The Rush – Rush at Mountain View, CA

Dear Rush fans,

We rule, don’t we? Last night at Mountain View Shoreline was spectacular. The evening was warm enough that it was comfortable during the whole show, which was hot enough it its own right.

The amazing thing to me is the amount of energy and technical expertise these guys continue to have. For a bunch of 50-somethings, they rock. They opened the show with a bunch of classic songs, not commonly played in concerts over the years, like Mission and Digital Man. The crowd, a male-dominated, testosterone-laden bunch of equally 50-somethings (okay, I did see a wide range of people – but it was still mostly men!) went crazy. The women I did talk to were either there for their “men” or they had recently come to Rush. I was surprised that there weren’t more long time women Rush fans. But, after about 13 or 14 concerts or so, I shouldn’t be surprised. Back to the show…. I went with a friend of mine who has been to about four or five shows. His reaction and mine were the same – amazement that Geddy’s voice and their fingers are as nimble and fine as they always have been. If you don’t play music for a living, you may not be aware of just how rare, and difficult, that is to achieve.

The first set was interspersed with just a few pieces from the new album; the second set, however, was almost wholly-comprised of new material. This was good for many reasons. First off, I have to say that I think Snakes and Arrows isn’t one of their best works. The lyrics were far too personal for me and not thematic enough – I couldn’t connect on a general level. However, the music was stunning. This was really brought through by the live performance. What I didn’t get on the album – the stunning play between hard rocking guitar and lyrical poetic harmony – was vivid in a live setting. I felt like, since the first time I heard the album, that I got it.

The guy’s technical ability remains unparalleled. Geddy ripped the bass into shreds on pieces like Natural Science and Freewill. Alex played multiple instruments multiple times – not easy by itself but he was able to jam at the same time – incredible. His fingers flew. Neil is, well, Neil. There really isn’t a rock drummer, besides perhaps Stewart Copeland, that can compare.

Their sound has changed dramatically over the 30+ years, and the subtleties of the work continue to amaze me. While I may not be as impressed with this album as I have others, I admire their ability and passion for the work – it comes through in spades. It was nice to share that admiration with ten thousand of my closest friends. Thanks for a great show, guys!


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