Roy Fitzs sent me an email a couple of weeks back saying "if you want to skip the first evening of AAPG, a certain Canadian 3 piece beat-combo are playing a few tunes Sunday night". I was very very tempted! For as long as I have listened to serious music I have loved Rush, I bought "Moving Pictures" from a kid in school in 1982 and have wanted to see them live ever since, but just never got the chance.
Then on friday, while I am still undecided about missing part of the conefernce, Roy calls and tells me that the gig is moved to saturday - seems like they really wanted me to see them after all. How could I say no now?
So Roy and his mate Andy picked me up in his jeep and we rattled around the beltway to the Woodlands in north Houston. Got a ticket from a tout at a reduced price (it gets better) and we headed in. The Woodlands is a smallish revenue with seating around the stage and a big grass bowl behind. We found a spot on the grass and settled down to wait with a beer. I love seeing bands in small venues and there can't have been more that 7000 folk, mostly sitting out on the grass chilling and waiting for the show to start. Some of them were even smoking it...
The band came on to some very weird little sketches on the big screens and then kicked off with “limelight” - it was awesome I could feel the hairs standing on the back of my neck. This was worth the 25 year wait… and it got better The next three hours (yes 3 hours) went by in a trance, they played some stuff we didn't know off the newest albums but loads of old stuff, Freewill, Spirit of the Radio, Red Barchetta, Witch Hunt, Tom Sawyer etc etc . Geddy Lee's voice isn't quite what it used to be on those high notes - but fuck he must be 60 so you can't complain. Despite his slight vocal limitations the playing was tight and they were super entertaining – just what I had hoped for, a great show and as the moon rose behind the stage it was cut by the laser show.
After the show it was off for a few beers which degenerated into a few more, overall an excellent evening and another dream fulfilled.