Part 6: In Between the Bright Lights & the Far, Unlit Unknown
At this point actually sitting down for probably the first time tonight, Rooski and I were immediately brought to our feet (well, in his case, on top of a chair) by the deep, driving synthesized bass notes that initialize “Subdivisions”. This song, fast becoming a concert classic, sparked an immediate charge into the audience and, like with “Freewill” earlier, Rush was again into stratospheric form.
This song is from 1982’s Signals, which was the immediate follow-up to the fantastic Moving Pictures. I long resented this album as the point where Rush made a sharp turn from their classic phase, in which they built and built towards the Moving Pictures crescendo, into the realms of New Wave and beyond. In recent years, however, I have come to regard this album due to it’s unique mixture of reggae, classical, and early 80’s pop along with still-present elements of classic Rush riffs and drum textures. It’s funny how songs mature over the years.
The concert’s momentum continued with “Natural Science”, a vintage and peculiar extended piece that starts with rather mundane acoustic intro verses but soon kicks into classic jam from heart of classic Rush era. Visually stunning with animation depicting DNA strands and wormholes, fit in well with the tempo and mood which is spawned by lyrics about complete societies formed in microcosmic planets within the pools on a rocky shore, deep philosophical science fiction with a driving rhythm – fantastic!
The haunting chimes and eerie strings form an extra-long intro to “Witch Hunt”, a long time favorite of both Veggie and the Meister. The crowd roars as giant flames accompany the lyric “lonely, torch-lit hill” and the overhead screen show “faces twisted and grotesque”. This song makes a welcomed concert comeback after two decades in hiatus, rounding off the most interesting sequence of the show.