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Rank the past three tours from favorite to least favorite


fraroc
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This is kind of a spinoff from my other thread on this forum where I compared and contrasted the Snakes and Arrows tour with the Time Machine Tour. This time, I'm gonna do something a little different.

 

Based on three categories, I would like you all to rank the past three tours, Snakes and Arrows, Time Machine, and Clockwork Angels in three separate categories. The setlist, the way the band sounded, and the stage show.

 

CAT 1

 

When it comes to the setlist, Time Machine Tour wins on this one. It was a great setlist which really spanned the full length of their career. You got to hear and see one of their best albums, Moving Pictures being preformed live in it's entirety, you got songs from the 70s like2112 Overture and Temples, 80s like Marathon, 90s like Stick it Out, and 2000s like Faithless. It's really just a great setlist, and who can go wrong with The Spirit of Radio as an opener?

 

Second place with setlist is Clockwork Angels tour. For me personally, this setlist was great because of the fact that it was SO 80s heavy. Grand Designs, Territories, The Big Money, Red Sector A, The Body Electric, The Manhattan Project....Wow, that's a whole lotta 80s. My grievence with this Clockwork Angels tour setlist was that the 80s songs and the deep cuts completely overshadowed the hits. I mean, no Closer To The Heart?! That's one of their most popular songs, EVERYBODY knows it!

 

Third place with setlist is the Snakes and Arrows tour. I like the fact that they did Entre Nous for the first time ever, did Circumstances, and they brought back my favorite song, Witch Hunt for that tour, but the sheer amount of songs from Snakes and Arrows was just WAY too much...Again, no Closer To The Heart. That's not to say they didn't do any good songs, I mean, they did Between The Wheels and Distant Early Warning, Definitely LOVED that!

 

 

CAT 2

 

When it comes to the way the band sounded, I'd say that the Snakes and Arrows tour wins with this one. I must say, even though I think the setlist was a little lacking, The band was in top form that tour. Geddy's voice sounded really good that tour, and of course Alex and Neil sound good too!

 

Second place with the way the band sounds is Clockwork Angels, They did the 80s songs SO well that tour, I mean. The Red Sector A from the live release was absolutely AMAZING. Geddy Lee sang with a TON of emotion in his voice on that song in particular, and he sang the other 80s songs VERY good. I think that Geddy can do the 80s stuff no problem, and that's all right by me, because 80s Rush is best Rush.

 

Third place with the way the band sounded is....Time Machine tour. Now, Neil and Alex sounded GREAT on that tour, no doubt about it, but for some reason, Ged seemed to have been having noticeable problems with his voice on and off, especially on the 2011 leg of the tour. On the live release, you can definitely tell that he sounded off, like he had a cold or the flu or something like that.

 

CAT 3

 

When it comes to the stage show, I'd say that Clockwork Angels tour comes in first place. The updated steampunk look that they had for the Time Machine tour looked very visually appealing. The videos were very entertaining and I love the bombs that went off during Red Sector A on the "Shouting guards and smoking guns will cut down the unlucky ones."

 

When it comes to the stage show, Time Machine takes second place. The steampunk elements really worked on that tour, I loved the fact that Alex's amplifier rack was decorated to look like they were steam powered, the visuals were pretty cool, but I'd say that the Clockwork Angels tour was just a smidge better.

 

Third place is the Snakes and Arrows tour, this one doesn't have a theme to it unlike Time Machine and Clockwork Angels. The rotisserie ovens were a really entertaining and funny motif that really captured Rush's quirky humor, but other than that...I'm so used to Rush having a steampunk theme that it's really weird to picture the Snakes and Arrows tour not having one.

 

So what are YOUR rankings?

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I only saw the S & A's tour so I disqualify myself. I would bet it would be last had I seen the others....
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I only saw the S & A's tour so I disqualify myself. I would bet it would be last had I seen the others....

Yes.

 

They played way too much from S&A.

 

I liked CA more than TMT, but it's close.

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I have to say TMT because it was an outstanding representation of the band over their whole career and I thought their playing was superb. I didn't notice any issues with Geddy except for a little straining on the video, but he said he was sick. We all have our days...

 

CA was probably the most beautiful as far as lighting and thematics, and I loved the tribute to Neil Armstrong, The Garden backdrop and of course the whole production was top notch.

 

1. TMT

2. CA

3. SA

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I have to say TMT because it was an outstanding representation of the band over their whole career and I thought their playing was superb. I didn't notice any issues with Geddy except for a little straining on the video, but he said he was sick. We all have our days...

 

CA was probably the most beautiful as far as lighting and thematics, and I loved the tribute to Neil Armstrong, The Garden backdrop and of course the whole production was top notch.

 

1. TMT

2. CA

3. SA

 

I double this!

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Loved all three of them.

 

1. CA Tour

 

Loved all of the Power Windows material and all of the new stuff with the strings, and they greatly benefited some of the older cuts like Dreamline and Red Sector A. Only thing that would've made me happier is if they included some of those classics that blow you away like NatSci or Xanadu, or if they replaced some of the Power Windows material with stuff from Grace Under Pressure.

 

2. Time Machine

 

Loved the setlists and the energy. Enjoyed the rarer material like Stick It Out and Marathon. Saw them three times on this tour. It was a great time to be a Rush fan.

 

3. Snakes Tour

 

Loved all the curveballs they threw with Circumstances, Digital Man, and Entre Nous, and later a beefed up version of Ghost Of A Chance, which that song desperately needed when you think about the horrible album it came from. Also enjoyed the material from Snakes And Arrows.

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1. CA

2. S&A

3. TM (least favorite of last six Evening With Rush tours)

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I saw Rush twice on S & A (both times at SPAC - once on each leg). Saw them once at SPAC on TMT and saw them twice - again, once on each leg - on CA. Once in Brooklyn, once at SPAC.

 

That being said, this is how I would rank these tours based on the OP's critera.

 

CAT 1 - Set List.

 

1. S & A - Tons of great songs from S & A, Circumstances, Ente Nous, Mission.

 

2. CA - Tons of great 80's music. Lots of good stuff from this album.

 

3. TMT - Yes all of MP and Presto. But the other 2 tours had better set lists.

 

The ranking for CAT 1 is clear - Liked all of them but the rankings are clear. Not blowouts but a clear 1, 2, 3.

 

CAT 2 - Band sound.

 

1. CA - Geddy's voice was the best on this tour, esp. the first leg.

 

2. S & A - Gedd's voice was not great on either leg for the first 2 or 3 songs (esp. not the 2nd). But much, much better than TMT. Which brings up...

 

3. TMT

 

Again clear winners and losers in the ranking. But not blowouts

 

CAT 3. - Stage show. I will say that, for me, this has always been one of Rush's weaker areas so its only fitting that its the last category and the least important. That being said:

 

1. CA

 

2. S & A

 

3. TMT

 

None of these really stand out IMO and the ranking are rather close.

 

So, my final ranking would be.

 

1, S & A - Best set list and a decent sound - esp once you got past the first 2 or 3 songs. Plus both times I saw them the band played great and crowd was in to them.

 

2. CA. Good set list, very good sound. But the set list trailing S & A set list hurts them. Plus the crowds were somewhat lame when I saw them - esp. the show at SPAC. That crowd was DEAD. Some spent the show texting. Many were clearly only interested in their big hits. Folks had no idea what their 80's stuff even was - some had not heard the CA album, Mind you that was the 2nd leg of the tour.

 

3. TMT. Need I say more?

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Clockwork Angels

Time Machine

S&A

 

CA was hands down the best because of the material from the new album. Plus I feel like they stopped trying to please the radio Rush fans. Playing songs like "The Body Electric" and "Middletown Dreams" and "Grand Designs" along with the CA really sealed it as my favorite tour out of the three.

 

TM was a great blast from the past and it was amazing to hear MP in it's entirety. The loss on this show was the audience that was just there for MP. I hate the catatonic stares during music that was made anytime after 1981.

 

S&A was third but only because it was outdoors, hot as hell that day and the crowd just wasn't into it at all. It was so f***ing hot and humid that day that Lifeson changed shirts in between songs in midset because the first one he had on was drenched. Highlights included them playing A Passage to Bangkok and Mission.

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I agree with all your rankings with one change: I would put CAT1 like this instead:

TMT

S&A

CA

 

But I have 2/3 essentially tied in that category. As for the total package, I would go for the release:

 

S&A

CA

TMT (the voice is just too horrible on the release to ignore)

 

For the actual concerts:

TMT (the voice was good every time saw them live)

S&A

CA

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Snakes and Arrows was my least favourite. It was the first time we got exposed to the practice of beginning the whole second set with basically 80 percent of the new album. I dont like it - but by the time Clockwork Angels rolled around I was prepared to accept it, especially given that it was a far superior album to S&A overall. This tour got modified as it went on. I saw them 3 times during this tour, and the set I saw in Toronto was my least favourite . Biggest example was they scrapped Distant Early Warning for Summertime Blues... LAME., and on that first leg they didn't play 2112 though they brought it back the next leg the following year.

 

Clockwork Angels gets my pick because there were interesting variations on the set, such as Neils' 3 drum solos, and the B-sides that were sucuh a joy to hear live. (Wheres my Thing, the Power Windows cuts, Body Electric, ).. The orchestra was breathtaking, and added new life to the keyboard-era tunes. I'm sad we don't have a good audio recording of all this though. If they had someone like Bob Rock mixing (ala Metallica's S&A symphony live album) it would've been a truly remarkable keepsake. But oh well, at least i was there.

 

Time Machine was a very VERY close second , and was within reasonable expectation, (Marathon was the highlight for me) however I would've swapped maybe Faithless or Far Cry for one of the cuts they ended up playing on the CA tour mentioned above.

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