Fairly Confident of this order:
MANSFIELD - The term ''classic rock'' seemed misleading Friday night. Canadian power trio Rush gets lumped into that genre, yet the band put on one of the most modern shows of the year, keyed by a new video system that held the crowd as tautly as the music did.
Rush has been around since the '70s but has always been ahead of its time technologically, and Friday night was no exception.
A crowd of 15,200 thrilled to the new Catalyst System (made by High End Systems in Austin), that triggers video clips through lighting cues. The computerized system can store up to 65,000 three-minute clips and was augmented by color-synthesized, 3-D imagery that made the light show in Stanley Kubrick's ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' seem like child's play.
Not that Rush needed the high-tech boost. The trio of singer/bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart performed with a spirit and camaraderie that acknowledged the three decades they've been together, then transcended them.
Some people weren't sure we'd ever see Rush again (after Peart's double tragedies of losing his daughter to a car accident and his wife to cancer, which prompted a long hiatus), but the trio made up for lost time magnificently. They played with the guile of veterans and the heart of a new band eager to prove itself. The result was sheer joy during the course of two sets that started strong and got even better as the night went on.
Egged on by members of Boston's multiplatinum band Godsmack (standing next to the soundboard), Rush rocked from the opening ''Tom Sawyer'' and ''Distant Early Warning,'' right through a second set that included new songs ''One Little Victory'' (with pyrotechnics shooting up from the sides of the stage) and ''Ghost Rider'' (with video of a motorcycle racing through a desert, a metaphor for Peart's escapist biker journey after his tragedies). Then came the unveiling of lasers with several songs, which accented the lighting triumphs even more.
Rush is known for heavy, industrial-age philosophizing in its lyrics - as expressed in Friday night's ''New World Man,'' ''The Pass'' (with video of a youth surrounded by factory smokestacks), and ''2112.'' But a sense of humor also emerged, for amid the lavish effects were three ordinary washing machines (placed directly behind Lee) that lent a Zen Buddhist-like touch of absurdity. Something similar occurred on Rush's last tour, during which the band had a refrigerator onstage. No heavy analysis required, though Lee did joke at the end of the first set: ''We'll be back after 20 minutes - we need a little psychiatric care.''
Yet Rush's therapy was clearly in the music. It was a turbo-charged night of intelligent heavy metal, suggesting that Rush may be ''classic'' in age but forever youthful in vision.