Well the Rush concert in Houston is in the rear-view mirror and I am feeling it. There were so many things of note from my trip last night to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion. First of all, the concert started on time. No opening act, just Rush and they hit the stage for the first set at 7:45 pm. On first seeing Alex, Neil, and Geddy, I thought, “Man, these guys look old!” Then I realized that I first saw Rush in concert over 15 years ago and one of the guys with me saw them first 21 years ago which meant we were all old. I mean, there were a lot of bald heads in the crowds and one bald head on stage. Nice Alex! Plus there were folks in button-down shirts and slacks, a clear indicator that they had just come from work. Second, throughout the 3+ hour show, (the band took a 20 minute intermission) everyone stood up the entire time — but nobody was jumping up and down. Too old for that!
Third, our seats were on the 6th row — the closests I’ve ever been to the stage — and I left the concert with a greater appreciation of Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing. Neil and Geddy have long been hailed as two of the greatest musicians to ever pick up their respective instruments, but now I consider Alex equally as great. Certainly this appreciation is aided by my emerging guitar playing.
Fourth, I never realized how much the music you listen to (especially in your formative years) shapes you. As I was singing lyrics I hadn’t sang or heard in years, I was struck by how deeply those lyrics have shaped the way I see the world (though I’m not an atheist, as are the boys in the band). However, it was Rush’s lyrics that urged me to be introspective, compassionate, and socially-conscious. I’m grateful for that.
Fifth, it was nice to see a band that is comprised of real musicians. Throughout the show there was no unnecessary hype (save 2 minutes of dancing girls which was kinda silly). Just music and good music at that!
Interestingly they played half of the“Permanent Waves” album, which was released on January 1, 1980.
All-in-all it was a great night. Fabulous show! Many thanks to my friend Andrew for the tix and great night. By the way, I did oversleep this morning. I went to bed at 1:30am, but made it to work on time, nevertheless.
Song That Didn’t Make The Set List That I Wish Had:
1. Anything from “Presto”
2. La Villa Strangiato
4. Mystic Rhythms (My high school senior quote comes from this song)
5. Force Ten
6. Stick It Out
7. Nobody’s Hero