Clockwork Angels Tour
Zoe Records/PGD

It’s easy to see why Rush doesn’t tour with an opening act. They need every minute to dig through their 30-plus-year catalog. Always the documentarians, for their latest live DVD/CD Rush culled a majority of the tracks from Clockwork Angels, but this time Canada’s favorite three-headed prog trio aren’t alone. A nine-piece string ensemble joins the group on the Clockwork material, as well as on a few older Rush chestnuts (“YYZ” and “Red Sector A”). To the die-hard Rush fan—is there any other kind?—the band’s setlist choices might signal a newfound acceptance of the more keyboard/synth-centric sounds from their mid-to-late-’80s catalog. The majority of the first set comes from some of the least guitar-friendly albums the band has made, but in the live setting Alex Lifeson’s guitar doesn’t get the shuttered treatment of the original studio versions. Although not as packed with hits as Rush’s previous live DVD, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, Clockwork strikes a balance that even new fans can appreciate.

Must-hear track: “The Big Money”