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Author: Subject: Rush commentary from Bob Lefsetz

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 06:04 AM
Rush! ---Yes! No, er, I mean RUSH! Who's on first? Guess who? No RUSH! Ha ha ha ha ha....

Saw my first ever Rush show last year (even though I've loved them since junior high school). Great show!

This guy gets it!

"You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. ------------------(always loved that line!)
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill."




> To: jsg.64@hotmail.com
> Subject: Rush At The Gibson
> From: bob@lefsetz.com
> Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:17:29 -0600
>
>
> I don't own a single album.
>
> But I knew almost every song they played.
>
> That's the power of radio. That's the power of the filter.
>
> Now was I sitting at home thinking I needed to go to the Rush show? NO! But when I heard Alex Lifeson wanted me to come, I was there. You could call me a groupie, but I love the musicians, they're so different from the business people, they focus on creativity, they're not about flash or cash, they're positively human, I interact at every opportunity, they're soul mates.
>
> And I was surprised at the assembled multitude backstage. There's a plethora of closet Rush fans.
>
> Actually, they're not so closeted. That's what I told Alex, in a hallway outside his dressing room. He said he figured that Rush's music wasn't really my cup of tea. And I told him I get more e-mail about Rush than any other band. Wondering why they're not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, telling me to watch the documentary, Rush fans are PASSIONATE!
>
> And it struck me how normal Alex was. He told me he married his high school sweetheart, they met when he was fifteen, they're still together, his grandkids were there! So different from the image. Then again, he's Canadian!
>
> The opening number was "Spirit Of Radio".
>
> You know how from the very first note you're into it? THIS WAS A ROCK SHOW!
>
> Not for you, not for everybody, but for those who cared.
>
> And a ton of people care for Rush.
>
> I tweeted I was there, and mikesavage123 snarkily tweeted back: "My guess? 6000 40 year-old men, 21 women."
>
> I immediately turned around and started scanning the venue. There were a ton of men there. Fewer women than you might see at an average show, and some were obviously dragged by their significant others, but the rest of them...were into it!
>
> That was what was positively stunning. You'd turn around and everybody knew the words. They were playing air guitar. My favorites were the father and son in the row behind me. The dad was one of those barrel-chested fortysomething guys drinking beer...and playing every note on his imaginary axe. But even better was his towheaded not even ten year old son. He was playing every lick too. And like his dad, singing every word!
>
> Fathers and sons. Rush isn't something evanescent, it's something you get hooked by and stick with. You go to show after show, you buy the merch.
>
> The show had just begun but seemingly everybody was decked out in a shirt. During intermission I went up to the stand to check out the offerings but I couldn't even get close, they were packed five deep.
>
> And although the music was the focus, there was tons of cool production. The amps were dressed up to look like jukebox time machines. There were lighting effects. And a hi-def screen.
>
> This screen was necessary, it was an integral part of the show. Because you see the audience is made up of players! They want to see how the band members do it!
>
> The overhead shots of Neil Peart were worth the price of admission alone, sitting in his circular set, as big as I'd ever seen. Peart didn't mug for the audience, he concentrated, the unwavering metronome who could not be distracted.
>
> And Alex is sending out these blistering licks. You can't fathom the sound he's making.
>
> And Geddy's dancing all over his bass.
>
> How do three guys make such a big noise?
>
> You could see it. All the way back to the very beginning. In high school. Practicing and playing to the point where the music found an audience and grew and grew. Rush has been around since the seventies. And they don't sound quite like anybody else. But somehow they fit right in.
>
> After the intermission, they played "Moving Pictures". That was the hook. And damned if it wasn't familiar. Even though I couldn't have named a single track off the album before the show began. This is the one with "Tom Sawyer" and "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight".
>
> And they even played a few new numbers. And not only did no one leave for the concession stand, there was thunderous applause. Being a Rush fan is not something you do on a whim, it's not casual but important business. You're interested in where these three are going, just as much as you care where they've been.
>
> And the applause is deafening. And they've got the charisma of rock stars, even though I know they're just regular people. But as much as you think you might despise Rush, if you'd have been there, you'd have fallen in love. Geddy in his jeans and sneakers, the only one who's kept his long hair. He's not an object of scorn, you just want to hug him and love him, as he noodles on the keyboard and sings in that high-pitched voice.
>
> And Alex and Neil have given up trying to look young.
>
> But is that really important? Isn't it really just about the music!
>
> It's a well-oiled machine. Ray Danniels does the business and the band plays. Ray told me it's all about scaling, that's how you sell out the house, and making sure there are cheap enough seats that real fans can always go. And forget discounting, special offers, every gig sells out and if you missed it that'll teach you to buy tickets sooner next time!
>
> And they're doing north of $15 bucks a head in merch.
>
> And it doesn't matter that the mainstream press ignores them. That people poke fun. To those who go, it's vitally important. Not a phase, something that hooks you and you grow out of. No, if you're a Rush fan, you're a fan for life!
>
> And the band knows this.
>
> And does its best to satiate you.
>
> No one left early Monday night, no one wanted his money back.
>
> They just couldn't wait until Alex, Neil and Geddy came through town again.
>
> P.S. Jack Black was in my row, three seats away. Taking pictures on his cell phone, grooving, drumming along on his belly. And when the lights came up for intermission... He was seen, word spread, the vultures descended. It was almost scary. You think you want to be that famous, but you don't. And Jack's taking pictures with each and every one of them. Backstage, in the inner sanctum, he was even accosted there. He was telling this parent to shoot from above, for the proper effect. I had to go up to him, had to ask...how do you do it? Jack said: "I signed up for this. I'm here for your entertainment."
>
> P.P.S. Ray said he won't sell tickets behind the stage. Sightlines are important at a Rush show, because a large percentage of the audience came specifically to see Neil Peart, arguably the greatest drummer alive, hell, that's what the "Rolling Stone" readers said: http://bit.ly/h5h0C5 To get an idea, watch this clip from David Letterman's Drum Solo Week: http://bit.ly/lotbb0
>
>
> --
> Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
> --
> http://www.twitter.com/lefsetz
> --
> If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,
> http://www.lefsetz.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1
> If you do not want to receive any more LefsetzLetters, http://lefsetz.com/lists?p=unsubscribe&uid=ffbfb512fedc4d535315d2ff09a4 6b17

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 09:33 AM
Doesn't surprise me that there were hardly any women there. Like me, they probably have a real hard time getting past Geddy Lee's voice. I know they've made some good music, but that's why I've never bothered going to see them and probably never will.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 09:56 AM
I can see both points of view. My wife (and most women I know) can't get into his voice, but I really dig Rush and I do like the vocals. Years ago I guess you could say I was more into the cult of RUSH than I am today, though, so despite the commentary I am indeed a "casual Rush fan". In fact, the last time I saw Rush was basically an accident. A friend and I went downtown to see a minor-league baseball game and found out Rush was playing right next door, so we scrapped the ballgame idea, got face-value tix on the street, and had a great time.

Mike

 

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 10:36 AM
quote:
Doesn't surprise me that there were hardly any women there. Like me, they probably have a real hard time getting past Geddy Lee's voice. I know they've made some good music, but that's why I've never bothered going to see them and probably never will.


I liked a few Rush songs and Geddy's singing was always to high and screechy for me. My wife and I saw Rush for the first time 2 tours ago. Geddy can't sing that high anymore and now his voice is ok for me. They put on a great rock show. This was our 3rd Rush show.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 10:43 AM
The more time passes, the more they are also tuning down older tunes, some by a full step to accomodate the aging of Lee's voice.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 10:48 AM
quote:

I liked a few Rush songs and Geddy's singing was always to high and screechy for me. My wife and I saw Rush for the first time 2 tours ago. Geddy can't sing that high anymore and now his voice is ok for me. They put on a great rock show. This was our 3rd Rush show


LMAO!!! His range comes down with age, so now his voice is tolerable!! Never heard that one before, but it makes sense.

 

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Don't even try to understand
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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 01:40 PM
I've personally enjoyed Geddy's voice thru all the various phases over
the years -- from the Robert Plant copycat voice on 1974's "Rush,"
to his more subdued vocal performance on songs like "Subdivisions,"
"Time Stand Still," and "Resist." A very expressive voice.

Looking forward to the "Time Machine" DVD coming out on Sept. 27.

 

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  posted on 6/23/2011 at 08:51 PM
I'm not much of a Rush fan, the radio stuff is about all I know. But I drove up to Nashville and saw them for the first time earlier this year and thought it was great. Highly entertaining.

I'm really more of a fan of Neil Peart's books! He might be the most interesting man in the world.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2011 at 11:43 AM
I've always appreciated Rush. Anyone who knows them though knows that they have always been normal guys who would hang out in their hotel and play cards after the show. They have never had the "image" of wild rock stars but were more like the thinking man's rock stars.

 

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