It may be just my personal Rush history, but the opening keyboard chords for this song feel somehow archetypal for me, as though Geddy didn't so much write them as discover them. Even when the guitar comes in, the effect is seamless and laid back, very much unlike the choppiness of "Tom Sawyer." The drums, too, punctuate the flow without interrupting. Only at 0:44 do we get so much as a hint of rock.
It's only a hint, because the first verse still comes off very cool, collected, analytic. Of course, any adult talking about being a teenager has to sound analytic; it's that or just start shouting incoherently. Still, for me, the fun begins with the bass riff at 1:44, as we go into the chorus. Finally, with the bass going, I sense real musical similarity to the band that wrote "Vital Signs," especially at 2:04 when we get into "any escape..."
Neil once again exceeds my vocabulary. Any drummer could fake it and a casual audience might never notice, but for people who really listen, the absence of a simple repeating pattern jumps out. Anyone can grasp a piece of the puzzle, but few can hold the whole pattern in their heads.
In the second verse the drums show up a lot more, and I welcome that change. It gives the music a restless energy that perfectly suits the lyrics about the energy of the living night. I especially like the drum accents at 3:14, when Geddy sings about rats and traps. You want ticking, you get ticking!
After that, we go into the final chorus, and then at 4:18 the solo. It's a perfectly competent Rush solo, with all the usual ingredients, but for me it doesn't stand out from the crowd. Really, it's hard for me to write about this song because I encountered it very early in my fandom, and thought it was awesome, and then I went through that bitter Rush vet phase where I grumbled about how they don't make them like "Xanadu" anymore, and then I got over it but it was never quite the same, and then I, and then I... and also, being a basshead, I have to resent the keyboard-heavy sound of this song. I will give it this distinction: it's the best Rush song I habitually fast forward past.