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Post Info TOPIC: RUSH in NOLA, Sunday April 20, 2008


Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 21, 2008
RUSH in NOLA, Sunday April 20, 2008



As requested by Dusty, here is my review of the concert.

RUSH has not played in NOLA since the Test For Echo tour over ten years ago, which was also when I last saw the band live. NOLA used to be regular tour stop and I have seen the band on each tour since Grace Under Pressure, although the Power Windows stop was in nearby Lafayette, it still counts. So when the concert was announced and tickets went on sale back in January I bought mine.

Fast-forward to last week when I realized that the concert date was fast approaching, but then the NBA and the Hornets started some Main Monkey Business. It was learned that the RUSH show might be moved or cancelled because of a basketball playoff game, or as Geddy mentioned last night "some kind of Hockey game." But the promoter and band were able to swap dates with the Houston show so it all worked out for the most part.

A couple hours before showtime, I met Squidhammer at a local sushi joint -- Mikimoto on Carrollton, highly recommended if you are in NOLA and are hungry for some non-Cajun aquatic fare. We discussed the economy, the local real estate market and theDaMB.com. We then made our way to the NOLA arena.

Simply put, last night's show was great. I don't know if it makes up for the band not playing here on the Vapor Trails and R30 tours but it was one of the best RUSH shows I have attended. My seats were very good, not too far from the stage and up about 20 rows on Alex's side. The sound was some of the best I have heard at a big arena show. It was mixed perfectly and not overly loud. The three large screens behind the band had a real digital crispness and the camera work of the band members performing interspersed with all of Rush's film clips were a great backdrop.

The show began with a short intro film with Geddy, Alex and Neil on their tour bus and segued nicely into the set opener...

LIMELIGHT - Did I mention above how great the sound was? smile.gif  Great opener and the band looked as they always do, enjoying their "gilded cage" and the crowd was on their feet roaring. The stage is sparse, some amp stacks on the left, a drum riser in the middle, some chicken roasters on the right and the three large projection screens in back so the musicians are the stars. But then during Alex's solo the Blade Runner flying vehicle lighting clusters made themselves known. Those things were wild. A rotating, moving clump of all kinds of lights would descend from above every so often during the show and seem to hover over each band member. Limelight was performed superbly as most songs were to be and set the tone for the rest of the evening.

DIGITAL MAN - Took me a few moments to recognize it. From the great Signals record. This was one of my favorite tracks performed. It just has that killer groove. Signals always seems to me to be a pivotal album where the band started evolving beyond the harder rocking first half of their career.

GHOST OF A CHANCE - From Roll the Bones. Not one of my favorite tunes from that record and I don't think that record has aged well. At first I thought it was Barvado from that album for some reason. I guess this was a minor radio hit for the band back when it came out. Performance was great though and Alex's solo was inspired. I would have preferred something from Presto here but it seems every time I see Rush I have a setlist quibble like this. That is what you happens with so many songs and albums to choose from.

MISSION - This was an unexpected surprise. I like Hold Your Fire and this is one of the better tracks from it. One of the highlights of the show for me. The animations behind that band were subtle but worked.

FREEWILL - This is one of those "have to play" songs. If I had to explain Rush to someone who had never heard the band this song pretty much contains everything you would need to know. The crowd, about 80% male and 20% female, sang along.

THE MAIN MONKEY BUSINESS - First song played from the current album, first of three instrumentals from that record to be played. Monkeys are funny. The clips of Monkeys shown behind the band were funny.

THE LARGER BOWL - Killer Bob and Doug McKenzie intro. One of the better songs from Snakes & Arrows. Kind of an introspective song and the still images shown on the screens went along well.

RED BARCHETTA - This may be my favorite Rush tune and being in the stadium and taking it in was like being in church. In a good way. smile.gif

THE TREES - Another "must play." A fan favorite that the crowd was totally into.

BETWEEN THE WHEELS - A deep cut from Grace Under Pressure. One of the heavier songs of their catalog or at least one of the more dissonant and one of the more enjoyable songs that was played.

DREAMLINE - Another one from Roll The Bones. Not a bad song but there are some songs in the Rush catalog that I have burnt out on and this is one of them. The lasers were cool though.

(INTERMISSION)

FAR CRY - Second half of the set started with another film. These films are goofy and fit the humor of the band. Far Cry is one of the best songs off Snakes & Arrows but I felt that it comes across slightly better on the record than live. I think it was the distracting visuals that diminished it slightly for me. I felt the circuits blowing though.

WORKIN' THEM ANGELS - Probably the best song off the new record. One of the interesting things one sees at a Rush show is the fancy footwork. Geddy plays some parts of songs with foot pedals and Alex is always hitting a pedal to alter his guitar sound. One new development for me was in noticing that Alex has an effect setting in his rig that allows his Les Paul sound like an acoustic guitar that is fairly convincing. He used it in a few songs and it surely beats switching to an actual acoustic guitar although he did employ one in some songs.

ARMOR AND SWORD - This song has yet to really grow on me after repeated listenings of S&As. At this point I started wondering that a better choice might be to have mixed these S&A songs in between some older songs.

SPINDRIFT - Another heavy dissonant song. My comment on the previous song applies here.

THE WAY THE WIND BLOWS - Overall I find S&As to be a mixed bag. This song is one of the ones I like. Alex bluesy guitar makes it. It also has a nice groove during the verses and the chorus is fitting. I'm sure the lyrics make some kind of point but I haven't heard it enough times yet.

SUBDIVISIONS - One of my favorite Rush tunes. Good rendition. Geddy had a keyboard issue but he fixed it on the fly. Alex seems to be singing on more songs, he did his "subdivisions" bit here but in most of the other songs his vocals are very low in the mix.

NATURAL SCIENCE - I am kind of burnt on this one too. But it was during this song that I started to realize something. There was a man and a woman standing about 10 feet down and to the right who seemed to be doing an interpretive dance. It seemed whenever a song that was from Permanent Waves was played these two simply went nuts. Whenever I go to a Rush show there seems to be some sideshow thing that occurs. There was another instance, perhaps the Hold Your Fire or Presto tours, where some woman disrobed and watched the show in the nude. I mean it's rare to see women at Rush shows in general much less ones where Rush's music entices them to take off their clothes. Usually it's just the opposite.


WITCH HUNT - Nice use of pyro. Great song. Third of five from Moving Pictures. Unfortunately I am kind of burnt on this one too.

MALIGNANT NARCISSISM and DRUM SOLO - Neil is the master. His little hat and t-shirt totally matched his drum kit.

HOPE - 9th and final song from S&As to be played. Alex's solo acoustic number.

THE SPIRIT OF RADIO - Back in church again. Another of my and the crowd's favorites. Interpretive dance couple were so into it that another man and woman directly in front of me started openly mocking interpretive dance couple by emulating their moves. At least I think they were mocking them. A highlight of the show.

2112 OVERTURE and TEMPLES OF SYRINX - Exquisite. The high point of the show which started with Spirit of Radio was in full gear now. The crowd did the obligatory "hey" chant against the main riff of the overture.

TOM SAWYER - The intro cartoon to this was worth the ticket price. It featured the South Park kids. I think I elevated into a higher plane of existence when Neil did his tom tom roll drum bit during the solo. Those drum fills have got to be some of the coolest drum parts ever.

(ENCORE)

ONE LITTLE VICTORY - Only Vapor Trails song of the night. I would have preferred Ceiling Unlimited or Earthshine but it wasn't bad.

A PASSAGE TO BANGKOK - Would only have been better if I was stoned. Judging from the smell in the arena some folks were already on that train.

YYZ - My theory on this song is that Rush never has to write another instrumental as they attained perfection with this one. All subsequent instrumentals pale in comparison. A nice set closer and as soon as the last note was played Neil bolted from the kit and ran off into the bowels of the arena like he was running a marathon.

Great show overall. I had some minor set list quibbles but it is a rare show that I do not. If they come to your town and you can tolerate Rush then it is worth the ticket price.


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Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 21, 2008

Additional Rush NOLA story here.

Alex Lifeson interview text and mp3.

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Rising

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Date: Apr 21, 2008

I agree with Art on all accounts.

One good thing about Rush is all my favorite songs are their hits. They pretty much have to play YYZ, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio, Freewill, etc. every time they tour.

My seats weren't as good as Art's but they were very comfortable. I probably had a better view of the special effects than he did but could only see Geddy's nose, Alex's blubber and Neil's ego from the distance without help.

I saw the first leg of this tour last year in Dallas. I enjoyed it a lot more in the AC (and I think the band did too.)

It was nice to just chill and watch at my leisure since I didn't have an overriding need to pay close attention to every element since this was my second viewing for most songs.

Alex played a lot of Les Paul guitars - which was unusual for him.

The sound was great sometimes but a bit muddy at times. There were a couple of songs where the drums were not easily discerned - a no-no for Rush fans.

Some stupid guy sitting behind us was one of those "experts" who knows less than most fans but feels the need to explain every friggin' thing to his even less knowledgeable friend.

Another guy was screaming "yeah!" in unison with Neil's snare for most of the concert. Luckily he was far enough away to amuse but not annoy. I would have killed him if he were closer.



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King of Rock and Roll

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Date: Apr 22, 2008

squidhammer wrote:

I agree with Art on all accounts.

One good thing about Rush is all my favorite songs are their hits. They pretty much have to play YYZ, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio, Freewill, etc. every time they tour.

My seats weren't as good as Art's but they were very comfortable. I probably had a better view of the special effects than he did but could only see Geddy's nose, Alex's blubber and Neil's ego from the distance without help.

I saw the first leg of this tour last year in Dallas. I enjoyed it a lot more in the AC (and I think the band did too.)

It was nice to just chill and watch at my leisure since I didn't have an overriding need to pay close attention to every element since this was my second viewing for most songs.

Alex played a lot of Les Paul guitars - which was unusual for him.

The sound was great sometimes but a bit muddy at times. There were a couple of songs where the drums were not easily discerned - a no-no for Rush fans.

Some stupid guy sitting behind us was one of those "experts" who knows less than most fans but feels the need to explain every friggin' thing to his even less knowledgeable friend.

Another guy was screaming "yeah!" in unison with Neil's snare for most of the concert. Luckily he was far enough away to amuse but not annoy. I would have killed him if he were closer.






   What many Rush concert goers forget is that they also play note for note live as on cd. Very rarely improvising or jammin something different. When they used to play CTTH there was a cool jam at the end but they don't play it anymore. Sometimes it feels like they are goin' thru the motions instead of letting 'er rip.



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Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 22, 2008

Another review here. A good read.

rushminaturepeart2008.jpg

Lil' Neil


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King of Rock and Roll

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That was one of the weirder reviews of Rush that I have ever read. Was very interesting though!

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Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 28, 2008

Dusthead wrote:

That was one of the weirder reviews of Rush that I have ever read. Was very interesting though!




Kind of a Rush guide to marriage or something.



-- Edited by artcinco at 14:12, 2008-04-28

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Rising

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Date: Apr 28, 2008

10:22 p.m.: An enormous roar greets the conclusion of Peart's solo.

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Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 30, 2008

squidhammer wrote:

10:22 p.m.: An enormous roar greets the conclusion of Peart's solo.




 



photo-4994.jpg


 



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King of Rock and Roll

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Date: Apr 30, 2008

artcinco wrote:

Dusthead wrote:

That was one of the weirder reviews of Rush that I have ever read. Was very interesting though!




Kind of a Rush guide to marriage or something.



-- Edited by artcinco at 14:12, 2008-04-28





   That was a poor choice of comparisons mein froind considering what happened to Neil in the past. cry



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Mob Ruler

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Date: Apr 30, 2008

Dusthead wrote:

 

artcinco wrote:

Kind of a Rush guide to marriage or something.



That was a poor choice of comparisons mein froind considering what happened to Neil in the past. cry

 



The whole piece was about the reviewer taking his wife to the Rush concert. My comment was about that and not Neil's personal life.


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DIO's #1 Lady Bandit

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Date: Apr 30, 2008

Is Neil the guy with the strange voice? He kind of reminds me of Sean Penn in Fast Times At Ridgemont High!! I don't know much about Rush. Aren't they Canucks? LOL

-- Edited by iBeaux at 16:54, 2008-04-30

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Mob Ruler

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Date: May 1, 2008

iBeaux wrote:

Is Neil the guy with the strange voice? He kind of reminds me of Sean Penn in Fast Times At Ridgemont High!! I don't know much about Rush. Aren't they Canucks? LOL

-- Edited by iBeaux at 16:54, 2008-04-30




If you mean is Neil the vocalist for the band, then no. He is the drummah.


 

I believe Dusty can answer about what country they are from. biggrin



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DIO's #1 Lady Bandit

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artcinco wrote:

 

iBeaux wrote:

Is Neil the guy with the strange voice? He kind of reminds me of Sean Penn in Fast Times At Ridgemont High!! I don't know much about Rush. Aren't they Canucks? LOL

-- Edited by iBeaux at 16:54, 2008-04-30




If you mean is Neil the vocalist for the band, then no. He is the drummah.


 

I believe Dusty can answer about what country they are from. biggrin

 




Not to offend you guys who enjoy/worship Rush but....back in early 2000's when we had a riske` local radio station, back when Stern was on regular radio, and the station Manager was a big time Rush fan so they played them into the ground. I just couldn't get used to the singer's voice. It was oddly cosmic and after awhile begame a bit grating on the ears.


Maybe y'awl would like to recommend a song or two that might heal me of these bad memories...LOL



-- Edited by iBeaux at 21:09, 2008-05-01

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Mob Ruler

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Date: May 1, 2008

iBeaux wrote:

 

Maybe y'awl would like to recommend a song or two that might heal me of these bad memories...LOL




Start with the album MOVING PICTURES. If you don't like that then the band isn't for you. If you like that then try Permanent Waves and Signals, maybe 2112. If you don't mind live albums then Exit Stage Left is a good sampler of their best era.



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