New World Men 

Rush at the Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Rush has always been a band whose intellectual lyricism was only trumped by its freakish virtuosity; adored by hardcore fans and bashed by critics who feel cerebral songwriting within a hard-rock context is an oxymoron. But by being one of the tightest and most instrumentally exciting outfits in the biz, Rush has rightfully cultivated a devoted fan base despite the scorn of the intelligentsia. The Canadian trio's new album, Snakes and Arrows, has plenty of heady songs about religious fundamentalism and other philosophical quandaries, but the band's musicianship is at the heart of these songs. And what better reason to see Rush than to witness Neil Peart continue to expand and reshape the parameters of playing drums? Wednesday, August 1 at the Shoreline Amphitheater. 7:30 p.m. $25-$79.50.

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