A Heavy Metal Juggernaut

By Larry Rohter, Washington Post, April 19, 1977

A group called Rush drew a full house to Lisner Auditorium Sunday night, proving once again that the current crop of heavy metal bands is pretty much interchangeable. This particular power trio differs from half a dozen others plying the same trade only in one small respect - they're Canadian, not British or American.

Aside from that, though, Sunday night's show, which also featured the Max Webster group, was just another self-defeating exercise in heavy metal. There were occasional echoes of Led Zeppelin, both in bassist Geddy Lee's vocals and Alex Lifeson's guitar riffs, but it's impossible to cite other influences simply because Rush's music, amplified beyond the threshold of pain, is essentially characterless.

Despite all this, Rush's 90-minute set was extremely well-received. The highlight of the show - if one can use that word to describe a performance devoid of intelligence, feeling or anything else usually associated with music - was the heavy metal opera "2112," performed in full with various special visual effects. Nevertheless, judging form the enthusiastic audience response, Rush may be bound next for the Capital Center - where their stack of amplifiers will be less likely to drive dozens of unsuspecting fans out into the lobby, seeking relief from the juggernaut inside.