Rush Plays Epic Opus Live in 1976

When I took a quick glance through the articles posted here at the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll, I thought that it needed just a little more hard rock and heavy metal. I live all genres of rock and roll, but there is something special about screeching guitars played far too loud, with epic grandiose songs and all spectacle that goes with them. And if you're talking about grandiose songs, one of the obvious bands to come to mind is Rush, who back in 76 were debuting a hard rock opus that would become one of the band's shining moments.

It was called "2112", it's roughly 21 minutes long, arguably one of the most epic compositions by any band and it just so happens that it's a song and an album that I've been listening to a lot recently, don't ask why.

I'm not a huge Rush fan, never really have been, but it is a killer album and song that share the name "2112" and is worth checking out if you've ever felt that you need more larger than life hard rock/heavy metal behemoths in your collection.

These clips are part one and two of the band playing the beast live way back in 1976, probably shortly after the album was released the same year. The footage is only black and white, and pretty rough what with the time ticking off and "ME-48" (I don't know what it means) over the middle the entire time, but still a great version and something that I was certainly curious to see how it translated live.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Special thanks to YouTube and dejm1 for uploading it.

You know what's amazing about Rush and this track as well if you're hearing it for the first time or the 100th, is that this is only three people on stage. Heavily influenced on Cream, Rush is one of the quintessential power trios, but their sound is just enormous, as would be required to make such epic songs sound like the thunder of the gods, and not the thunder of a small bowling alley.

The song itself is like a rock opera on steroids, a borderline heavy metal opus and it sounds pretty accurate the album version in this live take, although Alex Lifeson's guitar work is decisively rawer, which ups the intensity that much more.

Like I said, I've never been a huge Rush fan, but I still think this is a great track and album, so if you're into the harder side of rock and you've never checked out this band, album and song, take some time and do just that. I think it's worth it.


- The Soul of Rock 'n' Roll is a division of Fifth Column Media - -