[OT] Kurt reviews the Calgary Rush concert

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[OT] Kurt reviews the Calgary Rush concert

Postby Ian McDonald on Sun Sep 15, 2002 5:55 pm

As some of you know, one of my favorite groups is Rush. As I know some of you out there are also fans of Geddy, Alex, and Neil (the 3 guys in Rush, for the uninitiated), I thought you might enjoy this review of the concert the boys played in Calgary on the 12th, as written by my friend Kurt. Apologies to non-Rush fans. Hope you'll let me indulge in something a little "off-topic" (and we all know how rare that is around here! :wink: ).

And, without further ado, heeeeeeeeere's Kurt!


Well, I could probably go on for hours, but you just hadda be there, bud. Not to slight their performance back in St. John's, but they were amateurs then compared to last night. Holy moley... here's the set list (I wrote it down, but it was pretty much the same as the one I picked up from the website a while back):

Tom Sawyer, Distant Early Warning, New World Man, Roll the Bones, Earthshine, YYZ, The Pass, Bravado, The Big Money, Between Sun and Moon, Freewill (instead of Vital Signs... arrrgh! But no complaints!), Natural Science (in its entirety), a 15 minute intermission, during which I noticed my shirt was drenched from sweat on account of all the air drumming I was doing, second half started with One Little Victory, Driven, Ghost Rider (instead of Ceiling Unlimited), Secret Touch, Dreamline, Red Sector A, Leave that Thing Alone, Drum Solo (ouch), Resist (just Ged 'n Alex, with acoustic guitars), 2112 Overture & Temples of Syrinx, Limelight, La Villa Strangiato (in its entirety, plus a hilarious german-accented Alex improvising a children's story in the middle about Hansel & Grubenstein, which even made Neil laugh and had Geddy splitting his sides for about five minutes, while still playing), Spirit of Radio, then for the encore, By-tor & the Snowdog (with a cartoon running in the back of Ged & Alex as dogs chasing each other and fighting, while a cartoon Neil sat in a chair reading a book, occasionally scowling at the dogs), Cygnus X-1 (no lyrics, though) and the entire Working Man to finish.

I had an amazing seat three rows back from the boards on the curve, on Geddy's side. Completely unobstructed with about 100 amps pointed right at me. The sound was incredible. And they did not miss a note, I mean NOT ONE SINGLE NOTE. Alex was something else, I've never heard him sound better on record, live or studio, or on concert video. His solos were amazing, you could hear every note, and his guitar sound was grungy, sort of gated at the tail end. So, at the start of Tom Sawyer, the first notes "dah dah dahn dahhhnnng" turned into "chnt chnt cnht chnnnnnng", like the Metallica cut-off chords. Geddy hardly touched his little keyboard all night, except for Red Sector A and The Big Money. About 2000 people were on the ice surface in chairs, but stood up on the first note and didn't sit down after that. I was on my feet for about 80%, too.

According to the paper, there were 8500 people there. And it was indeed packed. I've never seen a crowd like that in Calgary; everyone is usually so quiet. And there were people completely overwhelmed, it seems. At the start of Freewill, for example, a mid-forties guy in a suit about 20 feet away turned to his friend and said "Omigod, I can't believe they're playing this one!". After Geddy hit all the high notes in the "fortune hunt that's far too fleet" part, everyone roared. Then, the next song, when Geddy started with "When the eddy tide retreats", this guy in the suit burst into tears! Unbelievable! He choked up again at the end of By-tor... the "da DA DA da DA DA da da da DA DA da DA DA da DA DA... da DA DA da DA DA... da DA DA da DA... da DA DA da... da DA DA... da DA... booooooooommmmm!" So crisp, these guys played like they were going to the fridge for a beer. Nothing to it.

So, what were the highlights for me... in the first half of the show, definitely Natural Science, which I was just happy to hear live, let alone hearing how amazing they sounded playing it. And I've been singing Between Sun and Moon all day, driving Katherine nuts, to boot. That was a real surprise, that one.

In the second half, By-tor and Cygnus were things I didn't expect to ever hear live, and they were just phenomenal. Everything else on the set list that wasn't my top pick tied for second! The drum solo was as expected, and you could see the young kids in the audience shaking their heads in amazement. We all sang happy birthday before the show, too, as September 12 was Neil's 50th (!).

Anyway, man, that's it for now... I'm still recovering. I got you a great shirt (XL black) and a nice tourbook. I'll get them in the mail to ya' soon, along with some things from the local paper, reviews and such. Just wish you coulda been there. And I haven't exaggerated a single thing! There's supposed to be a concert DVD coming out later and I'll be picking that one up immediatement, I can tell ya'.


Thanks Kurt! We now return to to your regularly-scheduled Brunaticking!

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Ian McDonald
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