So what can you say about seeing your favorite band twice in the span of 48 hours, in what could be their final two shows ever, hearing a song that they've played live only 4 times EVER ...
I took a buddy of mine who had never seen them before. See, we both turn 40 this month, I'm 15 hours older than him and we've known each other since we were 4. So as a gift for our 40th and Rush's 40th I figured he needed to see them live just once. And we weren't disappointed.
Sure, as a casual listener he was hoping to see more "hits" in the 2nd half of the show (Red Barchetta, The Tree's, etc) so in hindsight, I should have taken him to the Time Machine Tour, but that doesn't mean he didn't have an unbelievable time. While the 2nd set was definitely the highlight I don't know why people were so down on the first set. Sure, I would have MUCH rather them dropped one of the songs from Clockwork Angels and drop The Main Monkey Business for more representation from the PW/HYF/Presto era (Would have loved to see Big Money live again) but it is what it is. They still rocked it and it was amazing.
To finally see Jacob's Ladder live was definitely a treat. I wasn't one of those that were absolutely begging for it, but it was definitely a nice one to see live. And Hemispheres ... wow. Once my ears adjusted to the change in key I loved it. All around just an amazing night.
Emotions were flying high all day on Saturday, talking with friends about this possibly being the last show was weird, we just didn't know how to feel. Excited to be there, sad that it might soon be over. For this show I'd be taking my wife for her 4th ever show (medical issues prevented her from going to shows from S&A Leg 2 until this tour). After some pre show drinks in the lot, chatting with those fans tailgating around us we headed in to make sure we wouldn't miss a second of this night.
From the moment the show started you could tell this was going to be a special show. The crowd was into it and in all the shows I've seen since 1990, this was without a doubt the best I'd ever heard the boys. They were simply on fire and having an absolute blast.
Roll The Bones, not really one of my favorite songs, but that song had new meaning for me on Saturday night and the celeb video just really shows how amazing Rush is.
And then Losing It ... and I about lost it. The emotion was so high leading up to that point, most people around us were hardcore fans and were waiting for this moment, and it sure didn't disappoint. Again, this was never really high up on my "must haves" list but to get a chance to hear this live was a treat and it would have been a shame if they'd never played it live.
The 2nd half, kind of a blur. Just soaking it all in for possibly the last time. Realizing that I'm in the same building I saw Rush in for the first time 25 years ago and possibly seeing them the last time. Amazed that my wife who I had to drag to the Vapor Trails show in the early 2000's is singing along at the top of her lungs to my favorite band, looking smoking hot in my Rush 30 Baseball Jersey.
Encore, Lakeside Park. They show a sign in the audience that simply said "Thank you Rush" ... and I lost it.
All of it, the band that's been such a huge part of my life for the last 27 years, that's gotten me through some of the roughest times and some of the best times. The 3 guys that showed the right way to be a "rock star" and what it means to be a musician. I cried with them when I heard about Neil's family tragedies, and while reading Ghostrider. Cried when they came back after all of that.
So really, if you look at it, we really got an extra 15 years of Rush. And for that we should all be thankful. Who cares if "Old Rush" is better than "New Rush" ... Rush live never wavered, never sucked ... and if this is the end, they are going out on top and not just dragging it on in the quest for more money.
As for the future, I'm not sure what's going to happen. Will they just record and not tour (I can't imagine there's much desire in that by fans or them, records don't sell anymore).
If anything, I can see them saying something like "We'll be doing 5 nights at MSG, 5 nights in Toronto and 5 nights at The Hollywood Bowl ... you all come see us". And if that's what we get, so be it.
Thank you Rush.