Opening Night | Bust Outs Galore For Rush R40 In Tulsa

By Scott Bernstein May 9, 2015 10:40 am PDT

If Rush does retire from the road after their R40 North American Tour, which began last night in Tulsa, you can’t say they didn’t break out all the stops for their final tour. Friday night’s tour opener at Tulsa’s BOK Center featured a near completely revamped setlist from 2012/2013’s Clockwork Angels tour including songs that hadn’t been performed in as many as 38 years. The trio came up with an interesting way to honor its legacy for this 40th anniversary tour (and rumored last tour) by presenting material from their studio albums in reverse chronological order over the course of the evening.

Too much fun #r40tul

A photo posted by Greg Hoy (@hoyboy_) on

As with the past few tours, Rush had a number of video vignettes created for the tour including an animated sequence shown at the start of the show that displayed the progression of the trio throughout the years. Bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart opened the first set with “Clockwork Angels,” the title track from Rush’s latest studio album. “Clockwork Angels” would be one of three songs performed from the band’s most recent LP to open the evening before they continued to roll through material from their studio albums in reverse chronological order.

The ten-song first set featured a run of five tunes that hadn’t been performed on recent tours: “The Main Monkey Business” (last played in 2008) and “One Little Victory” (last played in 2008) from 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, “Animate” (last played in 2004) from 1993’s Counterparts, the title track from 1991’s Roll The Bones (last played in 2004) and “Distant Early Warning” (last played in 2007) from 1984’s Grace Under Pressure. “Roll The Bones” was accompanied by video showing Peter Dinklage, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Tom Morello and The Trailer Park Boys rapping. Tulsa’s first set came to a close with the synth-driven hit “Subdivisions.”

A video containing outtakes from past tour videos was shown to the crowd during intermission before Rush opened the second set with “Tom Sawyer.” Next up was the first “Red Barchetta” since 2011 along with fan-favorite “The Spirit Of Radio.” The evening’s first major bust out followed as “Jacob’s Ladder” from 1980’s Permanent Waves was performed for the first time in 35 years. The bust outs continued with “Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres -Prelude” (last played in 1994) from 1978’s Hemispheres and “Cygnus X-1 Book One -The Voyage” (last played in 2002) from 1977’s A Farewell To Kings. Geddy and Alex then busted out their double-neck guitars for “Closer To The Heart” (returning for the first time since 2011) and “Xanadu” (last played in 2004) which are also off of A Farewell To Kings. The “2112” suite from 1976’s 2112 closed out the second set including the first performance of “2112 Part IV: Presentation” since 1997.

Doubleneckathon #r40tul

A photo posted by Greg Hoy (@hoyboy_) on

With two sets in the books Rush wasn’t finished with the surprises. The trio utilized a stripped down stage setup for an encore which continued to present material from Rush studio albums in reverse chronological order. 1975’s Caress Of Steel was represented by the long-lost “Lakeside Park,” last played in 1978. “Anthem” was the pick from 1975’s Fly By Night LP (last played in 1992), while “What You’re Doing” and “Working Man” were the selections chosen from Rush’s eponymous, 1974 studio debut. The former was the show’s biggest bust out as it had been on the shelf since 1977 -a span of 38 years. Rush continues the 34-date North American tour on Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska.


[Intro Video -captured by bananaman8888]

[Jacob’s Ladder -captured by acellofawareness]

[Closer To The Heart]

[Tom Sawyer -captured by Wilfredo Nanita]

Setlist (via Rush Is A Band)

Set One: Intro video -The World is … The World is, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Headlong Flight (with mini drum solo), Far Cry, Main Monkey Business,One Little Victory, Animate, Roll the Bones, Distant Early Warning, Subdivisions


Set Two: Intro video -No Country for Old Hens, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, The Spirit of Radio, Jacob’s Ladder, Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres -Prelude, Cygnus X-1 Book One -The Voyage: Part 1, drum solo, Cygnus X-1 Book One -The Voyage: Part 3, Closer to the Heart, Xanadu, 2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx/Presentation/Grand Finale

Encore: Intro Video: Mel’s Rockpile starring Eugene Levy

Lakeside Park, Anthem, What You’re Doing, Working Man (Garden Road riff at the end)

Outro Video: Exit Stage Left

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