A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Performers and portrayers

The best things are always worth a little effort. Friday night DH, DsS, DD and I drove down to West Palm Beach (about 2 hours away), to do something I'd been wanting to do for a long while…

…see Rush in concert!

We arrived at the venue not long after gates opened. I'd bought a parking pass online, so we had a great parking spot…which came in handy when DH had to return the camera to the car because we weren't allowed to bring it in. After stopping at a vendor for t-shirts (one *has* to have a tour t-shirt, after all!), we found our seats and waited for the show.

The venue itself, an amphitheatre, had 5 screens - three arranged horizontally above the stage, and two larger ones to either side (at about 11 and 1 o'clock, if the stage is 12). There were also two other screens attached to the roof, to allow the crowd on the lawn behind us to see.

With 5 minutes before the start of the show, we started hearing the overture from "2112" …on strings! That was a bit different, but pretty cool. Then the aforementioned screens began an amusing video intro before beginning the concert with "Limelight" - an appropriate opening song. I won't spoil the setlist too much beyond that, in case my readers might be seeing it and want to be surprised, but there's a pretty detailed synopsis over at Power Windows, including info on the video bits interspersed throughout. Given that they're touring their recently-released album Snakes and Arrows, it wouldn't spoil much to say that many of the songs from the album are on the setlist, along with several of the best-known hits over the years.

It was an awesome concert! Between the video screens and the sound, it was apparent that all three members were masters of their craft. They've been performing together for over 30 years, and they really have a chemistry and energy that's infectious. The video images were at times funny (some of the song intros reveal quite a sense of humor), poignant (the contrasting images of "haves" and "have-nots" on separate screens during "The Larger Bowl"), and interesting computer-generated sections. When they weren't showing the band. That in itself was a treat, especially during Neil's drum solo. His drum-kit has a rotating section, allowing him to dynamically change some of the instruments in front of him - it was really rather impressive to watch, and to hear. After the concert, one of the first things DH said was "Only one word to say about the drum solo: Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang". Alex had a guitar solo of his own composition, which was eye-opening for me. I confess I hadn't given him a whole lot of thought in the past, and I find now I have been rather remiss in doing so. Geddy was witty and engaging, and both his bass and his voice were in excellent form. And there were lasers and close-proximity pyrotechnics, which always make for audience-pleasers. In one instance, the animation onscreen sort of spilled out onto the stage in the form of some small pyro, which I thought was very cool.

Anyway, I could gush for days, but it's getting late so I'll wrap this up.

Various side notes:
  • We made better time to WPB than we thought, so before heading to the venue, we stopped at a place called Park Avenue BBQ. What a find! The food arrived very quickly, and was delicious! The ribs were falling off the bone and quite tasty, and even the veggies were excellent. I've never had collard greens (yes, collard - most places serve turnip) that good! And it was actually cheaper for the four of us than the breakfast buffet at the hotel the next morning. Go figure! Anyway, I'd be thrilled if this chain made it up to Melbourne.
  • YouTube has a video of the single "Far Cry". The imagery used during the concert was different.
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