Chicago Loves Rush.

Rush.jpg

Saturday night, Kate and I attended a superb outing from everyone’s favorite Canadian power trio. As you know, I’ve been a Rush superfan for the past 17 years (first heard Presto in high school). Seeing them in concert is proof that if everyone listened to Rush, well, let’s just say that it would solve everything.



The official wrap-up is after the jump.

Rush.jpg

Saturday night, Kate and I attended a superb outing from everyone’s favorite Canadian power trio. As you know, I’ve been a Rush superfan for the past 17 years (first heard Presto in high school). Seeing them in concert is proof that if everyone listened to Rush, well, let’s just say that it would solve everything.



The official wrap-up is after the jump.


First off, the set list.



For over a decade, Rush has been touring “An Evening with Rush” — two full sets with no opening act. Remember, these guys are in their mid-50’s now and are incredibly tight. Also remember that they have always operated on the fringes of the music scene, never recording more material than would make it on the album, and never (really, now) compromising to any recording industry standards.



Rush albums typically go platinum the first week and then drop-off, making the record company’s money back and fulfilling the immediate listening needs of their base.



So the set list:



ACT ONE

Limelight

Digital Man

Entre Nous

Mission

Freewill

The Main Monkey Business

The Larger Bowl

Secret Touch

Circumstances

Between the Wheels

Dreamline



ACT TWO

Far Cry

Workin’ Them Angels

Armor and Sword

Spindrift

The Way the Wind Blows

Subdivisions

Natural Science

Witch Hunt

Malignant Narcissism

Drum Solo

Hope

Summertime Blues

The Spirit of Radio

Tom Sawyer



ENCORE

One Little Victory

A Passage to Bangkok (!!!!!!)

YYZ



What a great call to open with Limelight!! Between the Wheels was a personal highlight, it’s a super B side song from Grace Under Pressure and has become one of my faves over the years. Kate’s favorite song by Rush is The Way the Wind Blows, they played Matt Hanner’s favorite Entre Nous . . . and . . .



We saw Mark Hanner!



Mark Hanner, his bro Matt, Patty, and his entourage were in the house. We were on the lawn towards house left, saw ’em at intermission, then headed back to our well-reserved blanket for the drum solo b/c we had a better view over there. Always a pleasure to rock out to Rush live with the Super Mario Hanner Brothers.



A note on the drum solo — if everyone saw a Neil Peart drum solo, it’d be the highlight of their week. In fact, if you go to a Rush concert and if the drum solo is legitimately not the highlight of your week, I’ll personally refund your money. It’s not often you get to see a master craftsman do his thing. The solo was ALL NEW (!!!!!!!), few old tricks and a dynamic new organization of the acoustic to electronic back to acoustic. Ended with the swing like usual but via a completely different song.



A few other observations:



Again, every Rush concert goer is ready to rock. No fights, no words exchanged, just a communal appreciation of some of our world’s greatest musicians.



Got a t-shirt and a tour book. Read the tour book to Kate on the trip back from Tinley Park. I think she dug it. Or maybe she was just being polite.



As you know, Rush has a song called Take Off based on the SCTV Bob & Doug sketches. In this tour, they’re running a new short film to intro a song — with Moranis and Thomas back in the Bob & Doug costumes on the old SCTV set. Rush and the SCTV folks have been longtime collaborators here and there — SCTV did an intro to their 1985 tour — and get this!



Since they’ve become buds with the guys at South Park (enough street cred for ya yet?), they got Matt Parker and Trey Stone to do an animated intro to Tom Sawyer, complete with the kids playing instruments as ‘lil Rush. The entire concert even opened with a Run Hanner Run-style intro video, with Geddy playing some Scottish roadie.



Pink Floyd took breaks during recording Dark Side of the Moon to watch Python, and Rush has always been a fan of irreverent comedy. In fact, their shows are full of jokes, as are many of their songs. Listen to Spirit of Radio and you’ll hear that the song is actually a hard rockin’ parody of top 40 songs — ironic that one of their most recognizable hits is making fun of recognizable hits.



The night was fantastic, the weather was perfect, and this is now concert #8 for me. After 33 years of making music, these guys are still tighter than tie line and really earned their money last night. Thanks to Kate for the tix (a b-day present) and to Rush for designing a fantastic RO.

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