Great show last night in Vancouver by the hardest working men in showbiz — Rush.
My favorite songs from the first half of the show were “Animate,” “Distant Early Warning,” “Losing It,” and “Subdivisions.”
The second half of the show was Rush Heaven with all their greatest epics from their greatest era of prog creativity. They played all my favorites!
“Xanadu” with the double-neck guitars and orchestral percussion is arguably Rush in their most iconic live configuration.
After “Distant Early Warning,” Geddy announced that the next song they were going to do was one that they had only done three times previously on the tour. But, since violinist Ben Mink lives in Vancouver, they were going to do it tonight! Bam! — number four…
It was incredible!
So, it turns out that I was wrong with all my previous Set List speculations. It turns out that Rush threw Vancouver a curve ball and ended up doing a special Set List just for our city! We got to hear “Set List G” …
The set included “One Little Victory” (never a favorite cut of mine on album because of all the repetition, but I was thrilled by how well it worked live; it was very powerful and I ended up loving it), “Distant Early Warning” (I was hoping for “Between the Wheels” because I really love Alex’s guitar solo in that, but I was blown away by how good this song is live; the massive synth chords are so exciting and the audience went bananas and I was reminded of why it is one of their greatest), “Losing It” (a special once-in-a-lifetime treat), “YYZ” (which rocked so hard and had such a dazzling laser light show it was like an alien invasion had landed at the arena), and “Natural Science” (one of my absolute favorites and a genuine thrill to hear live).
I remember hearing an illicit version of “Natural Science” of Rush live in St. Louis from the Permanent Waves tour. It has some of Peart’s greatest lyrics and the whole concept is immensely appealing to a science geek like me and hearing this version had always had me dreaming of hearing it live because it is just so darn good. Last night my dream came true and I experienced it live. Amazing.
The Rush fan who made me the cassette tape of that concert told the story that it had been fished out of Alex’s trash can at the curb of his house. It was a white label vinyl pressing of a concert being considered for the next Rush live album. But it never happened and therefore the next Rush live album instead was Exit… Stage Left from the Moving Pictures tour. I guess Rush went with that decision in order to establish the pattern of a live Rush album after every four studio albums. Apparently this concert is now widely available thanks to the magic of the Internet, but back in the day it was a real discovery when a fellow Rush fan shared it with me as a secret cassette tape experience reserved for select initiates only. It was a rare and special experience that I will always treasure, especially due to the presence of “Natural Science.”
Just like last night’s concert!
|SET LIST G
Performed on July 17th
|Headlong Flight (with Drumbastica mini drum solo)|
|The Main Monkey Business|
|One Little Victory|
|Roll The Bones|
|Distant Early Warning|
|The Spirit of Radio|
|Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres – Prelude|
|Cygnus X-1: Book One: The Voyage – Prologue|
|Cygnus X-1: Book One: The Voyage – Part 3|
|Closer To The Heart|
|2112: I. Overture
2112: II. Temples of Syrinx
2112: IV. Presentation
2112: VII. The Grand Finale
|What You’re Doing|
Garden Road (riff)