Music » Critics' Picks

Rush

8 p.m. Friday, August 24. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.

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When Rush released Vapor Trails in 2002, it marked the return of the Canadian classic rockers after five years off. It also marked the band's return to a stripped-down, guitar-centric songwriting approach — a direction it expands upon with 2007's Snakes & Arrows, which incorporates more of the blues-influenced metal and progressive rock sounds of its early recordings. The opening unison chord-bashing of the first single "Far Cry" takes the listener through several time signatures, while an airy acoustic guitar keeps the pulse in the background before the band settles into one of its trademark airtight grooves. As the band slides into the chorus, Geddy Lee laments, "One day I feel I'm on top of the world/And the next it's falling in on me/I can get back on/I can get back on." After thirty-plus years and eighteen studio albums, it's clear that Rush always finds a way to do just that.

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