Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Clockwork Angels

  So I went to see Rush last week at the "Pepsi Center" in Denver.  A lot of venues these days have changed to corporate names, such as Fiddler's Green in Denver (a great name btw) changed to "Comfort Dental Center".  Um.. seriously?  This has happened all over the nation, especially to sport-based stadiums, which is a shame.  It just reeks of corporate seething money-grubbing bottom-liners even a Ferengi would cringe at. 

Rom is surprised some human could actually be that greedy!

   I dined at the Blue Sky Grill which has a secret entrance to the stadium inside, bypassing the massive round-the-block line of thousands of fans.  The food there is decent enough, though you'd think the staff would be able to handle the pre-show crowds, management woefully unprepared at something so obvious that happens every gosh-darn night there's a show and not a sporting event.  The management gets fair warning beforehand and should prepare for it, but, alas, they do not, and the woefully paid waitresses suffer for it, as well, I'm sure, the cooks.

Kimonos in the massive sci-fi concept-album, 2112.  You just know it's gotta be the real-deal, baby!

  I dine then find my location at the heavily-guarded triple-A seating on the floor-level: row 12, left-of-center near Alex's place he always stands, which is good.
From the music video The Body Electric off the album Grace Under Pressure (the first music video shown on Canada's MTV "Much Music")


   The setlist comprised of most of their new concept-album Clockwork Angels (they had done a greatest-hits tour [Time Machine tour] last time around, so it's excusable) and a rather good portion of my favorite album Power Windows and they even unearthed the original videos for that tour as well, which I remember from the Hold Your Fire (1988) tour I went to.  I had missed the original Power Windows (1985) tour because, well, I wasn't just quite into them enough at that point at age 15.  Just starting to appreciate the talent.  The remainder of the setlist was typical "Tom Sawyer", "Spirit of Radio", "2112 - partial", "Limelight" stuff for the non-fans to which the fans such as myself are a bit tired of, though my favorite song, "The Analog Kid" was played (interestingly not on Power Windows FYI). 


  Everything was played relatively cleanly.  There wasn't too much variation or change and almost no improvisation.  Sometimes they'll do that for kicks and jam-out but it was by-the-book this time.  I wasn't treated to "Middletown Dreams" off of Power Windows as they alternated that song with "Limelight" on consequent tours.  Hopefully it'll show up on the BluRay release coming out this Christmas.

  My "seat" was a bit odd as I'm 5'7" it's hard to see over the goliaths BGH has created in this generation, but I could see well-enough.  I often prefer to have an angle-shot such as when I was to the side of the stage when I luckily saw Van Halen last year (featuring a rather conceited David Lee Roth.. and even though Rush was on the screens all the time for the far-away viewers, none of them had to look back and admire themselves as Diamond Dave did constantly btw, often pausing the show enjoying his "larger-than-life" train-wreck of a visage) {and totally worth watching the disaster I might add}.

  You could tell the band was a bit tired.  It was the second-to-last show and they had toured non-stop for a whole year with 72 shows at 3 hours each.  Impressively, the Clockwork Angels portion had a medium-sized set of orchestral musicians backing-up the songs so keyboards could be replaced by live strings, which was rather impressive.  Some of the Power Windows songs, such as "Manhattan Project" also was backed-up by the orchestra, which was cool as all-hell. 

Got drums?

  Geddy had just turned 60 and Alex next week.  Neil, the drummer, is also 60, but did a fine job with THREE drum solos!  Luckily they were concise and short, under 2 or 3 minutes each, one very characteristic of A Show of Hands (1989), the second very Buddy Rich jazz-styled, and the last, Daft Punk-esque.  Despite my being a guitarist, I enjoyed all three.  Normally I zone-out during drum solos but these were honestly entertaining.  Here's the last one for your amusement that I'll leave you with that happened right after Red Sector A:


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