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Apparently, this has been around for awhile. But I hadn't seen it until a moment ago -- I haven't seen Rush live in probably 15 years, come to think of it -- and I think it's the bee's knees...
(Hat tip: Mick Shrimpton on Twitter.)
If you saw Rush 15 years ago, you saw them play exactly the same way they played yesterday or a month ago or two years ago. They never change. A couple of years ago I saw a music video for "Closer to the Heart" put together from live clips across the band's career and they all matched up perfectly.
A friend of mine got us tickets for $125 each for two tickets to go see Rush on their last tour. Maybe two tours ago. Not long after "Feedback" came out, whenever that was. We had floor seats, maybe 30 rows from the front. Geddy Lee could almost spit on us. My wife totally loved it. My friends thought it was great. I was sitting there thinking, wow, I could've stayed home and played my CDs. At least then I'd be able to hear Alex Lifeson clearly. (I often find the sound at Rush shows lacking.) The only time the band really came alive was during the cover songs from "Feedback" -- then they sounded as if they were enjoying themselves. As Rolling Stone's reviewer wrote, "Rush have always been a decent bar band".
When they came back around on the same tour -- I think they were playing Radio City Music Hall -- my friend called me up. "Want tickets? They're only $250 each this time!" I told him I'd had enough. My wife was upset that I hadn't gone for it. FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS?! Granted it's her money, but still.
A documentary about Rush is opening at the Tribeca Film Festival next weekend. I tried to get tickets but it doesn't look like they're selling them or something. The Website is terrible and confusing. I'm going to write a huffy letter to Bob DeNiro about it.
Speaking of Rush and politics -- we were talking about politics, right? -- another friend of mine, a big Ron Paul supporter, passed this tidbit on to me from the New York Times.:
[Rand Paul, son of Ron] quotes Thomas Paine as well as the rock band Rush: "Glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity." The prizes, Dr. Paul told an audience outside Ol' Harvey's Eats in Lawrenceburg, are the pork barrel projects politicians bring home even though there is no money to pay for them.
As I wrote back to him, we're in for a world of doo-doo if Rush starts getting quoted by mainstream politicians.
Luckily, neither Paul really qualifies.
That clip made me lol. :)
I was sitting there thinking, wow, I could've stayed home and played my CDs. At least then I'd be able to hear Alex Lifeson clearly.
I saw They Might Be Giants a few months ago at Royce Hall at UCLA. I don't know if it was the fact that they played a kid's show earlier that day or just the acoustics of the hall, but they sounded terrible. The energy of the show wasn't bad, so I think it was the acoustics.
Then I saw Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) with his then un-named other band Atoms For Peace (which includes Flea) play at the Orpheum in downtown LA. That was probably the best show I've ever seen - it sounded amazing. I'm going to see them this Saturday up at the Santa Barbara Bowl. I'm not getting my hopes up though, as the sound outside can't compare I don't think.
Some venues just sound bad. I refuse to attend a concert at Madison Square Garden ever again after seeing Rush there and being pounded by the disembodied pre-recorded vocals of Aimee Mann out of sync with the rest of the song -- and I was sitting right behind the sound board. That was the third unlistenable show I've seen there: Watch me discredit myself as I list the others! Elton John and Madonna.
Madonna's show was great despite the sound. It started off with a topless Asian woman descending from the roof sliding down a brass pole. How can a show be bad after that? It can't!
The best concert I've ever seen was Roger Waters supporting "Radio KAOS". It was nearly a religious experience. Waters even got Clare Torry to sing "The Great Gig in the Sky". I forget where I saw that. It might have also been at the Garden now that I think of it.
You can guess from my list that I don't get out much, especially not since the '90s wrapped up.
Sports arenas are HORRIBLE venues for rock concerts. The only band I've ever seen that sounds good in a basketball arena is The Cure, and that's only because massive reverb is a big part of their sound.
I'd like to think your bad TMBG experience was circumstantial. I've seen them three times, each in different contexts and at very different times in their career, and every time I've really enjoyed the "live" experience with them. Great audience banter, spontaneous setlist changes, writing songs on the fly, stump-the-band, all things that make the individual live experience "special" and not just an attempted recreation of their studio recordings.
Agreed. I've seen them around 10-15 times in a variety of venues, including a free show at Amoeba Music in LA. My biggest regret is leaving a free show in the town square in Buffalo, NY because it was rained out. Apparently they ended up playing an acoustic set on the sidewalk outside their tour bus after I left. They always put on a good show (I danced in a conga line to "New York City" at Numbers in Houston). I like the General Admission shows the best, but I like their policy at the assigned seating shows - they invite the balcony and the people in the back to come down and stand in the aisles.