Tag Archives: Rush

Wrapping up 2010

Wow, where do I start….

As evidenced by the previous posts I had a pretty amazing year of concert-going.  A near lifelong quest completed, an epic show I’d missed 30 years ago revisited.  A music oriented couple weeks in London.  Countless HOF members of the Rock Hall of Fame….heck a ton of them in just a single week.  Shows with good friends old and new.  Hard to even wrap my head around the whole thing.

Here’s the list:

Keb’ Mo’ – Coach House – Jan 14

The Blasters, John Doe, Rumble King – Coach House – Feb 20

Peter Gabriel – Hollywood Bowl – May 7

Styx, Kansas, Foreigner – Citizens Bank Arena – May 19

Richard Thompson – Royal Festival Hall – June 19

Green Day, Joan Jett – Wembley Stadium – June 19

Elvis Costello – Royal Festival Hall – June 20

Glastonbury – June 23-27

Jackson Browne – Albert Hall – June 29

Jack Johnson – O2 Arena – June 30

Laura Marling, Fanfarlo, Peggy Sue, Smoke Fairies – Hyde Park – July 1

Hop Farm – July 2-3

Jools Holland – Kew Gardens – July 6

Barenaked Ladies, Kris Allen, Angel Taylor – Greek Theatre – July 22

Blondie, Gorevette – Pacific Amphitheatre – August 8

Rush – Irvine Meadows – August 13

Al Yankovic – Pacific Amphitheatre – August 14

Scissor Sisters – DAR Consitiution Hall – August 23

Neil Finn – Largo – September 11

Muse, Passion Pit – Staples Center – September 25

Gorillaz, N.E.R.D. – Gibson – October 27

Bonobo – Music Box – November 26

Roger Waters – Staples Center – November 29

Roger Waters – Honda Center – December 13

Roger Waters – Honda Center – December 14

Twenty three shows and two festivals in all.  I don’t think I could even pick a “best”.  However a few things to note do occur to me.

Worst sound, Scissor Sisters.  Horrible mix that completely left the vocals out, and it’s not like I had a crappy seat, I was in the 5th row.  Really guys?  Totally detracted from an interesting performance.

Only show I left early, Jack Johnson.  It was okay, but very one-note.  I like his studio stuff, but in a huge arena it was lost.  Put the same show in an intimate venue and I might have loved it.  Add to the experience that I was a bit sick that night and it was just not a compelling show.

Most disappointing, Muse/Passion Pit.  Passion Pit left me cold and Muse after all the hype just didn’t live up to expectations.  Lot’s of copped riffs and wasted technology that didn’t go anywhere.  If you want to use technology look to Gabriel, Waters or even the Pet Shop Boys.  This was “sound and fury that signified nothing”…

Most intimate, Neil Finn.  The Largo is magic when Neil plays there and the September show was no exception.  An obscure setlist that actually added to the special feeling of the evening.  You knew even while watching this was the sort of thing that would never be duplicated.  Jackson Browne in the acoustic tent at Glastonbury was a close second.  While the masses grooved to Stevie Wonder….Jackson held court for a few hundred lucky folks and spun magic with his sidekick David Lindley.  Moving and unique almost sell short just how very special a way it was to end my Glastonbury experience.

Surprises…How awesome Gorillaz were in LA after disappointing in Glastonbury.

Bonobo, Midlake, Hot Chip, Fanfarlo, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Magic Numbers, The Bees….none of whom I knew before 2010 and who all get extensive spins regularly on my ipod now.

How great Rush could be at doing “Moving Pictures” after being somewhat average the other time I’d seen them previously….this show made up for that one in spades.

Disappointment….U2 having to cancel in Anaheim and Glastonbury…(of course it does give me a couple shows to look forward to in 2011 already…)

Well, that’s it…another year in the books, and an amazing one at that.  Curious to see what 2011 (and beyond) will bring?  But, it’ll be hard for any year to reach the heights of 2010 for me.



Filed under Glastonbury, Other concerts

Rush – Time Machine Tour in Irvine

Well…excuses, excuses….

I’ve been busy, traveling, unmotivated…blah, blah, blah…

Trying to get back into the swing here, finish up my trip notes and maybe move into the “beyond” part of this blog.

So, one of the things I’ve done since my last post was attend Rush.  Let’s ease back into things with a quick review.


(okay done…)

Alright, maybe a bit more then.

I’m lucky to have a friend who spent many years working for the band.  So, when I called and asked him if he’d see about tickets he said yes.  I was actually a guest of the lighting director and had a chance to hang out before the show and at intermission.  (But, enough bragging.)

This tour dubbed the “Time Machine Tour” was the second time I’ve seen the band.  (The other being on the “Snakes & Arrows Tour” a few years back.)  This show was an improvement over that one…my major memory of that one mostly of it being LOUD.  Same venue in Irvine, but this show was mixed perfectly.  So, much so that my friend Dave (a true audiophile) went and thanked the A-1 at the break for a great job.  The show opened with an amusing “true” story of the band “Rash”.  Corny, fun and amusing…not Oscar material, but a nice winking inside joke with the legions of Rush fans who had packed the venue.

They opened with “Spirit of Radio” and frankly Geddy’s voice sounded somewhat bad on the first number.  The band is tight, but I begin to worry what the ravages of age have done and how the show will unfold.  Thankfully, it really seems mostly that he needed a warm up because by the time the second song, “Time Stand Still” led into “Presto” he sounded just fine.  Maybe some adjustments to lower keys, but he was nailing the arrangements.  And, the musicianship was never in question.  All three make a huge sound tight sound and play with the easy familiarity of guys who’ve been playing together for over 30 years.

The rest of the first set featured mostly material from the 80’s and beyond.  “Leave that thing alone”, “Workin’ Them Angels”, “Faithless”, “Stick it Out”. A new song “Brought up to believe” was quite striking, proving the band isn’t just rehashing the hits, but still has something in the tank.  That new song then led to the triple punch of “Freewill” into “Marathon” and then “Subdivisions” to close the first set.

After a break and some time to grab a tour t-shirt, they  played a second video about “Rash”.  By the way, it bears mention that the stage set was quite amusing.  Sort of a steam-punk look with a nod to sausage making…no joke.  In fact at a couple points a crew member pushed a cart behind Geddy and dumped rubber chickens into the large machine that filled the spot most bands would place amp stacks…from the far end came an endless stream of sausage links…clearly, they guys are not pretentious…

The second set began with and featured the complete “Moving Pictures” album.  It was a flawless version of a classic album.  From there they played another new song “Caravan” that gave way to the expected Neil Peart solo.  This one touched on swing music with video of guys like Gene Krupa and big bands samples playing along.  If you have to have a drum solo…he’s one of the best at keeping it from just being boring repetition.  The second set then featured another powerful trio of songs to close…”Closer to the Heart” into “2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx” and “Far Cry from their last album.

The encores were: “La Villa Strangiato” and “Working Man” after which they played a very funny video supposedly live from backstage.  The best line being…”I counted at least seven women in the crowd, that’s a new record for one of our shows….”  Once again, pretty obvious they don’t take themselves as seriously as some of their more obsessive fans might…(also a subject of the video).  It was a lot like the outtakes of a movie over the credits and it left the audience on a happy note, where normally there is a groan when the house lights come up and the encores end.  A nice touch.

Since I was there because of the LD, it bears mention at how good the rig was for the show.  Google up some photos, but imagine a six armed “transformer” suspended over the band and you’ll get a sense of how it worked.  It was a vital element to the show and really added to the overall show.  Great stuff, and worth seeing if they come around on a second leg of the tour.  I mean, aside from ZZ Top, how many complete original bands from the 70’s are still out there…(Aerosmith maybe…but no one else comes to mind right now.)

Here’s a couple photos from my iphone:

Rush at Irvine

The "transformer" Lighting Rig in action

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Filed under Other concerts