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RUSH R40 Tour… for the generations

RUSH R40 Tour...for the generations
By Beth Volpert Johansen

RUSH fans are extraordinarily obsessed. It is evident in the waves of show shirts from concerts past worn by current concert goers displaying an impressive history of their amazing journey through four decades of progressive rock.

With the onset of social media, speculation about the setlist, stage nuances, and which Kufi cap Neil Peart might don all play into what trends on Twitter Feeds, Facebook and Instagram posts. Since their R40 debut in Tulsa, fans in cities across the USA have been wild with anticipation. 

The Atlanta concert held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Tuesday, May 26th provided a comprehensive and masterful tour through their eclectic discography. From readily recognizable favorites of Tom Sawyer and Closer to The Heart to the more epic lyrics of Cygnus X-1 and the lesser known movements of 2112, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart delivered a true ride in the famed Red Barchetta throughout the countryside and beyond the lighted stage thrilling fans who kept on their feet for the entirety of the 3+ hours. 

Fans from all age ranges joined parents and grandparents to share the experience. One parent, who had been at the original concert tour in 1975 remarked that it was amazing to share the music with kids who could appreciate the showmanship and talent of a band of RUSH’s caliber. One young group, a local high school RUSH cover band, Fist of Influence, celebrated the concert by submitting a cover song to an R40 Anniversary Cover Contest. The contest’s interactive discussion boards indicate the band’s healthy viability for future generations of appreciative fans. 

Atlanta fans were grateful that strong summer storms passed through just prior to the show’s opener and the only thunderhead to be found was that of Jacob’s Ladder.  Touring eventually fades away with the last notes of a concert lingering in the air as fans depart the venue. The Atlanta, GA R40 Concert closing repertoire included Anthem, Lakeside Park, and What You’re Doing. Fans sang the lyrics word-for-word with Geddy for the first part of the Working Man finale until the master took the reins displaying his show talents and owned the song to the very end while engaging the crowd with his signature expressions that projected from the video screens framing the stage.  Fans were frenetically overjoyed to witness one of the most intricate displays of musicianship in the history of rock. The quality and power generated by three guys from Ontario brought a cool breeze to a sultry and stormy southern night where fans wanted nothing more than for time to stand still…