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...
This is what the stage looked like from above Row 99:
"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.
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:
Here's Lifeson playing the acoustic parts:
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:
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.
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!