Hard to believe, but Rush are celebrating their fourth decade as arena headliners, and they’re doing so in style with their biggest outing yet, the Time Machine tour. The Canadian powerhouse is also experiencing a phenomenon so rare in music that it is almost without precedence: with each passing year, their popularity grows as their relevance deepens.
For a band whose next album, Clockwork Angels, isn’t due until sometime in 2012, the Time Machine tour is something of a victory lap. But the beloved trio (Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart – did we really have to tell you their names?) are putting some kick in their steps as they perform their 1981 classic Moving Pictures in its entirety.
With a dazzling multimedia presentation and a brilliantly rendered steampunk motif, the Time Machine tour is a three-hour precision operation both on stage and off. But for the seasoned pros who toil behind the scenes, it’s an all-day and all-night affair as they make sure every speaker line is assembled and hung properly, each video screen is good to go and every blast of pyro goes off without a hitch.
Journalist Paul Beaulieu, who oversees an exceptionally fine blog called The Canadian Music Scene, recently got a chance to hang with Rush’s tech crew to gain an inside look at some of the fascinating (and extremely intricate) elements that go into mounting this doozy of a show. His report is now part of our exclusive new series on MusicRadar, Access All Areas.
So fire up some Rush, sit back, and go backstage…You don’t even need a laminate!