Rush Live in Concert
Jerry Lucky Commentary July 2011
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2011 All Rights Reserved
One of the things Iím really appreciating living in a larger centre is the opportunity to see some serious live music.
I had the opportunity to take in the current Rush concert at the Vancouver Rogers Arena on June 30, 2011 and let me say it is
great to see these guys live once again. I saw them way back-when on the Hemispheres tour and then I purchased tickets for a
later tour in the eighties but it was cancelled due to a snow storm. So this was only my second chance to see them.
And both the band and I have been through a lot over the intervening years.
Now I have a number of their DVDs in my collection and I love every minute of them. And while Iím spoiled by the clarity (audio and video) of a recorded performance, nothing beats sitting in the stands and seeing the band live so I was pretty excited. From what I could figure, this appeared to be the bandís second-last date of a tour that had actually started in June of 2010. So theyíd literally been on the road for a full year.
First off let me say how pleased I was that the sound people took my hearing into consideration when it came to mixing the sound and the overall volume. I had actually brought ear-plugs with me, as had the couple sitting next to me but while it was loud, it was nowhere near as oppressive as some shows Iíve been to. More importantly the mixing was pretty good. A few times it would get muddy and you might be hard-pressed to figure out which song they were doing, but for the most part the mix got better through the evening.
The tour was called The Time Machine Tour and from a staging standpoint everything had a kind of Steampunk feel to it. You know the Jules Verne, HG Wells Victorian look. Lots of cogs, gears, actual steam and fire. The colour palette was all gold, brass and oranges. And even the bandís video of one of their new songs (Caravan) reflected this theme.
The videos to open the first and second set featured the band in various outrageous make-up disguises pretending to be characters playing with a time machine, which naturally goes out of control and causes the clock to spin to different eras of the band where they then performed songs from. Seems to me they chose songs that they hadnít done for a while but at the same time included some favorites. Most of these selections formed the first set.
For many the big draw with this tour was that the band was going to perform all of the Moving Pictures CD which was featured in the first 40 minutes of the second set. Running through each in sequence it was interesting to see how even though the album came out in 1981, here in the live setting they fit so well with the bandís current material. Directly following this they went into one of their new songs and then mixed it up a bit more with the time machine. The crowd loved every minute of it, showering special attention on Neil Peart during his outrageous drum solo.
In the end it was everything I had hoped for in a Rush concert. There was no way they could play all of my favorites, but what they played was a great cross-section of their illustrious career: as the tour name implied it was a trip through time with some great musical stops along the way. At least thatís what I thought of it.