Rush: Columbus Ohio, June 2, 2004

I went with TheHeretic to see Rush on their 30th Anniversary Tour.

It was amazing.

By the time they took their halftime break, I figured they had already done most of my favorite pieces. But they came back after the break and did the rest of my favorites, as well as a many that were completely unexpected – at least by me – such as Subdivisions, La Villa Strangiatto (along with a *very* strangiatto ad lib spoken piece by Lifeson), The 2112 Overture, The Trees, and an amazing rendition of Xanadu.

Neil did “Pieces of Eight“, which is a drum solo that doesn’t actually appear on any album that I’m aware of, but I’ve heard on a bootleg recording. I knew he was a mind-bogglingly good drummer, but the power of being there to hear it was stunning.

They opened with a retrospective piece which sampled from all of their albums, accompanied by photographs and video from the last 30 years. This led into The Spirit of Radio, the delightfully self-deprecating song from Permanent Waves about the music industry.

Throughout the concert, the visuals were sprinkled with footage from past concerts, as well as psychadelic light shows straight out of the Rush early days.

The crowd was fascinating, too, with people wearing tshirts from the 1976 Rush tour, and kids that can’t have been born when Roll The Bones came out. And a huge number of them appears to know all the words.

I knew all the words. Well, almost all. I didn’t know all the words to Earthshine, or to Working Man, perhaps the newest and oldest songs that they did. 🙂 They also did two songs from the new album, which is to come out at the end of this month. They were selling posters for the new album, but nothing actually said anywhere that it was the new album. Strange.

They played Dreamline, Bravado, and Mystic Rhythms, which are three of my all-time favorites. They did Tom Sawyer, YYZ, One Little Victory, Resist, Red Sector A, Secret Touch, Limelight, By Tor and the Snow Dogs, and Between the Wheels. I’m sure there were tother things that I’m forgetting, which will come back when I hear the songs the next time.

I’ve never actually been to a concert before. Well, not in an arena like this. I heard The Beach Boys after a Cincinnatti Reds game, and I heard Chicago at a little private concert at Internet World 1997, in the height of the Dot.Com days. But this was quite an experience. Although we were pretty far back — at the front of the lawn section — the sound was still enough to twitch all of my clothing every time Neil hit the drums.

And it all leaves just one question. Why does the goat have the receipts? For that matter, where does a goat even keep receipts? I know. Do you?