Happy Birthday Geddy Lee: Performing Live With Rush In 2011
Watch the concert film which begins with a hilarious skit showing an alternate reality for the members of Rush.
Rush lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Geddy Lee celebrates his 69th birthday today. Born Gary Lee Weinrib on July 29, 1953 in the Toronto suburb of Willowdale, Lee joined the band that would become Rush in 1968 at the urging of Geddy’s childhood friend and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. The late great drummer Neil Peart would officially join the band just before their first U.S. tour in the summer of 1974 and the Holy Triumvirate was born.
Rush went on to establish an extremely dedicated cult following and inevitably became one of rock’s biggest acts as well as progenitors of the progressive rock subgenre. Lee provided the band with many of their more prog-rock elements, playing both bass and keyboards, utilizing a number of different synthesizers and MIDI controllers to achieve the same sounds in a live setting that the band had on their albums.
While Rush would take a break from the lighted stage in the late 1990s, the band reconvened in 2001 and began playing live once again for the first time in six years after the release of their 2002 LP, Vapor Trails. On April 15, 2011 the power trio performed in Cleveland on their Time Machine Tour and captured what would become the concert film, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland. Rush and Cleveland had a long history, with DJs in the city being the first to play the band on the radio. Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland also became the band’s first official full-length live performance concert film from the U.S.
The Time Machine Tour setlist featured Rush playing a number of classics in the first set including opener “Spirit Of Radio,” “Freewill” and set closer “Subdivisions.” The first set also included new material like “BU2B” which would land on their next album, 2012’s Clockwork Angels.
The second set on the Time Machine Tour kicked off with a complete performance of Rush’s landmark 1981 album, Moving Pictures (the tour marked the first time Rush had ever played the LP in its entirety). Moving Pictures contains some of Rush’s most well-known songs like album opener “Tom Sawyer” as well as “YYZ” and “Limelight.” The second set also contained the first two movements of the band’s 1976 suite “2112.” Rush would bring the concert to a close with their classic “Working Man.”
To celebrate Geddy Lee’s birthday, watch Rush’s 2011 performance at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena below via Henry Grizzmeyer:
[Originally Published: July 29, 2020]