The word ‘rockstar’ may not immediately come to mind with a quick glance at Geddy Lee. But that’s exactly what he is. Lee is the most famous name from the trio that make up the legendary rock band Rush. The three recently played to a full house at the Hp Pavilion in San Jose and gave the sold out audience an epic set. Actually two sets with an intermission. Selling out an arena is a feat within itself these days. Selling out arenas for the better part of 30 years is nearly impossible. Rush must be used to the site of thousands of people screaming their lyrics back to them and, apparently, aren’t tiring of the tour grind.
The majority of groups today have a staggering number of musicians accompanying the lead singer. Rush’s sound rivals many of their fellow road warriors and is produced by three very talented musicians. What sets Rush apart, other than their musical style, lyrics and following, is their extreme talent. These three have mastered their respected instruments. The live show proves that. Whether it was a drum solo, a lead guitar solo or Lee wailing on the bass, it was all flawless.
Some groups that have an intellectual message and a sincere understanding of composition don’t bother putting much thought into the actual show. Rush isn’t one of those groups. Mid way through the second set flames began towering over the drum kit. Actually, bursts of fire made many appearances throughout the three plus hours they occupied the stage. Lee and company know what their fans have paid to gain entry into the venue and they didn’t seem interested in short changing anyone.
“Tom Sawyer,” is the song that Rush’s most casual fans will recognize. The song that was released in 1981 still elicits screams from the audience when the first chords are played. But so did every other song. There was an odd hush over the arena every time the band would break. Lee would intro the next offering and the audience would wait in anticipation to hear the title of the number. Each fan had a personal favorite and was patiently awaiting their moment. It was almost like a game of rock star bingo.
The show didn’t lag at any point. Rush was on stage for an amount of time that most band can’t fathom. The fact that their following continues to grow is testament to their excellent sound and great live show. This band influenced dozens of other great bands that formed after listening to the records that have made Rush into the powerhouse that they are today. No doubt, a few kids went home and picked up a guitar because of the performance in San Jose. And no doubt, the fans will continue to come out in droves for an unforgettable night.