Fireworks

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Rush - Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield (UK) - 28th May 2013

For a band who once professed to hate touring, especially in Europe, this is their fourth major tour here in less than ten years. For the 'Clockwork Angels' tour they put together a surprising setlist, bringing back older songs and playing ones they've rarely played before. This time out they're even alternating sets nightly, which is a bit of a treat for those of us who attend multiple shows on every tour. Anyway, the Motorpoint is probably my favourite big venue, mainly because it's not quite as big as the others and usually has decent sound and views from anywhere, tonight being no exception.

Following the traditional light-hearted video intro, this time of the crew 'assembling' the band backstage, it was straight into the first of two sets, and one almost entirely dominated by their 80's output. The roar that greeted the keyboard intro to 'Subdivisions' certainly created a good atmosphere, even if it IS probably the only recognised classic in the first set. Bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee is singing better than in 2010, and he and his band-mates are certainly busy creating the rich tapestries of sound with every available limb on 'The Big Money' and 'Force Ten'. The first big surprise is the keyboard dominated 'Grand Designs', which hasn't been played live since the 'Power Windows' tour in 1985/6, whilst tonight's set continues with the catchy 'The Body Electric', which is being alternated with the live debut of 1985's 'Middletown Dreams'. Another 'Power Windows' track, 'Territories', is one of many accompanied by a cool video and some superb guitar from Alex Lifeson, whilst personal favourite 'The Analog Kid' sounds as fresh and vital as it did when it came out. The poppy 'Bravado' is preferred to the rarely played 'Presto' song 'The Pass', whilst the obligatory instrumental is the under-rated 'Where's My Thing?', complete with the lion's share of Neil Peart's drum solo, which has been divided into three parts instead of one nine-minute epic. The set ends with explosions and fire accompanying the only song in this set not from the 80's, 'Snakes And Arrows' opener 'Far Cry'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Following the interval was a long video loosely connected to the 'Clockwork Angels' theme with some good acting from the band as two 'G'nomes' and a Troll, before almost an hour of the album is played, complete with a seven piece string section. As the show is put together primarily for US venues that are half-covered, the lights are much more effective during the second set as it would usually be taking place in darkness, so there's a noticeable hike in the quality of the new back projections, with additional screens being lowered and tilted, all with different images. Highlights of the 'Clockwork Angels' section include the breathtaking title-track, the spectacular pyro during 'Carnies' and the lengthy 'Bastille Day/By-Tor...' influenced 'Headlong Flight', complete with short explosive drum break and amazing bass runs. The only bit that doesn't work for me is Alex Lifeson's guitar intro to 'Halo Effect', but once the tune kicks in the string section really show their worth. 'Seven Cities Of Gold' is preferred to 'Wish Them Well' tonight, but everything is wonderfully played, not least 'The Garden', a beautiful mix of music and visuals that features Lifeson on piano and some of Lee's best ever vocals. It's fast becoming one of my favourite songs and is given extra depth here by the emotive strings.

The string section stick around to provide atmosphere for 'Manhattan Project' (preferred to 'Dreamline'), and after Neil Peart astounds with a third short solo built around synthesised percussive rhythms, the Clockwork Angels Ensemble add to 'Red Sector A' and a striking version of 'YYZ'. After they leave the stage, the set ends with a riotous 'The Spirit Of Radio'. Encores of 'Tom Sawyer' and the 'Overture/Temples Of Syrinx/Grand Finale' bring the die-hard's three hour set to a close and nobody moves until the closing video finishes. It was an interesting set that seems to have divided opinion. There's wasn't much at all to keep the fans of the seventies era happy, but for those of us who like their whole career it was one of the best.

Phil Ashcroft

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  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
  • Gazza2005 : I have bought issue 80 and I still ha e not had confirmation of my download. Please could this be sorted out
  • Gazza2005 : Hello. Can someone direct me to my download please
  • Gazza2005 : Can someone help please

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