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Rush Bring Out the Strings for ‘Clockwork Angels’ Tour

Alex Lifeson
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Rush are one of rock’s most beloved power trios, but for their upcoming ‘Clockwork Angels‘ tour they’ll be outnumbered by guest musicians on their very own stage.

Guitarist Alex Lifeson tells Billboard quite plainly, “Our intention is to take strings out on the road.” The group have been working with noted string arranger David Campbell to present several of their new songs with a string backing.

Lifeson says they will likely employ an eight to 10 piece ensemble to help them translate the material live, and it won’t just be on the new songs, as a few old tracks might get a fresh arrangement as well. “It’s just something different for us, and I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like,” says the guitarist.

Campbell is known for his ability to write and assemble string arrangements for many top rock artists. Lifeson says it’s likely that not only will he write the backing pieces, but he may also appear at some of the shows as well. The guitarist adds, “Certainly in the beginning he’ll be out for a bit. I think his intention is to use these musicians he’s been working with for a long time, who he trusts, and once they’re settled in he doesn’t have to be around all the time and he can come out whenever he feels like it.”

Lifeson says that on top of the string addition, the band is still in the planning phase for their fall run. He adds, “It’s a new show. It’s new staging, new lighting, everything is new and fresh about it. I would say that it’s an evolutionary extension of what the ‘Time Machine’ tour was, but we are definitely freshening it up and bringing and there’ll be a lot of new video stuff going on.” Rush’s tour kicks off Sept. 7 in Manchester, N.H.

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