June 24, 2004

Rush at 30

Well, last night I took my two boys (9 and 7) to see Rush in downtown Dallas. I was happy to see that most of the rest of the crowd was about my age, similarly dressed, and that many also had their kids out. Lots of generational torch-passing going on. The Dallas Morning News reviewer noted this too, in a back-handed way:

When you do something as long as Rush has and have a following as rabid, then you deliver the expected. It transcends mere concert; it is a ritual to be shared with like-minded comrades – in this case, approximately 11,000 other white guys, average age 38. You haven't seen rock devotion until you've scanned an arena filled with beefy dudes in polo shirts, their elbows darting in the air like symphony conductors, each executing his own personal session of frenzied air drumming.

Despite the family-friendly environs (for a rock concert, that is), Rush still put on a posterior-kicking show, working their way through the more than 30 years of music in their catalogue (setlist in the extended entry below). Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart were in top form, playing an almost note-perfect show that included some nice surprises (such as a reggae ending to their pre-Peart classic, "Working Man," and a guitar solo at the end of "One Little Victory," absent from the studio version).

The visuals, while somewhat understated compared to other pop and rock acts, were effective, including lasers, smoke, pyrotechnics, and videos. Despite the gravity of many of their lyrics and their dedication to musicianship, Lee, Lifeson, and Peart always show a strong sense of humor and refuse to take themselves as seriously as their fans do. This was reflected in the humorous videos that opened and closed the show, featuring Jerry Stiller at his cranky, funny best. The Intermission video also starred bobble-head dolls in the likeness of the 70s-era Rush fighting a 3D animated dragon. My sons loved it.

There was even a nice little moment of synchronicity when Rush began to play Earthshine. When I looked up, the sky had darkened just enough that the dark side of the crescent moon was illuminated by some real earthshine. And I noticed the Jupiter - Moon conjunction, too.

June 23, 2004 Setlist for Rush, Dallas, Texas:

Posted by JohnL at June 24, 2004 07:51 PM


We drove over to St Louis on Saturday the 12th to see them, then back home to KC, where we saw them the next night.

I also noticed lots of kids, but only at the KC show, where the crowd also seemed more ... animated, perhaps?

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