Forgive me, I'm feeling a little Rushed.
One of the best things about my Lady-Love is that my Lady-Love will drag my sorry ass out to concerts.
Not to work them. To go to them and enjoy the show.
One of the really cool things about my Lady-Love is that my Lady-Love just happens to appreciate the best damned Canadian Progressive Rock band ever, Rush. I can only say that because I happen to know for a fact that the Rheostatics couldn’t make it 30 years. Wimps! (Ha! You know I love you guys too!)
This was the first time I saw Rush since the Presto tour - what was that, 1990? Presto still runs atop my list of favourite concerts; certainly without peer until the last year or two. The part about Presto that grabbed me so much was this amazing transition from studio to stage and the integration of lights and a projection screen and Rush’s quirky sense of humour that put me completely on ear. Oh, and yes, the dancing bunnies pretty much left me astounded.
There is one thing that’s stuck in my craw from the last time I saw Rush. Geddy was as great as ever, Neil truly blew me out of the water with just how good he sounded live, but Alex.. Tha’ wee Alex, he kinda let me down, see. He played fine, but it just seemed “fine” to me. It didn’t sound great, it didn’t sound bad, to me it felt like he was playing along and not pouring much emotion into it that night.
Oh my. Absolutely no way, no now, not a chance tonight. Alex absolutely stole the show to me. Riffs were sharp, he was clearly enjoying himself, he was alive and into it, he was interactive, he positively shone.
I loved the show, it was very cool to hear some of the older and more obscure songs. “Entre Nous”.. Oh my! I was never much hooked on Roll the Bones or Vapour Trails, so there were wide swaths of music that I only vaguely recognized. But the new songs off Snakes and Arrows seem like winners for me. I’ll have to go find a way to buy a copy. How does one go out and buy music these days, anyways? Are there still any stores left after Sam’s closed?
I’m not much of a fader jockey, but I do know the sound was lousy. Everything was hissy at the high end - it felt like getting rattled with a blast of white noise with drums underneath it. I walked out of there with my ears hurting and barely hearing my Lady-Love’s vocal range. We were sitting in front of the sound board. I know everyone mixes differently, but in all the years of hearing the NPG guys doing sound I’ve never come out with my ears hurting.
But there ya have it. Since January of 2006 I’ve been to four great concerts that all are fumbling around my favourite shows of all time. Rheostatics, The Who, Roger Waters and now Rush. All very different shows that were put on with very different philosophies and they all worked very well for me. Next up: Buddy Guy! Now just when DO I get to know B.B. King off my To-Do list?