Sunday, July 22, 2007

An Evening with Rush

With a show starting at 8:00pm, my brother said he'd pick me up at 6:45, leaving us plenty of time to get to the White River and get seated. Well, turns out he didn't pick me up until about 7:15 or so, due to poor weather (pouring rain and wet-ass humidity in July!) and horrible Friday night traffic. Luckily, I had my trusty MP3 player loaded up with all things Rush, and I was able to geek out with Knight's friend Ken, who was attending his 35th (!!) show.

Growing up a Rush fan was kind of tough for me. I knew other guys who liked Rush, but rarely did I know anyone who was as serious as me. Now, there definitely are some hardcore Rush geeks out there. I don't consider myself that intense. And when I did know other dudes that were really into Rush, I never saw a show with anyone like that. In fact, including Friday's show, I've seen 3 shows in which my companion was someone who I wouldn't even consider a casual Rush fan. So, to have someone in our group (me, Knight, Ken and his wife Tonja) that was a big Rush fan was cool.

Anyway, it took FOREVER to get to the venue. We got there at about 8:45 and they were already well into their first set. Walking around the puddles in the parking lot, we heard The Larger Bowl. After that was Secret Touch from the Vapor Trails record. We finally made it to our seats just as Circumstances was starting.

And it was all good. Our seats were center stage, in the 200 level, which gave us a great view and great sound. Plus, we were under the covered area and stayed relatively dry.

In my many years of listening to Rush boots, watching bootleg videos and the like, I've come to realize that though Rush sounds so precise on studio recordings, it can be a crap shoot when it comes to playing live. After all, it's 3 guys playing 3 instruments, but sometimes even more than that. Instruments, that is. So, my point is that I've heard some real Rush trainwrecks. Luckily, on Friday, the boys were ON. Chalk it up to having a week off between shows or whatever, but we were treated to a fine performance. They were tight. Heck, even parts they usually blow when they're tight (think first riff after morse code intro to YYZ) were tight. Very great performance.

And, say what you will about the lousy parking situation at the White River Amphitheater (did I mention it took us over 1 hour to leave the freakin' lot??? And then another 45 minutes to get to the freeway???), the killer sound almost makes up for it. You could hear all the instruments and vocals super clearly and cleanly. The only thing I would've changed was more bottom end on the bass as Ged's tone tends to get a little thin at times.

All in all, I'm super glad I went to the show. Knight really enjoyed it as well, and this is a guy who maybe heard 2-3 Rush songs his entire life. I took a bunch of faraway cell pix and surprisingly good sounding video clips. I'll have to sort through those and share 'em another time.

If you have a chance to see Rush, do it. They're fantastic.