This morning I was remembering a very special solo that I had the privilege to see Live: The Time Machine Tour’s Drum Solo.
It is known that Time Machine Tour features the same tracklist on every presentation, beggining with The Spirit Of Radio, and so on… But between Caravan and Closer To The Heart, there’s this drum solo which lasts 8 minutes. It has 7 different parts, from my point of view, and I made my analysis:
I . Intro
A straight pattern on the foots and a classical Neil’s rhythm development on the hands (a plenty of toms playing, and a few oddtiming chops) with some slight electronic drums samples…similar to the R30 tour’s solo: Der Trommler.
II . Intro to nature
There’s this mysterious sound on the back of the solo, which sounds like a deep rainforest with some New Age style (kinda reminds me to the “Apocalypto” movie) while he still developes the solo.
III. Syncopated drumming
Starting with a syncopated pattern on the ride cymbal, he trades the pattern between the drums, while he continuous another pattern on the foots and nature sounds keeps coming out from the Roland pads …and a grand finale on the finishing of this part. Marvelous.
IV. Switching to electronics: Prologue to Nature.
This is by far my favorite part of this ‘overture’: He switches from the acoustic drums, to another part of his huge drum kit: Fully electronic drums, and here’s why I call it Nature: You see, while Neil hits every pad at the perfect time, there are some cricket sounds, a shaker sound on the left foot and very strange noises that fits awesomely on the solo, it’s amazing.
It beggins with a determinated african rhythm, not just harmony between nature sounds, it’s more like drums on a ritual, with a few panflute leads and a lot of trading patterns between each different drum sound.
What I love the most about this part is the way how a drummer can give a touch of nature using electronic drums (normally, electronic implies electro samples, not nature) in a world so devastated by nuclear wastes, global warming, and deforestation… Maybe Neil’s intention was only to show how it all beggins (like a Time Machine) or just to show musical creativity on a world class tour. But it has a deep meaning to me.
VI. Back to acoustics: Prologue to Love For Sale
Starting with some big band samples on the electronics, Neil developes this part of the solo, as a prologue to Love For Sale, by Cole Porter, I read that this song was released on a popular Brodway Musical called The New Yorkers. The mainframe about this prologue is to remember how contemporary drumming began, with swing drum solos (Gene Krupa, Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich stuffs) with a Big Band accompanying it. Very interesting concept.
VII. Love For Sale
Neil Peart has a close relationship with this song, when he produced the Buddy Rich Tribute “Burning For Buddy” (featuring the Buddy Rich Big Band and 18 of the best drummers in the world, like Joe Morello, Marvin Smith, Dave Weckl, Matt Sorum, etc etc) he asked Steve Gadd (drummer for Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and many many more) to play this tribute to Buddy, in a studio… And later on, used the same tracks with the big band that Steve used on the occasion. He got the original tapes back, to perform this beautiful part of the Time Machine Tour. It leaves me a Back To The Future sensation :P.
The most striking thing about this part of the solo (considered by many as the main part) is the background animation shown on the concert, is an animation of a robot with several arms playing the drums, with shiny cymbals and everything created using softwares. Tandem Digital made a gorgeous job on this animation, because it’s perfectly timed, everytime Neil hits a cymbal or a drum, with the animation.
Here’s the original animation uploaded by tandemdigital:
What I also like about this Love For Sale reprise, is that I enjoy the fact that Neil’s drums sound like rock drums and not like a jazz and vintage kit, because the whole idea of this Time Machine Tour is to bring the past to the present, classical Rush songs.
And this drum solo teaches us that… perfectly! By interpretating things from all ages. A drum solo for warming up and getting the fans ‘in the mood’ for what would come next, which is Nature.. when it came the begging of man, and later on, the jazz thing, which I recall: brings the past to the present, and at the same time makes a tribute to the american people who saw Rush growing. This is so much fun.
Here’s the drum solo that I luckily saw live on Oct 17th at Estadio Nacional, in Santiago de Chile (thanks menopulus for the great quality recording and uploading)
Well, that’s basically it 🙂 I’ve concluded my analysis, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. See’ya everyone !