Weekend Adventures… The Concert…

So, I mentioned the Rush concert – and it was great! The seats ended up being about 6-7 seats off of center stage, and about 20 rows back. My sister (who had last seen them on the Roll the Bones tour in 1991-ish) commented that the seats were “much better” then the ones she had for the other show. We could actually see the band – not as dots on a far off stage, but as real people – facial expressions and everything!

And, being the musical goober that I am, I also took notes. I wrote down the set list as they played to possibly recreate the concert later (it was the first concert [period] for my nephews, and they could get a kick out of it). When we got into the car after the show, the eldest (9) commented, “We were just listening to this. They were just playing.”

I’ll put up the setlist later, once I actually have it in front of me.

UPDATE: Well, I had actually tried this part earlier this week (like, on 1 July) but for some reason the stupid thing didn’t feel like cooperating when I tried to post it. Well, here goes again…

About the stage setup and opening video. During the last two tours, Geddy has had dryers on his side of the stage to balance out Alex’s amp stack (for R30, Geddy had 2 dryers and a deli-style cake display that he would put various souveniers in). Neil’s drum kit (complete with the rotating riser) was in center stage.

For this tour, however, Geddy has changed things up. He has ditched the dryers, and replaced them with hig powered bass amps – in the form of two rotisserie chicken ovens! (And yes, during the show people would periodically come on stage during a few moments of downtime between songs and season/basted the rotating birds.) There were even a couple of skewered pieces of poultry down by Alex’s mic stand (revealed just before the band came out).

The opening video was also hilarious, in keeping with previous tours (R30 featured Jerry Stiller introducing the show). There is a collage sequence, and then Alex is shown waking up on the bus/in an RV, freaked out. He rolls over, and nudges the person in the bed next to him, and says, “Honey, wake up: as if he had heard something outside. The figure next to him sits up – and it’s Neil. Then there’s a cut to Geddy waking up to the taunts of a twirked-off Scotsman (also played by Geddy), telling “real” Geddy to “wipe that chiken off yer face, un get up on tha’ stage!” The lights are slowly coming up, Alex entering from Stage Right and hitting the opening chords for Limelight. Neil and Geddy are hurrying to their spots, with Geddy wiping his mouth and throwing the towel off to the side of Stage Left, before fully cranking into the concert.

Set 1

Digital Man
The Space Between
Main Monkey Business
Larger Bowl
Secret Touch
Beneath the Wheels

Set 2
Far Cry
Workin’ Them Angels
Armor & Sword
The Way the Wind Blows
Natural Science
Witch Hunt (?)
Malignant Narcissism
[Drum Solo – reworked]
Summertime Blues
Spirit of Radio
Tom Sawyer

One Little Victory
Passage to Bangcock
Leave That Thing Alone

* A Note About the Videos
What is a great concert without at least a few great videos to either support or accent the songs – or to just give the band a quick moment to towel off or get some water. With a three hour show, you know Rush is going to have a few. Here are the “highlights” – some of the ones that struck me enough that I can stil remember them two weeks later.

Set 1
Geddy introduced Monkey Business, and during the course of the song there was a brief collage (running about three of the songs six minutes) of primate playfulness – doing a variety of activities from archive footage and other locations.

After Monkey wound down, the stage went dark, and a “Bob & Doug McKenzie” flashed onto the screen. They were sitting at a table, snacking, and finally talked about chips. One finally says something to the effect of, “Yeah, he likes eating them [this way], but I like using the Larger Bowl.” At which point, the band started.

I really liked the video that was used as a supporting piece for Larger Bowl. It was beautiful to see the juxtaposition of images like a shot of Klan members on one screen, countered with a shot of a Civil Rights protest. There were also a few CGI spots, including one that showed (on two different screens) and image of a house/building that was, theoretically, the same – but one screen showed the image as a well cared for mansion, while the other image showed a building with bars on the windows, as if it were a prison. (Listen to the song, or read the lyrics then think about the images that I remembered, and you might get why I liked the video so much.)

Set 2

Far Cry – I really liked the video for this one – actually, I would prefer this one over the studio produced video for the single. The “baby carriage” is the principle feature, going all over the countryside & world, and the faceless baby periodically playing with a snake (I think – throwing it, etc – at this point I’m fuzzy on that detail). The coolest part was at the end of the video, when the baby’s arm comes over the side of the carriage, and flicks a “thumbs up” sign.

Angels – This was another one of the “cool concept” videos, like Larger Bowl from Set 1 – taking various stock phot images – anything from 1920’s construction stills (like, skyscraper construction) to modern day soldiers in the “sandbox” – and superimposing angel wings into the images, coming from their backs. Very cool…

Wind Blows – A nice CGI piece, featuring a “family” traveling the country side, walking into the wind. Periodically, the littlest member would be blown backward (rolling), only to be picked up and carried forward again. It fit the music well, but like the video for Bowl would probably take a couple of viewings to get all of the subtleties.

[Solo] – Neil reworked the performance portion, and the “Big Band” video portion received a little tweaking as well to go with the new ending. Some of the same images & video bits are still present, but recut with a some new ones added. Unless you find a pirated a recording, or they cut another DVD, well… your loss!

Tom Sawyer – The stage went black, and the projection screens were glowing, focusing on a sign reading “Lil’ Rush”. A few moments later, the camera pans back and it’s South Park, with Kenny on drums, Cartman on keyboards, Stan & Kyle on guitars. And the video dialogue went a little like this:
{They start playing Tom Sawyer}
Cartman: My name’s Tom Sawyer, and I built a raft, and went sailing down a river with a black guy.
Kyle: Dammit Cartman, that’s not the way the song goes. That’s Huck Finn, I’ve read the book.
Cartman: Screw you! I’m Geddy Lee and I sing whatever lyrics I want to sing.
Kyle: Start the song again, and this time play it right.
{someone counts the tempo off} The screens go dark and stage light flare up as the band starts playing the song.

One Little Victory – The dragon video from the Vapor Trails tour.

Bangcock – A montage video with a couple of train shots, as well as a couple of Marijuana plant shots. The other reason I couldn’t help but laugh at this goes back to the R30 tour – Jerry Stiller’s bit in the opening video about, “I hope they play Bangcock… nah, they never play Bangcock.”

Overall, (as usual) it was a great show, and I highly encourage people to check it out. Jenn (my late wife) was never much of one for the studio albums – the way they were mixed, generally – but she went to the R30 show with me and had a blast.

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