Originally Posted by Colin
That's part of Peart's playing. You can't just go to a concert and expect the band to improvise and change every song on their set. Sometimes it's good just to hear what you're hearing on the CD. You get a sense of familiarity with it. For example, a certain fill or something small like a triplet in a ride pattern. Neil Peart is a perfectionist in his playing. You can't dislike him just because he chooses and remembers to play every exact note on a CD. It's irrational. Not every drummer has to change what they're playing, for a concert.
+1. Also, those drummers who are so big on improv are probably improving because they can't play what they laid down in studio.
With Peart you know it's all real, no studio gimmicks with him, no double takes and do-overs...he produces brilliant drumming, puts in on record and then goes out and gets it done on stage.
I would NOT want to hear "Tom Sawyer" improvised, because it does not need to be...the fact he plays the song 'as is' time and time again is what astounds me about the guy. He's brilliant. And if you want to see Neil Peart improvise, he does and will, it's usually on his drum solos in concert. I've seen Rush over the years 7 or 8 times and not once have they (Peart, Alex, and Geddy) been anything less than brilliant and breathtaking.