Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rush: The Time Machine Tour 2011

On Saturday, June 18, I saw Rush, the Canadian rock trio, in concert at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Chula Vista. I have been a long time fan, yet this was my first time to see them in concert. Ernie, my nurse accompanied me. Going to concerts is one of the perks of working with me.
I became a fan of Rush thirty years ago. It was 1981 and I was in sixth grade. Rush had recently released their album Moving Pictures, and the song Tom Sawyer was getting much airplay on the radio. I enjoyed the song, so I bought the album. I listened and enjoyed all the other songs on the album. Over the years I bought all their albums and enjoyed them all. But, to this day, Moving Pictures, is my favorite Rush album.
By the time I arrived at the amphitheater, the excitement was growing stronger within me. I was actually going to see them live. My seats were located in the wheelchair section on stage right, behind the first section closest to the stage. Last time I was here for a concert, I sat on the left side where the only way to get there was by a cramped elevator, which I had to squeeze my chair into. There was only enough room for me, but not my nurse. I was nervous about being stuck in there alone if something went wrong with the elevator. I vowed never to sit there again, even though they were great seats. This time I sat on the right side where you can access the seating area by a ramp. It was nice not having to squeeze into the elevator. The view of the stage was excellent, especially since the wheelchair seating is raised enough that people standing in front of me won't block my view.
I was excited to be there and couldn't wait for the show to start. As the seats started to fill and as it neared showtime the chatter and excitement started to grow. The concert started with a humorous short video starring the members of Rush. It was shown on the large video screen at the back of the stage. The cheering started during the movie, but when the band took to the stage, the cheering rose to an incessant roar.
The three band members: Geddy Lee, vocals, bass, and keyboards; Alex Lifeson, guitar; and Neil Peart on drums, walked on stage as the pent up cheers filled the amphitheater. They started the set with the The Spirit of Radio, then played Time Stand Still, Presto, Stick It Out, Workin' Them Angels, Leave That Thing Alone, Faithless, a new song BU2B, Freewill, Marathon, and ended with Subdivisions.
After an intermission they showed another humorous short video, also starring the band members. As the video ended, they started the second set. The second set started off with all the songs off my favorite Rush album. Moving Pictures. This also marked the 30th anniversary of the release of this album. The songs off the album were Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight, The Camera Eye, Witch Hunt, Vital Signs. They played Caravan , a new song which will appear on their upcoming album. There was an awesome drum solo (Love 4 Sale) by Neil Peart, in my opinion, one of the greatest rock drummers. Neil Peart was completely surrounded by his extensive drum set, which included acoustic, as well as electronic drums. He played with extreme intensity, and energy. At one point, the whole drum set rotated. Next they played the anthem Closer to the Heart. The song started with the instrumental song, Hope. It gave Alex Lifeson his chance for his guitar solo. During the song, people held up their lighters and lit up cell phones as they swayed to the song. After that, they played the sci-fi inspired 2112 Part I: Encore, and 2112 Part II: Temples of Syrinx. They came back for an encore and ended with the instrumental La Villa Strangiato and the hard-rocking Working Man.
After all these years they still sounded pretty good. Geddy Lee's voice was still good, even though he could not always hit the high notes like he used to. But, his rhythmic bass playing was still top notch. Alex Lifeson's guitar playing was still superb and masterful, Neil Peart's drumming was still full of power and energy. They could still rock. The stage show was full of lights, smoke, flames, and pyrotechnics. Above the stage was a futuristic-looking lighting rig with multiple arms, which moved up and down, and in different directions. This made for an awesome light show. Throughout the show on the video screen at the back of the stage they showed videos of various images and close ups of the band performing.
It was great to have seen my favorite band in concert finally. I hope to see them again on their next tour.
[Pictures were taken by Ernie]
Set List
The Spirit of Radio
Time Stand Still
Stick It Out
Workin' Them Angels
Leave That Thing Alone
Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs
Drum Solo (Love 4 Sale)
Closer to the Heart (with "Hope" solo intro)
2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
Far Cry
La Villa Strangiato
Working Man
[Set list courtesy of]