Had an awesome day and evening yesterday with my good friend, Randy. I’d bought us tickets to see RUSH (aka, “The Holy Triumvirate”) at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Good seats, too — 7th row center. Randy used his contacts to wrangle us and his brother a pre-show meet-and-greet photo op with lead vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee and axe-man Alex Lifeson.
Before we reached the meet-and-greet, however, we spent an hour sweating in the parking lot, and then the tail end of Hurricane Earl doused us with a short, sudden downpour. Then we got to sweat some more, so that by the time we reached the photo op, we all looked our absolute worst:
The show itself was fantastic. The band recorded a whole bunch of new video clips, including three truly hilarious short films — one to start the show, another to kick off the second half post-intermission, and one to close the show. In between, they played a mix of songs that was very different from those in the past few tours. Neil has completely transformed his signature drum solo; it has gone from a display of raw virtuoso power into a mysterious exploration of world music, unusual but complementary rhythms, and new sound textures.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the vantage point Randy and I enjoyed during the show:
For souvenirs, I bought a tour book (as I always do) and a T-shirt. But the best souvenirs were my meet-and-greet patch and a little something extra:
See that bit of coolness in the corner? That’s an official Alex Lifeson guitar pick, used during the encore to play “La Villa Strangiato” and “Working Man,” and hurled through dozens of desperate hands right into mine by Alex Lifeson himself as he left the stage:
This is the third time I’ve caught something tossed from the stage by Alex Lifeson: I caught t-shirts on the “R30” (30th anniversary) and “Snakes & Arrows” tours, and now this. It’s like coming into possession of a holy relic. It is now tucked under the corner of my meet-and-greet pass, which is affixed securely to the title page of my “Time Machine” tour book.
The night, summed up in a word: