This is the last comic in this chapter. Next chapter, we (finally) get to see this show they’ve been building to for over a year in the real world!
Last week I mentioned that I’d just seen Aerosmith and Van Halen and been blown away. I was fortunate enough to also get to catch Rush on their R40 tour last week. That was an amazing show, and it gets better day by day as I immerse myself deeper and deeper into the studio albums I wasn’t familiar with.
The show was basically a celebration of their whole career, presented from present day backward through their albums until the very beginning. They played about a song per album, starting with one off their latest and moving backward all the way to Fly By Night (for which they played “Anthem”) and finally their debut self-titled album as well.
Further along with this “backward through time” theme, they gradually modified the stage setup to roughly follow their careers backward as well, beginning with art pieces on stage behind them, rolling back to Hughes and Kettner full stacks for Alex Lifeson and Washing Machines for Geddy Lee (which he used for a while to fill the space left by the on-stage amps he abandoned). In the second act they began with massive Marshall and Ampeg stacks, respectively, which were gradually carted off until all that remained was whatever they were playing when they started the band in school.
It was a show that catered to the die-hard Rush fans, featuring as it did a lot of tracks other than their most famous singles. I have been up to now a casual rush fan, being familiar really only with about two studio albums and their radio hits, but I still had a blast. And now I’m having even more fun exploring the albums and songs I heard at the show.
It was also the loudest concert I have ever been to in my life by far. It could be because I was in the upper deck, which I’m pretty sure has stronger PA coverage than the floor where the sound booth was, but damn, it was loud (almost too loud to understand at times). If you happen to have tickets to one of the remaining shows on the tour (which you should probably try to get), I’d recommend bringing some decent earplugs, just in case. Still totally worth it though.
The KISS show I went to in ’09 is still the best show I’ve ever been to, but that one was hard to top. The crowd was amazing (KISS fans are awesome), the band was ON, I’d driven 9 hours and out of the country to get there, and I knew every word to every song they played (but one). And finally, it is a memory tempered by a fond nostalgia that only grows stronger as time goes by. I very much doubt any show will ever top that one for me.
…But those three bands did a good job trying!