Credit to HG Wells. Without his trusty time machine, prog fans across the world may have never again been able to experience the live version of the Canadian prog kings’ recently reissued 1981 classic, Moving Pictures.
With its Victoriana-meets-sci-fi theme, the Time Machine Tour treats fans to a three-hour long set where Rush play the album in its entirety.
“I’m not sure which of us came up with the idea for the steampunk theme,” says guitarist Alex Lifeson, “but on this tour we really wanted to approach the whole setup with a unified stage presence of the whole idea.
We had these cabinet [cases] made by a company in Toronto - they do sets for movies, too - and round the back there’s a fitting for the CO2 that creates the steam effect and a flat screen monitor for the video displays.
“There is a space for the actual speaker cabs, too,” Alex continues, “but we’re not running them right now. On the first half of the tour we did, but then we tried running straight out of the Palmers [speaker simulators] and it’s cleared up the stage sound remarkably. It’s a lot quieter onstage; it’s a lot easier to put everything through the PA and it makes for a much cleaner and articulated sound for the whole show.”
Total Guitar recently caught up with Lifeson backstage at one of the Time Machine dates to check out his entire live setup. Click through to see the guitars, amps and effects behind the tour…