July 26, 2010

The Importance Of Being RUSH

Ever notice, nobody really talks shit about RUSH. Most big bands have their haters, and in the circles I sometimes travel in, anything non Punk is looked at askance. However... NO ONE TALKS SHIT ABOUT RUSH!
I think it's because at the end of the day, they've never really done anything to piss anyone off. They are apparently very cool guys who are not adverse to poking fun at themselves. Their epic rendition of "Take Off" with Second City TV's "Bob and Doug". Their embracing of all things South Park. The whole "bro-love" thang in "I Love You Man". Their goofy videos during their concerts.
Plus... THEY FUCKING ROCK. Man do they FUCKING ROCK! Even back when Geddy Lee was screwing around with synths in the 80's, they still FUCKING ROCKED.

OK, ya got - 2112, "The Spirit Of Radio", "Tom Sawyer", "Free fucking Will". Geddy Lee- FENDER BASS. Neil Peart - MANY DRUMS (and the second coolest mustache in rock history (firs place is Greg Norton of Husker Du). Alex Lifeson - GUITAR. In fact, how many bands can you think of where the guitar player is the least known/popular guy in the band?????
Aside from the uber awesome "Behind The Lighted Stage" DVD that was recently released as a history of Rush, they are also releasing 2112 as a Rock Band or Guitar Hero or whatever those fake music making games are called. So, all the little kids are a-gonna start digging Rush. And of course, when they become teenagers, they will never get laid. Oh well, a small price for THEM to pay!

I saw Rush Saturday on a beautiful night at an amphitheater on Long Island. A full moon sat over the stage, shining over the Atlantic Ocean. It was a totally sold out show (14,000 freaks) plus standing room tickets were sold for $175!!! In these days of no band able to sell out- I give you Rush. We got very lucky as we got to the venue with no tickets and there were dozens of people looking and no one selling extras. We figured, worst case scenario, we would just party in the parking lot and listen to the music (as it's an open air facility). Right as Rush was taking the stage, we got lucky and got tickets for under face value ($40!!!!) in row 85 million. 
However, we were dead center and despite our high altitude seats (and consciousness), were able to see and hear everything perfectly. The soundfield at the venue tends to punish those to either the far left or right, as it is an open air amphitheater. No worries for us. The sound was so clear and bottom heavy that every time Geddy made a run, or Peart was pounding the drums, it felt like my chest was going to explode.
The premise was a "Time Machine", with some really funny videos interconnecting the show. The first set started with "Spirit Of Radio" and then featured mostly newer tracks (post 1985) except for "Subdivisions" and the Ayn Rand anthem "Freewill".

The second set opened with the full album performance of "Moving Pictures"- for those non Rush folks... that's the stuff that's always on the radio (Tom Sawyer, Limelight, Red Barchetta etc). Than some "2112" , "La Villa Strangiato", and a reggae-ish (yes- Rush playing reggae!) "Working Man". Oh yeah, "Closer To The Heart" was also played (I guess for the 7 girls in attendance!)

Three hours of solid performance, tightly played and, for three 50 something guys, I couldn't imaging people half their age playing tighter, louder or better. As I watched the show, I remember thinking how lucky we were to find tickets, but even more so, how lucky we were to even have Rush still kicking out the jams.

And to those of you who aren't convinced... go eat a bag of donkey dicks.


Longy said...

I'm not convinced. I wouldn't go and see this band if you paid ME!

At least we have something to be grateful to for the Rush's,Yes's and Journey's of this world. Punk Rock:)

Uncle E said...

Growing up near Toronto as a kid you couldn't help loving these guys. I mean, you have Molson Canadian, DuMaurier 100 smokes, hockey and...Rush! Who else did we have in the 70's and early 80's, and take Neil Young out of the equation, he was already an American by 1969: Anne Murray? Gordon Lightfoot? Trooper? Prism?
I have to admit to being a pretty huge RUSH fan still to this day, although only up to about Signals. My wife hates 'em, so I only listen to them in the car, but when I do I listen REALLY FUCKIN' LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nazz Nomad said...

longy- NEVER put Rush in the same category as Yes or the odiuos Journey. And I promise you, if you would have come to the show the other nite, you'd have been converted (I have magical powers!)

uncle e- chicks don't generally dig rush- though my wife was the one who turned me on to them long ago.

Longy said...

I always used to wonder what Rush stood for and then it became obvious


Only kidding Nazz. Each to their own mate.

Heff said...

Bad-Assed musicians RARELY get fucked with, and that's what the members of Rush are : BAD-ASSED MUSICIANS !

infinite fool said...

Way back in the very early 80's I saw Triumph open for Rush, then Foghat open for Rush, the Foghat open for Triumph within a single 12 month period - all at the same hockey rink in Syracuse, all for the same low price of $6 or $7. Rush were ficking awesome! Twice! Foghat were fun. Triumph sounded completely different than their records - they were ok. But let me repeat that Rush were fucking awesome! Twice!

Saw them once in the 90's & again a couple of years ago at SPAC & they were kinda lame both times - big, boring, professional Rock Stars playing big professional Rock Music. Maybe I just caught 'em on a couple of bad nights. Maybe they're better indoors.

As to the whole female presence - you couldn't get Mrs. Infinite to a Rush show with a crowbar, an Obama t-shirt, and a diamond necklace. Then again, she's a James Taylor fan, so...

Then again, given Mr. Peart's reactionary poltics, maybe an Obama shirt might not be a good idea anyway.

Nazz Nomad said...

Longy - "Rubbish" must be some British term (like "the lift")that doesn't mean the same thing in Americanese.

KISS - Knights In Satans Service

Heff - I'm a man of many layers. Like an onion. A suh-weeeeeeet Vidalia onion.

Inf: I think Rush went through a malaise in the 90's- they're better now. much much better.

Jon said...

I wasn't gonna say anything cause you were so happy and besides you never fuck with me when I say that I like girl ukulele players. Let's just say I never made it all the way through one of their songs.
It really does count that you had a real good time. Kinda like me when I go see girls playing the ukulele.

Heff said...

I put you on 'Follow'. Somethin' tells me I need to keep up with your ass, lol.

Longy said...

"KISS - Knights In Satans Service"

^ thats one I definately agree on ^

Then there's Yes (Yawning Every Second)

DanV said...

Saw Rush open for Blue Oyster Cult at Nassau Coliseum on Farewell to Kings Tour (1977??). Awesome 2 hour opening set, followed by awesome 3 hour BOC set. Rush blew me away that night, and they have only improved with age the eight or nine times I have seen them since.

And to all the haters - TAKE OFF!!!!!

Nazz Nomad said...

YES - "Yawning Every Second" - lol

Anonymous said...

I like Rush. I have nearly all Rush CDs. I've seen Rush live several times. But, dude, EVERYONE talks shit about Rush. They are like the number one mullet and Camaro stereotype band. The are the one band everyone assumes every nerdy member of the marching band in totally into. I agree RUSH FUCKING ROCKS...but many choose to disagree!

biopunk said...

I'll disagree.

I live in Canada and have endured their lame shite on the radio for as long as I can remember.

No. Avoid the Rush.

Heff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

As Rush grinded out "Working Man" in the school auditorium a guy a little older than me from just down the road slipped a switchblade in and out of another man's abdomen repeatedly out in the parking lot. Both men were loaded. Booze and pills. One man died, the other went to the Pen. Rush and Death are forever linked in my mind. Love their first record and the only time I saw them live, I was surprised at how good they were. Then again, I was on a lot of drugs that kicked in together when they hit the stage at 21:12.

aikin said...

A couple of my buddies want to go see Rush when they come here in a few weeks (they're in the 5% of decent bands who will venture this far south). I wasn't sure if it would be worth it, but you may have changed my mind.

Nazz Nomad said...

aiken- def worth going!

Jon said...

Nazz, way back about a million comments ago bad things were said about Journey. Do not misunderstand. I do not like Journey. I cannot stand Journey but they are to San Fran what Rush is to Toronto. You'd think it would be The Grateful Dead or one of the other sixties bands. Or maybe it would be The DK's or one of the 80's bands but no, it's Journey. Everyone in San Francisco seems to like Journey. You hear them all the time. Kids like Journey. Deadheads like Journey. Punks like Journey. Real tough street guys with scars on their necks talk about how they get moved when they hear that song about the lights coming on in the city. I don't get it but it's true.
All I'm saying is that if you're ever here, don't waste your time saying bad things about Journey. You will not get a sympathetic hearing from anyone but me.
I think they play Journey in between Techno songs at Burning Man. I'm pretty sure Journey is A-1 on the juke box at real weird S/M bars. They are playing Journey right now in the elevators at the Bank of America building.
I don't get it.

Nazz Nomad said...

Jon- I blame the Journey fixation on some sort of latent reaction to all of the LSD eaten back in the hippie days.

Jon said...

No, that would have made them deadheads.