I saw my 18th or 19th Rush concert on Saturday.
I have seen at least one show from every tour since the Grace Under Pressure tour in 1982.
I have loved every one of them.
But I think this was the best show I have ever seen from them.
Rush put out a new album last year and toured last summer. I saw them in Raleigh with my nephews (their first concert ever) and St. Louis with Ted, who got me into Rush in the first place near 30 years ago. This time was with Malachi, who hadn’t been to a Rush concert in 25 years or so.
However, the demographic at Rush concerts is essentially the same people each time. Not everyone likes Rush, but those who do REALLY like Rush. They use many of the same video add-ons for the same songs each time, making Rush concerts exhilarating and comforting at the same time.
But this show was different. Their set list last year and this year were pretty close. They played in front of the same people as last year, basically. And they knew this. And so they added a bunch of tweaks and extra artistic flourishes to their songs. I especially liked the point in Red Barcheta when Alex stopped playing and Geddy and Neil simply played the bass and drum portions of the bridge. I hadn’t recalled them ever doing that, and it seems to have really resonated with Rush fans on the blogs and lists.
Usually, they take a great deal of pride in playing their songs note for note, but this show they seemed more relaxed than I have ever seen them before. They’ve always been comfortable not taking themselves seriously, but while they take their music very seriously, they have gotten to the point where they’re comfortable playing around with stuff.
I loved it.