Good gracious, what a ridiculously awesome show.
In the last year or so I’ve been catching up on a lot of the “classics,” and this show was BY FAR the best of the bunch. The Police was fairly disappointing, The Who was great (though obviously past their prime and missing half the band), but Rush was absolutely FANTASTIC.
The band has certainly aged, and cracked jokes about needing an intermission because they’re “not spring chickens anymore” but musically they haven’t lost a beat. In fact, I’d venture to say that if anything they’ve only gotten better. Geddy Lee still belongs on the cover of Bass Player magazine and hops all over the stage. Alex Lifeson makes me drool both over his immense talent and his immense collection of gear. Neil Peart could still make Thor blush with the thunder that he brings forth. (Though I’m sure Mr. Weir still disagrees.)
And as for the spectacle of the thing … sweet jeebus, do these guys know how to put on a show. Pyrotechnics, frickin’ laser beams, the McKenzie brothers from Strange Brew, a badass song intro courtesy of Southpark…
Such a damn good show. Everyone should experience this, at least once in their lives.
A couple of observations on the crowd:
1 – The nerdiest crowd of any “mainstream” act you’ll see
Well, what else would you expect from a band whose lyrics are often inspired by science fiction and Ayn Rand novels? If you were in any nerdier of an audience you’d probably be wearing a costume of some sort or dodging flying boxes of Kraft Cheese and Macaroni. There were several cars in the parking lot with bumper stickers like “My Other Car is a Tardis” and “Marching Bands Do It With Rhythm.”
2 – Superstarnoff Musicplex Center sells a lot of hot dogs to this crowd
That’s not because these are particularly the kind of people who like concession stand food, but because for being such a nerdy crowd, this is the closest thing many of them will get to an Allman Brothers or Grateful Dead show. Though it doesn’t seem to be nearly as common at concerts much any more, there was a thick haze over portions of the crowd that couldn’t be attributed to the fog machine. And you know, after a while, man, those nachos just start to look sooooo good.
3 – It was an overwhelmingly male crowd
There tends to be something about Rush that just draws Y-chromosomes and repels estrogen. As far back as I can remember, I’ve really only known one girl who liked Rush, and a lot of people pretty much already assumed she was a lesbian. That’s fine. Truth be told, we guys are quite happy to enjoy air drumming along in the audience without being told to cut it out because “we’re making a scene.” Speaking of which…
4 – You will never see more “air drumming” in your life
90% of the dudes in the crowd looked like this: