compressed, an engineer who knows how to use the compressor would have been appreciated. I suspect the subs were located under the stage; for people like me on the floor, the bass was too much. Second, because of the 80s songs, the use of a Taurus pedal samples which are very bassy hitting very low notes made the sound very muddy- I suspect in the upper level seats it may have cleared up a bit. The strings were totally buried for me as the bass was blocking out most of the mix.

I may be wrong on this but this does not look like the same in-line array PA system that Rush has used on past tours?.?.?

The last two concerts I attended was Roger Waters which to me set a new standard in Hi-Fi sound at concerts in arenas. Its pretty tough to follow a production on that scale where money isn't an issue. Rush is no question one of the loudest bands, but should never sacrifice loudness for clarity.

Lighting was decent as it usually is with Rush, but Howard's choice and execution of lights seemed odd at times. His selection of lights were very nice, his execution is usually lacking. He has a bad habit of being fractionally late on his cues (watch 2112 from Pittsburgh). These are very minor critiques, but still worth a mention. The pyro and lights for the most part complimented the show very well in spite of my critique of Howard.

This was not only the least attended Rush show I ever been too, but the least attended concert at this venue. I as a Rush fan enjoyed the show- but its a tough setlist to sell. HOWEVER, I doubt a change in the setlist would have brought more people to this show (just looked at tickets the Who in the same venue where half the seats are still available). On the floor quite a few people in my section (5) left after the first half while others moved in to fill the voids. I saw Rush at the same venue in 2010 (also in Cleveland for the DVD) and it was full of energy and loud. Older Rush fans were into it, younger Rush fans seemed indifferent with the songs.

The most important part- the band still delivers a great show. The new material for me worked better than the first half. They will never satisfy fans as they have too many songs and too many subjective fans. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette mentioned that it was a show for the true fans- and only hardcore Rush fans go to these shows anymore. I saw different when people walked after the first half.

The sound, combined with a very small crowd, combined with unfamiliar songs for the casual fan made for a mediocre Rush show for me. However, mediocre Rush is still more satisfying than most excellent contemporary performers. In the end its about the music. Like it or not Rush lived through the 80s just like every other band from that era. I think on previous tours some of the heavy keyboard stuff was not represented as much and this time they decided to play some of those songs again. But for me it just lacked something that previous Rush shows delivered. The 80s songs were fun to hear, but tough to relate to the words and the feel of those songs for me live.
#21 - Posted 09/13/2012 5:28 PM by earthshine38 [contact]

AWESOME show! From my point of view (being a singer/songwriter/musician, standing on the floor in the tenth row) I was blown away thinking about the focus, energy, stamina, and flat-out talent it would take to perform those two monster sets! INCREDIBLE!

As far as song selection, I am well-acquainted with all Rush music, and none of the songs they've selected are even close to being "duds," by any stretch!
The lighting/pyro and video offerings were superbly mesmerizing; and the strings (yes, I really could hear them!) truly enhanced my delight! (I hope they bring them along next tour :D)

To me, the first set seemed to speak of how our world is going right now, ending with Far Cry, which sums it all up and segues brilliantly into the "other" World of The Clockwork Angels in set 2. After an amazing journey through that CA world, we are cautioned about how any world can end - with Manhattan Project bombs (such a dangerous device) and Red Sector A death camps (everything in life you thought you knew).
At the end of the show, Rush delivers up some old faves, as if to lighten our minds then send us off, into the far-unlit unknown, feeling hopeful enough to keep up the fight against the oppressive Priests, and their all-seeing eyes.
BRAVO!

Also, kudos to Consol for the ample variety of beverages! Well done!
#20 - Posted 09/13/2012 5:12 PM by Daddo007 [contact]

I agree with RayRay87's comments. I was sitting with two of those young fans you mentioned. As a family we enjoyed the Time Machine so much we saw it in three different cities. My youngest son who is twenty now has really gotten into Rush since that tour. While I enjoyed hearing Body Electric and Manhattan Project the rarities coupled with the lousy sound made for a dissapointing night for him. We were sitting in the third row on the floor and the bass drum blew out everything. I spoke to the sound engineer at intermission and he said that this was because of the sub-woofers that are in front of the stage. I have been up close for other concerts and have never had this problem. My wife was sitting with a friend furthur back and they were not that wild about the mix either. I was also surprised by the low turnout. Time Machine was a virtual sell out and this show was half full. A big part of the second level was curtained off. I was surprised given the positive reaction to Clockwork Angels.
#19 - Posted 09/13/2012 1:20 PM by RayRay87 [contact]

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and my opinion is that the boys reached too far with a rarities + new material type of set.

I can believe in trying something new, but on the heels of the TMT, when they gained thousands of new young fans, it seems a miscalculation on their part.

I like to hear rarities and new music, but it could have been packaged better with some old stuff, and in turn, that would have put even more gloss on the new songs.

The crowd in my section in Pittsburgh was so dumbfounded for long periods of time I actually felt bad for them.

By the time the band played any familiar radio friendly songs, most of the energy was deflated from the crowd.

I heard a rumor that only 5,500 people showed, and I'm wondering how many walked. If this is true, the band will need to re-think their positions.

I know everyone here at RIAB is a die-hard, and I'm not trying to be insulting, but the financial reality of putting on such a show requires the casual fans to fill those seats next to "play whatever you want" fans.
#18 - Posted 09/13/2012 12:00 PM by rg1 [contact]

FWIW, there are some songs that just dont work with the strings...I dont know if a sound engineer would be able to fix that :)
#17 - Posted 09/13/2012 11:29 AM by RayRay87 [contact]

Terrible show.....lacked ebb and flow, energy and enthusiasm, and sound was bad.
#16 - Posted 09/13/2012 3:35 AM by swissrush [contact]

I live in Europe, so I will see the guys next spring...

But I hear very often the complaints about the live-sound. I remember, on the TM-tour 2011, in Frankfurt (Germany), the sound was also not very good.

I' asking me: Do the guys need a new Sound Engineer?

But nevertheless: Can't wait to see the guys once again (maybe for the last time live)!
#15 - Posted 09/12/2012 6:49 PM by seth2112 [contact]

#14
i know, thats the joke, thats how bad the show and set list was!
#14 - Posted 09/12/2012 5:13 PM by rg1 [contact]

Thai Shan is a stretch, considering Geddy admitted its his least favorite song ever...
#13 - Posted 09/12/2012 12:57 PM by seth2112 [contact]

I am still in awe of the let down last in pittsburgh. Must be an anomaly. I just landed a single ticket in the second row in front of geddy for indy tomorrow to see if the sound got better. I'm over the set list selections. It actually makes me yearn to hear tai shan rather than these already heard on previous tour "bust outs". Couldn't they re- learn a song that's never been played before?

-jaded vet
#12 - Posted 09/12/2012 11:00 AM by rg1 [contact]

Need some better fans in PITTS! To me reviews about setlists are worthless...they will never satisfy everyone...

As far as the sound, its disappointing to hear that...I was at Manchester, and where I was..the sound was excellent, but I did also hear complaints during intermission about the bass being overbearing...

Overall, everyone should be happy the boys are back...
#11 - Posted 09/12/2012 10:43 AM by varusher

Well said, Seth.

While I personally was pretty psyched with the first set they played on Sunday night in Virginia, I was VERY disappointed in the second set. And to back up another Pittsburgh poster, WHO IS THE SOUND MAN? Horrible, bass-heavy mush.
Who could even tell, apart from seeing them, that a string section was playing??
It reminds me of the heavy-handed production of the new CD itself.

What is it with loudness and OVERDUBBING?
This isn't the Rush I remember.

There was a noticeable fan reaction from where I was sitting.
Namely, everyone sat down and sat on their hands during the Clockwork Angels portion of the show.
#10 - Posted 09/12/2012 7:59 AM by mtl2112 [contact]

to 'seth2112' (post #5)

If you dont like the period from GuP, PoW and HYF, i can feel your pain.

But for me, they represent one of the best part of the show. I cant wait to hear 'The Body Electric' , 'Grand Design' , 'Territories' , 'Middletown Dreams' (one of my fav song btw) or 'Force Ten'.

I have seen all shows since Power Windows and this one, with the epic 'Clockwork Angels' selection and the ones from the 80's , will be one of the best.

To.conclude, I would rather see Rush with only 5 songs that I like in the setlist than any other bands.

See u all in Montreal on oct 18th !
#9 - Posted 09/12/2012 7:49 AM by Prof. Melbinger [contact]

The bass drum was mixing FAR too loud last night at the Consol Energy Center. What a travesty to hear three hours of intricate music played by passionate musicians only to have the resulting sound swallowed up by incompetent technicians at the mixing board. Whenever the bass and kick drum played together, as the so often do, Geddy's pitches were obliterated in the mix. As all of the frequencies we hear are influenced by bass tones, the thunderous kick drum changed everything. It was like sitting at a traffic light next to an a-hole with his windows down and his subwoofer cranked to 10; it shakes the vehicles and vibrates your internal organs. I expect to hear loud, very loud music at a rock concert, but to hear this beautiful music altered for the worse was painful to hear.
#8 - Posted 09/12/2012 7:06 AM by sonoflife69 [contact]

This was my first RUSH show.. I must say I was quite pleased. I couldn't attend the time machine show at consol in 2010 due to lack of funds from college but this time mostly made up for it. Yes the setlist is shall I say "different" but still quite exciting. I loved hearing Big Money for example and Where's My Thing? in the first set. I thought Anarchist, Carnies and Headlong Flight played out in a live setting very well for being such new songs and the place was absolutely on their feet for all the rest of the set featuring YYZ, Working Man, Tom Sawyer and 2112 which the place went nuts for! All in all I really loved the show. Would I have minded seeing say Limelight or Closer to the Heart thrown in the set as well? Of course I wouldnt've minded that since I'd never seen the band play before but no big deal really because I think I'll be seeing them again in the future where they may play those songs cause this concert impressed me. One interesting fact about a RUSH show.. They have very sneaky pyro placement, if you aren't aware they can go off at random moments and give you quite a shocking yet very enjoyable surprise. I think I'll be seeing Geddy, Alex and Neil again in the future.
- Zach
#7 - Posted 09/12/2012 7:04 AM by gag2man [contact]

Calling Houston: We have a setlist "C"

Setlist "A" 2112 was played with the Grand Finale instead of The Spirit of Radio and Seven Cities of Gold was played instead of Wish Them Well. What's next?
#6 - Posted 09/12/2012 4:22 AM by Reverse Polarity

I won't see the boys til Glasgow next May, so who knows what the set might be by then....BUT... it does seem like an odd set list - 1st half

Mind you when I saw them in 82 & 83 at Edinburgh Ingliston, I would have been amazed and delighted at the prospect of seeing any sort of Rush show a full 30 years later

I saw them last year on TM and that really hit the spot, but it seems like this tour might be a bit of an anti climax

I'll def. take Subdivisions, Analog Kid, The Pass and the majestic Far Cry and ok why not a bit of instrumental variety with Where's My Thing, but the rest of that 1st section are pretty flat - also judging by the reviews,it seems like the crowd energy levels dip during the likes of Force Ten, Grand Designs and Body Electric

Plenty of folk will say "hey they have earned the right to play whatever the hell they want, and you're not a real fan if you don't appreciate that", and yet....

Also the string section..............I just immediately think lame Britpop mid 90's...whereas a solo violinist playing Losing It would have been special ( see what Mogwai do live with a solo violin)

Would have loved to have seen a 1st section that had more Signals and less PW, GUP and WhN

And as for no Red B..................
#5 - Posted 09/12/2012 2:04 AM by seth2112 [contact]

I'm changing my handle name to jaded vet. After seeing the boys since the moving pictures tour in 1981 and over 30 shows....
Tonight was the least thrilling rush show since the even more less thrilling tours of power windows and hold your fire tours! Though they get an A for effort cause there like 100 and the string section was killer for CA but the sound was mixed horribly, geddy is lip syncing more than ever and that set list was D+ at best. Working man again with same reggae ending for decades? Nothing from permamnet waves hemispheres farewell fbn- dare I say vapor trails?? How could the best song from first set be far cry? Bring back anthem fining my way Jacobs ladder trees la villa between beneath behind!!!!
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