Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rush Live at Red Rocks

I've been waiting for this for the last 8 years... and I finally saw Rush... live! Been waiting for tickets since way back when, but it was worth the wait, having bagged Row 17 at Red Rocks Amphitheater :-)

S. and I drove up there with two of his friends. They didn't have tickets, though, so they hiked up a nearby hillside to get a view of the stage. We went in about half an hour early (show was to start at 8:00). From the back, there are some phenomenal views of the surrounding hills. Here's one with a few happy campers getting a free Rush concert...

The view behind the amphitheater

This is what the stage looked like from above Row 99:
Stage from Row 99

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"Really, officer, I'm just drunk with joy!"

The stage before the show was covered up, and one of the mic stands had this mysterious sign in front that read "Big Al's Babes"...

Anyway, the show started promptly at 8:00 with a hilarious video featuring the band, and Geddy playing the role of a Scott! At 8:10, the band ran out and started the first set with Limelight.

Rush: Living in the Limelight
Playing Limelight

The pix aren't the best, but given the rules of the show were "no cameras" (I plead ignorance, it didn't say so on the ticket), I think these qualify as "fair use"

Turns out the sign covered up an array of toy dinosaurs, which were all over the Alex Lifeson's side of the stage. Geddy's bass amps this time around looked like three giant rotisserie machines; roadies dressed up as chefs would periodically check on the chickens during the show! Bit of a change from last tour's clothes dryers...

Next up were Digital Man followed by Entre Nous:
Entre Nous

Here's Lifeson playing the acoustic parts:
Entre Nous (acoustic)

Next up were Mission and Freewill, which was about when the crowd started to pick up some energy (and I got hoarse screaming "I WILL CHOOSE FREE WILL!!!")

Geddy then announced they'd be playing a few newer songs, and started with the awesome The Main Monkey Business from the new Snakes and Arrows. Also featured was a video of, well, monkeys :) Very well received by the crowd.

More songs from S&A and Vapour Trails followed: The Larger Bowl and Secret Touch. Then a real shocker: they played Circumstances from Hemispheres, never thought they'd play it live. Then yet another shocker: Between the Wheels, from Grace Under Pressure... it was about this time that, I'm not ashamed to say, I actually lost it and cried a bit. The set ended with Dreamline which was accompanied by a laser show that I just barely managed to catch:

Laser Show

All the newer songs seemed to be accompanied by BLINDING light shows, I would say they were on par with Pink Floyd's Division Bell tour.

Geddy then apologized that "due to our advanced years, we have to take a half-hour break". I, of course, didn't move an inch, to not lose my spot.

The second set started with a video, and went to Far Cry and Working Them Angels from S&A.

Working Them Angels

It was about this time that one of the bouncers told us that we couldn't have cameras in, and that we had to leave them in the car. S, bless his soul, took the fall for me and double-timed it to the car. He was back within the next two songs... I owe him so much.

Next up were Armor And Sword, Spindrift and The Way The Wind Blows from S&A. Then they went back to Signals and played Subdivisions, with Lifeson doing the "subdivisions" voice and Geddy working overtime playing both bass and keyboards. Then came yet another pair of unexpected tracks, Natural Science from Permanent Waves and Witch Hunt from Moving Pictures.

Then came the second instrumental from the new album, Malignant Narcissism, with the most scorching bassline EVER! The, the moment everyone was waiting for: Neil Peart's drum solo... except this time it was all new! That alone would make the concert DVD worth it. After thrashing the drums to near breaking point, Peart took a break as the Lifeson and Geddy continued with Hope.

Rush was never known for playing covers until Feedback, from which they played the old Eddie Cochran staple Summertime Blues. Then they let loose with The Spirit of Radio, and predictably, the crowd just went ballistic. There was a short South Park video, with Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny pretending to be Rush. Cartman (playing Geddy) starts singing "Modern day warrior, neat neat guy, floating down the river with a black guy...". The band then comes back on and shows them how it's REALLY done.

The encore started with One Little Victory, followed by Passage to Bangkok (with some hilarious videos in the background) and ended with a flawless rendition of YYZ.

The show wrapped up at 11:30, a solid three hours of music. Awesome. In case you didn't get the hint yet, go check the tour list, if they're playing anywhere near you, GO WATCH THE SHOW!


Carmen said...

hey jim, my name is carmen. i was at that rush concert to!! i loved it. the funny part is the first pic you posted of row 99 and down has me and my family in it! we're almost to the left side from the left the guy in the red shirt is my dad, the green shirt b side him is my cousin and her husband is the blue shirt infront of the guy w/ the red hat, i have the pony tail behind him (w/ my rush shirt on lol), my sis is behind me and my mom is in the green shirt sitting down! would you mind e-mailing these pics to me and any other ones you took. it would be grately appreciated. they took away our camera... :( . we even wrapped it in our jackets in a bag, but they took everything out and found it. i thoughtthat was no fair since the rickets don't say no cameras. you were lucky! how did you get yours in?? my e-mail is hope to hear from you (i don't know how to use blogger 100%, if you reply would you please e-mail!)

Anonymous said...

Sweet Pics dude... I Was 1st row Right in line with Geddy. I'm Disabled & LOL Every pic I Find is great but I Can't be seen :) I Held up a sign right before Neils Solo & Geddy Pointed & Nodded at Me :)

Jim said...

Thanks for the comments, I'll send some other notable pix when I get home (travelling now), although most of them are too blurry. As for the cameras, I didn't know they weren't allowed, I just had mine in my pocket, and they didn't ask.

I'm so jealous!!! First row at a Rush show... MAN! I noticed someone (prolly you) holding up the sign, although by then, I didn't have my camera :(

RushYYZ said...

Great show. This gay boy loved it. I have seen Rush like 40 or 50 times. This was my FAV show and that says a FREAK of a lot.

Dish me for being GAY (I was straight at my first show in 1976) but shake my and for being a Rush fan.

Last time I was at Red Rocks was in 1983 to see the Dead. This was my first Rush show there and I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, as I type his my eyes get water in the them.

Karthik said...

Jim, glad to see that your dream came true!

Jim said...

Glad you liked it, I'm only feeling bad that's it's over...

Odd, just yesterday I was telling someone about the concert and he told me he'd been to Red Rocks to see the Dead about 30 years ago, hmm.

Thank you, to the man who introduced me to Rush in the first place!!! Been quite an experience!

How's married life? :-)

Karthik said...

Hi Jim!
Married Life is great. Suddenly all the relatives realize that you are an adult and have abilities to take decisions!

Regarding 'introducing' you to Rush, the tape was bought by my brother when he was in Mania and nobody had really heard the tape at home. So, I was just getting rid of an unwanted tape :-) Glad to see you made better use of it.

Hey, sending you more photos of the wedding, BTW.

Snehal said...

Hey Jim, for some more pics, check out my orkut album and my blog at

Jim said...

Cool, so they finally see you as a man, then. And whatever the reason, I still think that Anthology tape changed things for me.

Welcome to the world of blogging!

Grafxgurl said...

im soooooooooooooo jealous.


Jim said...

Well I already told you how to fix that... in any event, while the venues may not be as spectacular as Red Rocks, you'll surely find places to go. Especially in Nashville proper.

If it'd help, I'd yell at Ed to take you to concerts!

Grafxgurl said...

wont work. Ed is NOT and never has been the concert type. i just have to make friends and eventually i'll get to go.. Gah. not gonna happen.

Jim said...

Awww... if I lived near Nashville, we could go watch any prog rock concert you like! Ok, now it's time for Ed to yell at me...

Grafxgurl said...

I think Ed needs to be kidnapped and taken to a concert himself!... problem is i cant lift him up.

Grafxgurl said...

im serious. Go check out the nearest Creation Museum ( look it up online) and GO see it the moment you have some free time. spend a whole day there.. it will blow your mind.
i got to go ( finally!) last Saturday and i'd send you some pics but you HAVE to experience it for yourself.