Rush @ First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY 6-10-15

     Rush came to Buffalo on Wednesday night and played to a capacity crowd at the First Niagara Center. The trio from Toronto, Ontario, Buffalo’s neighbor to the north, made themselves at home with a stellar performance lasting more than two and half hours. There was no opening act and Rush played two full sets of music spanning four decades. A video featuring a Rush medley and cartoon versions of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson finished up with the words: Buffalo “our wings are better,” giving way to the band taking the stage and the opening number “The Anarchist” from their latest album “Clockwork Angels.” The first set started at 7:45 PM and went on for a solid hour of audio and visual excellence, including a mini drum solo during “Headlong Flight” and “Far Cry” explosives. Towering video screens took us through time and space with montages abound. Geddy Lee welcomed the crowd and before “How It Is,” he told the audience this was “a long overlooked song and the band decided to bring it out on this tour for fun.” Rush closed the first set with “Subdivisions” and returned to the stage about 25 minutes later with one of their best known songs, “Tom Sawyer.”

     The second set featured a full-blown drum solo from Neil Peart during “Cyngus X-1.” It was one of the highlights of the show. The acoustic intro to “Closer to the Heart” was met with thunderous applause and a sing-a-long. Lifeson emerged with a double neck guitar and Lee with a double neck bass for Xanadu. The musicianship of these three men is simply outstanding and Lee’s vocal quality is certainly withstanding the test of time. His voice sounded great. This seemingly ageless band’s progressive music is as relevant and as crowd pleasing as ever. Set two wrapped up in grand fashion with parts from the epic “2112” album culminating with “Part VII: Grand Finale.”

     The band exited the stage and the encore was quickly and comically introduced. The stage setup was stripped down to red theater curtains focusing completely on “Lakeside Park.” The show ended appropriately with “Working Man” from the band’s 1974 debut album “Rush.” Rush’s “R40 Live” 40th Anniversary Tour is said to be the last major tour for these Canadian prog rock legends. This is a must see tour. Be sure to catch these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers while you still can.

Set 1:

The World Is…The World Is
The Anarchist
The Wreckers
Headlong Flight (with mini drum solo)
Far Cry
The Main Monkey Business
How It Is
Roll the Bones
Between the Wheels

Set 2:

No Country for Old Hens video intro
Tom Sawyer
The Camera Eye
The Spirit of Radio
Jacob’s Ladder
Cyngus X – 1 Book II:, Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
Cyngus X – 1 (The Voyage Part 1 & 3 with drum solo)
Closer to the Heart
2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx/Presentation/Grand Finale


Introduction – Mel’s Rock Pile starring Eugene Levy video
Lakeside Park
What You’re Doing
Working Man                    


Photos by Gus Griesinger

We would like to thank Tracey Mancini from the First Niagara Center for her assistance in obtaining credentials for BackstageAxxess to review the show.