Archive: Blog Entries from October, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Snakes & Arrows tour 2007 leg wrap-up
11:52AM EST | link | comments (44) |

Rush Snakes & Arrows TourUPDATE - 10/31@1:11PM: Oops.. forgot one thing. has also updated their Multimedia section with more Rush on the Road galleries from Glasgow, Newcastle, London, Sheffield, and Birmingham. Thanks to texanmgm and Daniel C for reminding me.

The tour is over. has just been updated with the following Thank You message to fans:

Rush officially finishes the 2007 leg of the "Snakes and Arrows tour" with a sold out performance in Helsinki, Finland. A very BIG Thank you to all the fans who made it out this year ... stay tuned to for all the latest updates.

This sort of indirectly confirms a 2008 leg I'd say. Finnish Reader RAKA also let me know that in the Helsingin Sanomat (the biggest newspaper in Finland) a couple days ago there was a half page article where Alex Lifeson is interviewed. Lerxst says the following: We will take a break after Helsinki and continue the tour in April 2008, South and North America.

A lot of folks have asked me about dates for the 2008 leg. At this time I don't have any information outside of what I reported back on September 3rd. But I can assure that as soon as I hear anything I will post it here. My guess is that we won't be hearing any official announcements until after the new year, but I'm hoping to get some leaked info early.

I'm turning off the special tour section on the home page for the time being. As soon as we have some firm 2008 dates it'll be back up there. You can still access all the tourdate information though by going to the tour section.

The fan tour image upload feature has been a huge success. Readers of this site have uploaded nearly 2000 images from the tour! A very big thank you to everyone who took the time to do this. If you haven't seen the gallery yet you can check it out here. And if you have any images to upload, click here.

I have yet to add videos for the European leg to the bootleg video section. I will try to do that in the upcoming week. To check out bootleg YouTube videos from the North American leg go here.

Thanks to readers Mark S, Scott_PA and JordanRud we now have all attendance information up through September 17th (the first 46 shows) for the Snakes & Arrows tour. Now that the tour is over, I thought I'd analyze some of these numbers.


Average Attendance: 10,633
Average Capacity: 15,052


1) Tinley Park, IL (Sep 8) - 16,613
2) Los Angeles, CA (Jul 23) - 14,696
3) Auburn, WA (Jul 20) - 13,689
4) Tampa Bay, FL (Jun 16) - 13,434
5) Dallas, TX (Aug 11) - 13,366


1) Quebec City, QC (Sep 14) - 6,604
2) Darien Center, NY (Jul 4) - 7,624
3) Uncasville, CT (Jul 9) - 7,793
4) Raleigh, NC (Jun 20) - 8,085
5) Bonner Springs, KS (Aug 23) - 8,104

Note: although the Uncasville show was the 3rd least attended show, it was still sold out.

Percentage Capacity

Average Percentage Capacity: 70.64%


1) Morisson, CO (Aug 8) - 100% (SOLD OUT)
2) Uncasville, CT (Jul 9) - 100% (SOLD OUT)
3) New York, NY (Sep 17) - 97.2%
4) Montreal, QC (Sep 15) - 97.18%
5) London, ON (Sep 12) - 96.33%


1) Darien Center, NY (Jul 4) - 34.97%
2) Pittsburgh, PA (Jun 25) - 40.13%
3) Raleigh, NC (Jun 20) - 40.35%
4) Virginia Beach, VA (Jun 22) - 42.72%
5) Saratoga Springs, NY (Jun 30) - 42.98%

Gross Ticket Sales

Average Gross Sales: $589,333


1) Los Angeles, CA (Jul 23) - $1,074,586
2) New York, NY (Sep 17) - $1,022,675
3) Montreal, QC (Sep 15) - $967,692
4) Las Vegas, NV (Jul 28) - $922,675
5) Wantagh, NY (Jul 2) - $860,671


1) Raleigh, NC (Jun 20) - $348592
2) Virginia Beach, VA (Jun 22) - $378,512
3) Pittsburgh, PA (Jun 25) - $380,157
4) Scranton, PA (Jun 29) - $405,990
5) Bonner Springs, KS (Aug 23) - $406,416

Average Ticket Price

Average Ticket Price: $55.47


1) Las Vegas, NV (Jul 28) - $92.25
2) New York, NY (Sep 17) - $86.77
3) Montreal, QC (Sep 15) - $82.98
4) Morisson, CO (Aug 8) - $77.06
5) Quebec City, QC (Sep 14) - $74.15


1) Phoenix, AZ (Jul 27) - $39.57
2) Maryland Hts, MO (Aug 24) - $40.44
3) Pittsburgh, PA (Jun 25) - $41.07
4) Milwaukee, WI (Sep 6) - $42.66
5) Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Aug 30) - $42.710


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rush: The Documentary
12:14AM EST | link | comments (22) |

[Headbanger duo feels Rush]

When I gave you my report from RushCon 7 last month I mentioned that filmmaker Sam Dunn was in attendance. If you don't know who Sam Dunn is, he's a Toronto native who is the creative force behind the heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey for which he interviewed Geddy Lee. Sam was at RushCon as well as both Toronto shows getting footage for a documentary on Rush that he was filming with the blessing of the band. In a recent article in Playback several details regarding this documentary are revealed. From the article:

Boutique distributor Grindstone Media is hoping to have a hit on its hands with Rush: The Documentary. The $1.5 million feature doc about the famed rock band is produced and directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn -- the creative team behind the 2005's Metal: A Headbanger's Journey -- and executive produced by Grindstone president Paul Zimic.

McFadyen -- currently in Helsinki, Finland with Rush's Snakes and Arrows tour -- finds it ironic that despite the band's influence on groups as diverse as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica, that this will be the first in-depth look at its history and influence.

"Most Canadians are aware of Rush, but I don't think that the degree of their success or influence on the international music scene is recognized or respected. We're talking about a group that is ranked fifth in the world for most consecutive gold and platinum albums behind groups like The Beatles and The Stones," he says.

The doc will include new interviews with some of rock's biggest names -- including members of Metallica, Nirvana and Iron Maiden -- plus never-before-seen footage shot by singer Geddy Lee himself, which Grindstone hopes will attract Canadian broadcasters.

Rush's previous two concert DVDs moved more than 500,000 units in North America and, at press time, McFadyen and Dunn had multiple offers on the table for international distribution.

"Scot and Sam are a proven team. They just added a Gemini award to their many wins for Metal and judging by the strong international audience response to their debut film, I think Rush will find eager audiences," says Zimic.

Grindstone recently signed a multi-picture deal with L.A.-based Lonely Seal Releasing and handles Canadian TV deals for titles including Pauly Shore is Dead and Tideland.

"As a small Canadian distributor you have to find unique films that will appeal to our diverse audiences and for different reasons. Distribution is all about finding the right fit," comments Zimic.

It sounds like they are putting a lot into this documentary; both from a creative standpoint and monetary one. I can't wait! Thanks to C2112 for the heads up.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Ross Halfin checks in from the Rush tour
4:53PM EST | link | comments (32) |

Ross Halfin shoots AlexRock photographer Ross Halfin has been shooting Rush throughout the European leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour. He's been posting photos to his website and relaying his exploits in his online diary. In his October 23rd entry he reported that Rush played some very interesting tunes during their Milan soundcheck; Here Again, The Analog Kid and Cinderella Man. He gives another soundcheck report in his latest entry from the 27th and talks about hanging out with Neil Peart in his October 26th entry:

October 27

Flew with the Band to Stockholm in the early hours of this morning. An hour back to the airport, an hour's flight, and another hour into Stockholm...

Meet photographer Michael Johannson at the Globe. He's helping me today. He knows a bit about digital photography. I know nothing, my view is it's about taking photos not fucking around on a laptop and putting any old shit out, and claiming you're a photographer. Michael tells me he totally agrees about any idiot with a digital camera thinking they're a photographer.

It's nice seeing Michael, and strange seeing him sober. 'I'm having a day off and starting Sunday morning. Snaps for breakfast then real drinking by Sunday lunch.' Michael should go and work for Paul Brannigan, maybe Michael and Paul could marry. They could get so obliterated together they could forget they're both men. They might even both be catholics.

Shoot the soundcheck of Beneath, Between & Behind and even a bit of La Villa Strangiato. I even climb up on Neil's huge monitors and shoot from behind - get a picture of the empty hall with all three and Neil's drum stick in mid-air.

Shoot Alex on stage with various Gibsons and in the backstage hallway. I end up getting loads, considering Rush like doing nothing offstage. The venue has no atmosphere. As I sort of know the show now - Geddy leaping, screaming etc - it's better to shoot.

We all leave straight after for the airport (Michael straight to the bar). Helsinki for Rush - I'm off home for a day, back to Helsinki on Monday. Geddy Lee is in a good mood I leave him on the tarmac singing the words to 2112...

October 26

Fly to Oslo to rejoin Rush. I had forgotten how far out the airport is, it's nearly an hour even in no traffic on a motorway. The last time I was here was in '96 with Metallica on the Load tour.

I hung out with Neil Peart and shot him warming up on his drum kit in his dressing room. I asked him which drummers he liked and he told me Gene Krupa and Keith Moon, so we talked about The Who. He'd seen them at the Oval (first time I'd seen them) and I reminded him it was September 18th 1971. At this point I suspect he thought I was mad or a loonie fan. Neil remembered Rod Stewart auctioning off his leopard skin stage suit. Keith Moon finished the show playing with cricket bats and Neil said the DJ was Jeff Dexter. Neil saw them as much as me - I was impressed. Amazing what you find out, and before you think we're sad we didn't talk about train timetables...

Got a fantastic (if I say so myself) photo at the end of Limelight, looking down into the stage. Small barricade, hard to shoot, no good angles from the front.

Either Ross is yanking our chain or we may be in for some very cool additions to the setlist on the 2008 leg. many thanks to George for the heads up.

NOTE: No more spoiler alerts now that the tour is over. I'm assuming (hoping really) that the setlist will be significantly different for the 2008 leg.

Helsinki open thread
9:51AM EST | link | comments (21) |

This is it; the last stop on the 2007 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour has arrived. Rush will play Helsinki, Finland for the first time ever tonight and then head home for the holidays. It's hard to believe that 4 and a half months have passed since opening night in Atlanta. I'm glad to say that - although the 2007 leg is over - this is not the end. Rush will be back in 2008 after a much-deserved rest. To all my Finnish friends - have a great time tonight!

Date/Time: Monday, October 29th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 64
Venue: Hartwell Arena
Place: Helsinki, Finland

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stockholm open thread
9:52AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Date/Time: Saturday, October 27th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 63
Venue: Globe Arena
Place: Stockholm, Sweden

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Friday, October 26, 2007

Oslo open thread
8:19AM EST | link | comments (15) |

Date/Time: Friday, October 26th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 62
Venue: Oslo Spektrum
Place: Oslo, Norway

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Updates and other random Rush stuff
7:45AM EST | link | comments (13) |

UPDATE - 10/29@11:51PM: It looks like the Rush tribute bands special can now be viewed online but only if you're in Canada. :( The link is here). Thanks to Kelly C for the info.

UPDATE - 10/27@11:12AM: More attendance figures are in for the following dates: Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Darien Lake, Uncasville, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. That brings us up-to-date throught the Madision Square Garden show on September 17th. To check out the numbers, go to the tour section. Many thanks to Mark S for providing the missing numbers.

This is it. The 2007 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour is about to come to a close. Rush will play Norway and Sweden over the weekend and finish up in Helsinki, Finland. Attendance figures are in for the following shows: Cincinnati, Columbus, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Paul, London, Quebec City and Montreal. Check the tour section to see the numbers. Thanks to JordanRud and Scott_PA for providing the info.

If Ross Halfin is to be believed, the band played some interesting songs during soundcheck in Milan. Perhaps a clue to some additions to the 2008 leg's setlist? We'll see.

I've added some more info to the Rotterdam thread regarding why the band chose to film there.

Last week the first part of a 4-part documentary on tribute bands aired on the E! Network in Canada. Part 2 airs this Sunday at 7PM and will focus on Rush tribute bands. For details see this post. Unfortunately there's no word on whether this will air in the US. So if any of you resourceful Canucks can give us a report and/or tape it that'd be great.

I'm just going to keep the current poll going this week. So if you haven't let us know which of Rush's live DVDs/Videos is your favorite yet take the poll.

Snakes & Arrows was recently certified Gold in Canada (50,000 albums sold). Thanks to rimy over at Counterparts for the heads up.

Toronto's Q107 recently released their list of the top 50 albums of all time as chosen by listeners. Rush's Moving Pictures made the list at #35. Thanks to ghost__rider for the heads up.

Canadian NASCAR driver Patrick Carpentier was recently interviewed on ESPN by host Erik Kuselias. In this brief exchange from the interview the 2 discuss Neil Peart and Rush. Apparently they're both Rush fans. Thanks to Will C for the heads up.

Reader ssravp noticed that a 1926 bottle of Neil Peart's favorite brand of scotch - The Macallan - tops Wine and Alcohol's list of the world's top 10 most expensive scotches. The bottle costs a whopping $75,000. Wow. Now we know what to get Neil for his next birthday. :)

gag2man alerted me to this Rush sighting in a humorous piece in the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye Magazine. They listed a fictional ipod mix from Franken Berry and Friends (from the General Mills cereal) for Halloween. One of the songs is Rush's The Larger Bowl. :) You can see a scan of the piece here.

Reader RushFan82 located this funny little article about a dog (a pug to be exact) who is the manager of Portland-based indie rockers Menomena. Oh yeah ... and her name is Geddy Lee. :)

Reader Wim is a moderator over at the Dutch section of The National Midday Sun and wanted to let me know that they just added a German section to the site too.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

New video interviews at
9:45AM EST | link | comments (28) |

Boom Boom and HondoThere are 2 new video interviews up at in the Multimedia section. The first is with Geddy's keyboard tech Hondo Von Dankenburg (aka Jack Secret). He talks about how everything about the tour reminds him of food and how he's gained weight. The second interview is with pyrotechnician John Boom Boom Arrowsmith. John demonstrates some of the pyro effects and talks about safety concerns. Both interviews are 3-plus minutes long. Thanks to AFarCryfromFBN for the heads up.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alex and Geddy dine with Ross Halfin too ... plus cool soundcheck news
3:23PM EST | link | comments (33) |

It seems that Alex and Geddy had a really good time in Milan, drinking wine and dining with friends. In addition to hooking up with wine connoisseur James Suckling the night before the show - as detailed in this post from earlier today, Alex and Geddy had dinner with rock photographer Ross Halfin after the show. Ross has been shooting several of Rush's shows in Europe and has been very impressed. He writes about the show and about dining with the boys in the last two entries of his online diary:

October 23

Flew over the Italian alps to Milan mid-afternoon. It was a view to dream about, mountains covered in mist. One of the things which makes flying wonderful...

Got in and met up with Andy Curran. We're off to the Fila Forum for some more Rush. I find this venue depressing, it's always damp and reminds me of a concrete prison. The lighting backstage is as dull as if the lights are weak.

I end up stuck in the twilight zone with a headache. Start with soundcheck where they play *****, ***** and something I don't know called *****. I mainly shoot Neil Peart and I've figured out how to capture the animation of Rush, which photographers mostly seem to miss capturing in them. Get them going on and go in the pit to shoot. It has been hosed down - imagine shooting in a muddy stream. It was hard work and I was feeling sorry for myself but as am "The Master" I got some good photos. I had a good night - enjoyed the show, the crowd of Italians were going nuts singing along to the new album, every song with , ummmmm... passion.

The more I see the Rush show the more I like it.

October 24

As Andy [Curran] and I get back in the early hours Geddy invites us to dinner where the three of us dine on honeydew and drink the milk of paradise (thirty year old bottles of red wine). I tell Geddy my theory on how to shoot Rush which he finds amusing but agrees with. 'Fin Costello would do the same,' he says. I tell Geddy Kevin THE CAVEMAN Shirley is a wine connoisseur. Mr Lee is surprised and I learn that THE CAVEMAN escaped to Canada from Australia with no teeth. Funny I always thought THE CAVEMAN'S smile was too white...

I starred-out the song titles in the above entries for those of you who don't want to know. For those of you who do want to know, just go to Ross's online diary. At this point in the tour (only 3 shows left) I doubt they'll pull any of these soundcheck tunes out for the regular show; but it's possible for the 2008 leg I would think. We shall see. Thanks to George for the heads up.

Alex and Geddy have dinner with James Suckling of the Wine Spectator in Milan
10:45AM EST | link | comments (12) |

UPDATE - 10/26@2:43PM: James also writes about this in an article he wrote for Cigar Aficionado:

I spent a few days in Milan this week with my kids during their half-term break from school in England. I went to the fashion city to take them to my friend's rock concert, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush. By the way, their new album Snakes and Arrows is superb. It's the real deal, maybe their best ever. I particularly like the tracks Amor and Sword, Far Cry, and Work'in Them Angles. Hearing them live was fantastic, and it was my children's first rock concert. Very cool! Geddy and Alex get better with time, like fine old Cuban cigars...

I want this guy's job ... drinking wine, smoking cigars and hanging out with Rush. Thanks Thomas P for the link.

----- snip -----

James Suckling of the Wine Spectator is a good friend of both Alex and Geddy. He's interviewed them both in the past and has mentioned them several times in his online blog. In one entry earlier this year he had mentioned that he'd be dining with Geddy and Alex in Milan on the Snakes & Arrows tour later that year (that was actually the first mention that they'd be playing Milan). True to his promise, he went to dinner with the boys a couple of nights ago before the Milan show and blogged about it:

Rush and Barolo in Milano
Posted: 12:55 PM ET, October 23, 2007

I went last night to the Bulgari Hotel in Milan with my children, Jack and Isabel, for dinner with Geddy Lee and Charlene and Alex Lifeson, and their friend Andy (whose surname I didn't catch). The band Rush is in Milan, doing a concert as they are near the end of a successful tour in Europe. (It's my children's first rock concert!) A lot of the show will be from their new album, Snakes and Arrows, which I think may be their best ever. The band gets better with age, like great bottles of Bordeaux or Barolo.

We actually had a number of old bottles of Barolo with dinner, as Luca Currado joined us, bringing a vertical of his Vietti Barolo Villero Riserva, including 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2004. (If you get the chance to go, the food at the Bulgari is excellent, super-refined Italian and the venue itself is one of my favorites on earth -- ­super chic modern Milanese.) Anyway, I noticed in our database that we don't have notes for many of the Vietti Villero wines. Check out my mini-video of the evening. Sorry it's a little dark, but there wasn't much light in the dining room at the Bulgari.

If I remember correctly, Villero's land used for Barolo equals about 15 acres in total, and the Vietti winery has about one third of that. Vietti's Villeros are always a "riserva," so they are well-structured and long-lived. They come out on the market a couple of years after most Barolos.

What was really interesting was that we tasted the eight wines in flights of four. Luca Currado produced the first flight ­(2004, 2001, 1997, and 1996), and his father made the second flight. I have to say that Luca's flight was superior. They were cleaner, more refined, and better, but not by that much

"It not fair to compare them," said Luca. "They are a different world. They were made in a different way."

Alex and Geddy preferred Luca's wines on a whole, but they also loved the 1989, which was super clean, rich and fresh, with layers of beautiful strawberry fruit and ripe tannins. What a wine.

Here are my tasting notes and non-blind scores of the Villero Riserva:

2004: This wine will not be released for another two years, and it was the first time it had been tasted outside the winery. This has a wonderful nose of fresh flowers, strawberries, raspberries and spices. Full body, with silky, refined tannins and a long, long finish. This shows the superb quality of 2004 vintage. Outstanding.

2001: The wood dominates the wine a bit right now, with lots of balsamic and ripe fruit aromas that turn to vanilla. Full and velvety with a firm finish. Needs to come together still. Best after 2011. Outstanding quality.

1997: This was actually fresher and more structured than the 1996. It showed fabulous aromas of the plum, raspberry and vanilla with hints of earth. Full and very velvety textured. Long, long finish. Still needs time. Best after 2010. 96 points, non-blind.

1996: Full and very jammy for a 1996. Super rich and ripe. Plums and strawberries galore. Full body, velvety and very long. Now. 95 points, non-blind.

1990: This seems a bit funky and maderized but there was so much rich, ripe fruit underneath. Strawberries and violets galore. Full and velvety. Long finish. I just wish it was cleaner. Two bottles were the same. Drink now. 86, non-blind.

1989: What a fabulous wine. It was so bright and fruity, with raspberry and prune and plum character galore and just a hint of chocolate. Full body, very velvety and very long. Love it. Now. 96 points, non-blind.

1985: I really enjoyed this wine too. It had such a unique tawny Port and chocolate character, with lots of ripe berries. Full and very round and soft. Funky but very, very enjoyable. Drink now. 94 points, non-blind.

1982: Very buttery and a little funky, but very interesting ripe fruit from plums and strawberries. Full and round with velvety tannins. Long finish. 92, non-blind.

I loved Luca's comments on the 2004. It is such an exciting young wine, and I think there are going to be many more 2004 Barolos like this next year when I taste them.

"It is a bit like a beautiful dumb blonde right now," he said. "She is beautiful, but she needs to go to school for a while."

Alex, Geddy and I all wanted to know what was wrong with beautiful dumb blondes? We certainly enjoyed drinking the 2004 Villero now. You won't be disappointed when it comes out.

Many thanks to Jahlove for the heads up and for providing the text. There's also a short video of the dinner up on the site but you need to be a subscriber to view it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Milan open thread
7:34AM EST | link | comments (40) |

UPDATE - 10/24@1:50PM: Here's a really nice photo gallery from the show (thanks alexmai).

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 23rd @ 7:00PM (local time)
Show Number: 61
Venue: Forum Arena
Place: Milan, Italy

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mannheim open thread
9:07AM EST | link | comments (18) |

UPDATE - 10/24@9:34AM: Here's a review in German (thanks Hans).

Date/Time: Sunday, October 21st @ 8:00PM (local time)
Show Number: 60
Venue: SAP Arena
Place: Mannheim, Germany

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Saturday, October 20, 2007

TV Documentary on Rush tribute bands to air in Canada
4:10PM EST | link | comments (15) |

[E! Documentary Series Premiere: Tribute Bands]

UPDATE - 10/29@11:51PM: It looks like the show can now be viewed online but only if you're in Canada. :( The link is here). Thanks to Kelly C for the info.

UPDATE - 10/25@4:01PM: Here's an update (thanks Andy S):



TRIBUTE BANDS, a four-part documentary series narrated by Toronto native and Rockstar: INXS finalist Suzie McNeil, each one-hour episode follows tribute bands that pose as:

Rush - "For the Love of Rush" airing Oct. 28th, 7:00 p.m. ET

Queen - "Keeping The Spirit of Freddie Alive" airing Nov. 4th, 7:00 p.m. ET

The Tragically Hip - "Keeping Up With The Hip" airing Nov. 11th, 7:00 p.m. ET

The Police - Encore presentation of "The Next Best Sting" on Nov. 18th, 7:00 p.m. ET

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28 - 7:00 p.m. ET "FOR THE LOVE OF RUSH" In this week's episode, TRIBUTE BANDS speaks with Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson about what's its like to have their own legion of tribute bands. We meet the undeniably obsessive Dave Cornwall (a.k.a. Spageddy Lee) who fronts an Arizona-based Rush tribute band called Freewill. Dave has transformed his home into a Rush museum and his garage into a recording studio with much of the same gear used by his heroes. Mike Deyo of Burlington, Ontario, has spent over $20,000 on gear for his Rush tribute band 2112. As a teen, Mike fled an abusive home and lived on the streets; he credits the music of Rush with seeing him through and helping him keep his dreams alive. Mike's ultimate goal: for 2112 to play Toronto's legendary Massey Hall.

----- snip -----

A new TV documentary on tribute bands will be airing on E! in Canada over the next several weeks. It's a 4-part series, the second of which will focus on Rush tribute bands. From the press release:

Tribute Bands

The Latest Original Four Part Documentary Series On E!

Debuts Sunday, October 21 - 10pm ET/PT (1 Hour)

(Calgary) - E! is proud to present Tribute Bands, the network's latest all-new Canadian original documentary series. Narrated by Toronto native and Rockstar: INXS finalist Suzie McNeil, each one-hour episode follows a tribute band paying homage to The Police, Rush, Queen and The Tragically Hip.

From CanWest MediaWorks and Executive Producers Allison Grace and Michelle Metivier, this 4-part documentary makes its television debut Sundays at 10pm ET/PT beginning October 21 on E!.

By day they work in law offices, hospitals and factories; by night, they morph into Sting, Geddy Lee, Freddie Mercury and Gord Downie. Virtually every major rock band has spawned a tribute group. Tribute Bands features interviews with artists and industry veterans including Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush, the former manager of The Police Miles Copeland and Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury's longtime personal assistant.

"E!'s roster of Canadian original documentaries continues to take viewers backstage with the premiere of Tribute Bands," said Christine Shipton, Vice President of Original Programming for CanWest MediaWorks Inc. "E! is a vibrant new network and we are committed to providing viewers with a host of quality Canadian programming that reflects this fresh, new point of view."

"The Next Best Sting" follows the maniacal and ever-entertaining Miles Copeland, who managed The Police for 23 years and is the brother of Police drummer Stewart Copeland. After witnessing the success of various Police tribute bands, Copeland decides to form "the ultimate Police tribute band."

In "For The Love of Rush", viewers meet the obsessive Dave Cornwall (a.k.a. Spageddy Lee) who fronts an Arizona-based Rush tribute band called Freewill. Tribute Bands also connects with other groups trying to emulate one of the most technically proficient bands in the world.

"Keeping The Spirit of Freddie Alive" trails Joe Russo's fight to escape New York's seedy club scene with Almost Queen, and Scotland's Gary Mullen who has made a considerable fortune fronting One Night of Queen.

The series concludes with "Keeping Up with the Hip", a look at three Ontario-based Tragically Hip tribute bands as they try to ride the wave of one of Canada's most beloved bands.


Sundays at 10pm ET/PT
"The Next Best Sting" - October 21
"For the Love of Rush" - October 28
"Keeping the Spirit of Freddie Alive" - November 4
"Keeping Up with The Hip" - November 11

Produced by Good Company Pictures in association with CanWest MediaWorks Inc. Sarah Jane Flynn is Production Executive and Christine Shipton is Vice President, Original Programming for CanWest MediaWorks.

Thanks to Andy S for the heads up.

New Alex Lifeson interview in Total Guitar
10:18AM EST | link | comments (7) |

European guitar magazine Total Guitar features Alex Lifeson as their Total Guitar Icon in the November issue. There's a 2-page article on Lerxst containing a short but sweet interview covering a variety of subjects. Just click on the thumbnails to the right to read the article. Thanks to David R for providing the scans.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Oberhausen open thread
4:27PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Once again, sorry about the lateness of this. I'm zoned out today.

Date/Time: Friday, October 19th @ 8:00PM (local time)
Show Number: 59
Venue: Koenig Pilsener Arena
Place: Oberhausen, Germany

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Updates and other random Rush stuff
9:40AM EST | link | comments (31) |

Only 6 more shows left on the 2007 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour; Rush will hit 2 dates in Germany over the weekend, then it's Italy, Norway, Sweden and they'll finish off in Helsinki, Finland. The big news this week was the official confirmation of the rumors that Rush would be filming the shows in Rotterdam. They did indeed film both shows so hopefully sometime later next year we'll see another live Rush DVD released. There has been a lot of discussion regarding the fact that the venue was not full either night. From the reports I've heard there is a good explanation for this. Per the band's decision, the second ring of the Ahoy was closed both nights in order to get a better sound for the audio recording and to even out the crowd for both nights. The first night they took long shots using remote cameras on Geddy's side and in front of the stage. The second night there were several cameramen on and in front of the stage taking close-ups. Filming this way prevents obstructions by cameramen on the DVD.

So now that we're on the subject of live DVDs, I thought for this next poll question I'd ask you which of Rush's live DVDs/Videos is your favorite. So take the poll and let us know. Last week I asked you what you thought the next MoFi Ultradisc Rush recording should be. Hemispheres eked out the win with 23% of the vote; Vapor Trails was a close second at 20%. Rounding out the top 5 were A Farewell to Kings (17%), Grace Under Pressure (11%) and Power Windows (7%).

We all got a bit up in arms about Blender magazine's list of worst lyricists where Neil Peart came it at #2. John Dolan - a senior critic at Blender - was interviewed on CBC Radio's As It Happens last week regarding the list. If you want to listen to how much of a tool this guy is, go to this link and click on Part 1 of the program - the interview occurs at about 17:40. Dolan was disappointed that the interviewer didn't ask him about Neil Peart being on the list - saying in his whiny little voice at the end of the interview, I can't believe you didn't bring up Neil Peart - he's number 2!. At the end of the interview, one of the show's hosts - Carol Off - voices her displeasure with Neil being on the list. Apparently she went to school with Neil who sat behind her in 9th and 10th grade english class! Thanks to cschnebe for the link.

The Rush Backstage Club is running another contest. This time the prize is a copy of Snakes & Arrows autographed by all three band members. To enter the contest go to this link. Thanks to Figerade for the heads up.

If you've been following the site lately you know that Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on Detroit-based prog-rockers Tiles upcoming 5th album, Fly Paper. Alex performs on the track Sacred & Mundane. Last week Tiles revealed via their website that a promotional video for the song will be filmed in the upcoming weeks and should be released close to the late-January release of the album. Huge Syme has created the artwork for the album which you can check out here. Hugh makes an appearance on keyboards on the track Crowded Emptiness as well as the recently added surprise 9th track Passing Notes.

Reader gag2man alerted me to a Rush sighting in Chicago's Red Eye newspaper. In a short interview with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins he remarks on the popularity of bands by saying the following:

We grew up in Chicago in the '70s not realizing that the Canadian rock band Rush was not huge all over the world, but they were massively big in Chicago. So when they came to Chicago it was like God was coming down.

Like God was coming down ... I really like that; I can certainly relate. Billy is a huge Rush fan and has stated numerous times how much of an influence Rush has been on his music.

Rush gets yet another mention in this article dissing the Rock Hall's latest list of nominees.

There are many, many deserving rock bands that have been overlooked by the HOF. Two fine examples, in my opinion, are the Monkees and a little Canadian trio called Rush. ... Over a 30 year career, Rush has amassed a huge following for its heavy, yet cerebral sound. Songs such as "Tom Sawyer" and "New World Man" have become radio staples. I have nothing against Donna Summer. The "Queen of Disco" has a wonderful voice and scored many a well-derserved hit on the dance charts. But the idea that the moan behind the disco hit "Love to Love You, Baby" may be in the HOF and not Rush makes me think the hall has lost its way.

Hear, hear! And gungaddin pointed me to this article pointing out a number of bands who should be in the Rock Hall and are not. Rush is one of the bands mentioned of course.

XHAIL alerted me to this article at Ultimate Guitar which compairs Fender to Gibson. Rush gets an interesting little mention:

... Incidentally, Gibson developed the humbucker at the same time as Gretsch, and implemented said humbucker in 1957 with the Les Paul. Since then, Gibson's name has often been associated with America and classic rock n' roll tone. In fact, Geddy Lee of Rush once told guitarist Alex Lifeson that the only guitar he should ever play is a Les Paul, because it offers the best rock n' roll tone, in his ears. ...

Reader cabalaska let me know that in the latest issue of Paste magazine, there is a section on the last page containing part two of a New Rock Lexicon feature. One of the words described is Geddicorn defined as follows:

GEDDICORN: a beautiful but possibly mythical creature--a woman who goes to Rush concerts without coercion from a male significant other.(named for bespectacled Rush frontman Geddy Lee.)

Portland's 102.9 WBLM recently posted their top 20 albums of all time as voted on by listeners; Rush's Moving Pictures made an impressive showing coming in at #18. Thanks to billsrhythm for the heads up.

Reader Daren B was recently digging through his old cassette tapes and uncovered this beauty. It's an old cassette tape of Power Windows with the album painstakingly reproduced to fit on the tiny 2"x3" tape. Very impressive. He writes about it in his blog in this post. Apparently he also has a Grace Under Pressure cassette somewhere too.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interview with Lorne Wheaton at
12:30PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Lorne WheatonUPDATE - 10/18@1:07PM: It's playing for me know. Lorne basically just goes over Neil's setup in detail. Great interview. Lorne also likes to drop the F-bomb a lot. :)

There's a new video interview with Neil Peart's drum tech Lorne Wheaton (aka Bubba Gump) up at in the Multimedia section. Unfortunately for me I've been unable to play the video for some reason; all the others work, but not this one. It's listed as being close to 5 minutes long. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.

Q&A with Howard Ungerleider now online
9:34AM EST | link | comments (5) |

A few weeks back The Canadian Music Scene website took questions from fans for Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider. They submitted the questions to Howard after the 2nd Toronto show and have just posted several of the questions along with Howard's answers which you can check out at this link. Many thanks to The Canadian Music Scene for doing this and to Howard for all of his insightful answers.

Rush makes top 100 Canadian albums list
9:25AM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 10/18@3:59PM: Here's a review which includes the entire list of 100 albums. The only other Rush album to make it on (likely due to a lot of vote-splitting among their many studio albums) was A Farewell to Kings. Thanks to Kelly C for the link.

Music columnist and long-time arts reporter for CBC Television, Bob Mersereau, has authored a book titled The Top 100 Canadian Albums which releases today. The book includes cover reproductions and descriptions for each of the albums on the list, as well as documentary photographs, interviews, trivia, and musician-contributed sidebars. The rankings are based on a survey of 580 musicians, critics, DJs and retailers including Rush's own Neil Peart. Two of Rush's albums made it into the top 20; Moving Pictures came in at #9 and 2112 at #17. The top 20 are as follows:

1. "Harvest," Neil Young (Reprise, 1972)
2. "Blue," Joni Mitchell (Reprise, 1970)
3. "After the Gold Rush," Neil Young (Reprise, 1970)
4. "Music From Big Pink," The Band (Capitol, 1968)
5. "Fully Completely," The Tragically Hip (MCA, 1992)
6. "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morisette (Maverick, 1995)
7. "The Band," The Band (Capitol, 1969)
8. "Funeral," Arcade Fire (Merge, 2004)
9. "Moving Pictures," Rush (Anthem, 1981)
10. "American Woman," The Guess Who (RCA, 1970)
11. "Songs of Leonard Cohen," Leonard Cohen (Columbia, 1967)
12. "Reckless," Bryan Adams (A&M, 1984)
13. "Five Days in July," Blue Rodeo (Warner, 1993)
14. "Twice Removed," Sloan (Geffen, 1994)
15. "Up To Here," The Tragically Hip (MCA, 1989)
16. "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere," Neil Young with Crazy Horse (Reprise, 1969)
17. "2112," Rush (Mercury 1976)
18. "Court and Spark," Joni Mitchell (Asylum, 1974)
19. "Whale Music," Rheostatics (Sire, 1992)
20. "Acadie," Daniel Lanois (Opal, 1989)

Thanks to durga2112 for the heads up.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rotterdam show #2 open thread
10:28AM EST | link | comments (52) |

UPDATE - 10/22@1:31PM: Here's some more info from reader heavymeister. He asked one of the crew members about why they filmed in Europe. This is what he relayed to me:

The special HD equipment came from a company in Belgium. Rotterdam was closest. Otherwise it would have cost a fortune to transport 19 HD cameras plus recording trucks to the US or even the UK. The company charges per day. Nevertheless Rush wanted to film 2 nights. That's why the Rotterdam gig was split into two although knowing that the demand wouldn't be there to fill both shows to max capacity.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 10/18@11:02AM: There has been a lot of discussion about the shows not being sold out. From what I've heard, the second ring of the Ahoy was closed both nights and this was the band's decision. They did this for 2 reasons apparently; to get a better sound for the audio recording and to even out the crowd for both nights. The first night they taped the audience and took long shots using remote cameras on Geddy's side and in front of the stage. The second night there were several cameramen on and in front of the stage taking close-ups. Audio was taped both nights. Filming this way prevents obstructions by cameramen on the DVD. Thanks to Frank and beijs015 for the info.

Initial reports from last night's gig are that there was not a packed house although the band looked/sounded great. They'll be filming tonight too. Hopefully they'll get a better turnout.

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 17th @ 8:00PM (local time)
Show Number: 58
Venue: Ahoy Rotterdam
Place: Rotterdam, NL

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rotterdam show #1 open thread
11:09AM EST | link | comments (63) |

If you saw the last thread or received the latest Rush newsletter you already know that it has been confirmed that Rush will be filming this show for a future live DVD release. For anybody going, have a great time - and wave to the cameras for me!

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 16th @ 8:00PM (local time)
Show Number: 57
Venue: Ahoy Rotterdam
Place: Rotterdam, NL

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Rush newsletter: Live DVD filming, Questions for the band, European contest
11:01AM EST | link | comments (25) |

First off, the site is having some major technical issues and I apologize for that. It should be all straightened out soon. It figures that this happens when there's big news to report of course! :)

For any of you signed up to receive the Rush newsletter you already know the news; Rush has confirmed that they will be filming the Rotterdam show(s)! Not only that, they have put up a form on to take questions from fans and opened up a meet-and-greet contest for the European leg. From the newsletter:


Finally, RUSH will be filming a LIVE concert DVD in Rotterdam October 16th and 17th. For more information on this project, stay tuned to the email blasts and the website.


Is there something that you have always wanted to ask RUSH? Well, here is your opportunity! Fans may now submit questions that they would like the band to answer from Monday, October 15th through Thursday October 18th. Please be creative, because the band will only be choosing the BEST questions to answer. Visit to submit your question.


RUSH are on tour in Europe! Now is your chance to win a pair of tickets or Meet and Greets for a select few dates remaining on the tour. Please go to the contest section at for more information.

The contest is laid out exactly like it was for the North American and UK legs; match the album art with the song title to win either a meet-and-greet or front row tickets. To enter the contest go to this link.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Rush TabCon 2007
2:59PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush TabconDetails regarding Rush TabCon 2007 were released earlier this month. It's the 10th anniversary of the event and it will take place the weekend of November 16-18 at St. Francis High School in St. Francis, WI. What is a TabCon? From the website:

Rush TabCons are musical events that take place yearly around various parts of the United States. Their purpose is to allow musicians and fans of the rock group Rush to perform the band's music in a live setting.

The idea of a Rush TabCon first came about on the "rush-tabs" Mailing List by Sean Jones. The list, consisting of Rush fans that create tablature for the band's music, loved the idea, and the first TabCon took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1997. Today they are still going strong and have been held in the Midwest and on both coasts.

Best of all, you don't have to play like Geddy, Alex or Neil because performers of all skill levels are welcome. And you don't have to sing or play an instrument at all; spectators are welcome too!

For more information be sure to visit the Rush TabCon website and to view videos of past performances, check out the Rush TabCon page on YouTube.

Ross Halfin writes about the 2nd Wembley show
11:09AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Last week rock photographer Ross Halfin went to the first show at Wembley and wrote about it in his online diary as well as posting a bunch of great pics. Turns out he also was at the 2nd show and wrote about that experience as well in his October 10th entry. He had a lot of good things to say about Rush and their stage show along with a few interesting anecdotes. There are also several new pics in his Rush gallery including a few of Alex and Geddy backstage. Thanks to Victor S for the heads up.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Manchester open thread
10:38AM EST | link | comments (19) |

UPDATE - 10/17@2:13PM: Here's a great gallery of pro-shot pics from photographer Marty Moffatt.

UPDATE - 10/15@9:51AM: Here's a great review from the Manchester Evening News (thanks Schuey).

Rush finishes off the UK leg of the tour tonight in Manchester. A special hello to everyone at Rush EuCon. Have a blast at the show!

Date/Time: Sunday, October 14th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 56
Venue: MEN Arena
Place: Manchester, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Rush interview from Guitar & Bass magazine
10:29AM EST | link | comments (21) |

The November 2007 issue of the UK's Guitar & Bass magazine contains a feature on Rush titled Good to be Three. Andy Bradshaw sits down with Geddy and Alex to discuss Snakes & Arrows, the tour, their gear and more. Many thanks to Jasper from the Netherlands for the scans. Just click on the thumbnails to see the full scans.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Alex Lifeson's A Brush of Hope painting
5:40PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Alex Lifeson paintingLast week I mentioned how Alex Lifeson would once again be participating in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope project. Last year Alex Lifeson, along with about 90 other Canadian celebrities, created paintings which were eventually sold on eBay, garnering over $16,000 for the charity. has posted a preview of Alex's painting for this year which you can view at this link, and the Kidney Foundation has posted details regarding this year's project on their website:

Beginning November 2nd for 10 days only, YOU will have the chance of a lifetime to buy original paintings by some of Canada's most recognized stars. That's right, you could have an original "Brent Butt" hanging from you living room wall, or an "Alex Lifeson" over your bed. Perhaps you'd prefer a "Chris Jericho" in the recreation room or a "Jesse Cook" in the music room.

Dozens of Canadian celebrities have generously donated their time and talent to help fight kidney disease. Check out the paintings here, then go to on November 2nd and type "Kidney Foundation" into the search field and start bidding!

With the holiday season right around the bend, why not get that special person who has everything something that they definitely won't have!

But remember, this is for 10 days only, beginning November 2nd, so mark it in your calendar and don't miss this priceless opportunity!

All funds raised from the sale of the paintings will go toward kidney research in Canada.

Thanks to Hermy for the heads up.

Birmingham open thread
10:20AM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 10/17@2:13PM: Here's a great gallery of pro-shot pics from photographer Marty Moffatt.

Date/Time: Friday, October 12th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 55
Venue: NEC Arena
Place: Birmingham, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:06AM EST | link | comments (8) |

The Snakes & Arrows tour rolls on; this weekend Rush will finish off the UK leg playing shows in Birmingham and Manchester before heading off to mainland Europe. Rush EuCon will take place this Sunday prior to the Manchester gig. Special guests will include Terry Brown and Andrew MacNaughtan along with a special surprise guest.

Rush was supposed to appear on Bruce Dickinson's Friday Rock Show on BBC 6 this evening but for unknown reasons the appearance has been delayed. They are now tentatively penciled in for a November 9th appearance according to a posting on the site's message board. Thanks to The Clansman 2112 for the heads up.

Wednesday's USA Today newspaper had an article about the top tours of the summer in the Life section. They included a list of the top 10, and for each had a little blurb about the tour's success (What they did and Why it worked), plus some stats. Rush's tour came in at #6. From the article:

What they did: "The Canadian progressive-rock trio continues to attract new adherents after more than 30 years. Having their first new album in five years, Snakes & Arrows, surely helped."

Why it worked: "Rush is a thrilling band live," Waddell [Ray Waddell, Billboard touring editor] says. "Their fans know this, and their reputation keeps spreading to new generations."

Total Gross: $21M
Shows: 38
Attendance: 399,000
Seats Filled: 67% (the lowest in the top 10)

Top 10 list:
1. The Police
2. Kenny Chesney
3. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
4. Celine Dion
5. Dave Matthews Band
6. Rush
7. John Mayer
8. Beyonce
9. Roger Waters
10. Tool

Thanks to The Mighty Dudad for the info.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab will be releasing Permanent Waves on both Gold Ultradisc and 180 Gram Vinyl next month. The Ultradisc will be released November 6th and the 180 Gram Vinyl on November 15th. Speaking of MoFi labs, Rush is mentioned in this review of a home theater receiver. They used MoFi's version of 2112 to test the sound.

In my new poll I'm asking you what you think should be the next MoFi Ultradisc Rush release. Take the poll and let us know. The results of the last poll are in and Signals was the winner with A Farewell to Kings a close second. Here are the complete results.

Earlier this week we learned that Neil Peart made Blender magazine's list of worst lyricists coming in at #2. Not surprisingly this generated a lot of heated comments from readers and Rush fans everywhere. Here's Andy O's take on it all which I wholeheartedly agree with. Andy also brought this other take on Neil as a lyricist to my attention; a counterpoint if you will. It's a petition to encourage the study of the works of Neil Peart in English literature courses in the UK. If you're a UK citizen you can sign the petition.

Liverpool.78 noticed that the background image used in the Snakes & Arrows artwork for The Larger Bowl was taken from a previous Hugh Syme image for Alice Cooper's A Fistful of Al ice album. Interesting. Hugh seems to do that a lot.

UltimoGuitarist noticed that the entire Exit Stage Left and Grace Under Pressure DVDs have been posted to YouTube. Exit Stage Left is here and Grace Under Pressure here.

Reader Jeaux J pointed me to a Rush reference in online cartoon series Meth Minute 39. In episode 3, Nite Fite, Penalty and Lloyd debate whether Rush is heavy metal or not.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Permanent Waves on 180 gram vinyl
3:07PM EST | link | comments (12) |

I first mentioned back in August that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is releasing a 24 KT Gold Ultradisc II version of the 1980 Rush classic Permanent Waves. Last week we learned that the release date for the package will be November 6th. You can preorder it at this link. Since then Power Windows has also learned that - in addition to the Ultradisc - Mobile Fidelity Labs will also be releasing a 180 gram vinyl version of Permanent Waves this coming November 15th. For more information and to preorder your copy go to this link. If you don't know what 180 gram vinyl is, here's some basic info courtesy wikipedia:

New "virgin" or "heavy" (180-220 g/m²) vinyl is commonly used for modern "audiophile" vinyl releases in all genres. Many collectors prefer to have 180 g/m² vinyl albums, and they have been reported to have a better sound than normal vinyl. These albums tend to withstand the deformation caused by normal play better than regular vinyl[citation needed]. 180 g/m² vinyl is more expensive to produce and requires higher-quality manufacturing processes than regular vinyl.

Thanks to highwater for the heads up.

Rock photographer Ross Halfin shoots Rush at Wembley
9:58AM EST | link | comments (24) |

It looks like rock photographer Ross Halfin recently took some photographs of our boys at the first London show. He posted a few of the pics to his website and wrote about the experience in his online diary:

Went to shoot Rush at Wembley. The trip is always a journey into hell, took two hours to get there in the rain. London was fucked up to drive through. Arrived just in time for soundcheck. They played nearly the whole of Hemispheres and Most Of A Farewell To Kings.

Said hello afterwards, the friendliest was Neal Peart who greeted me with 'Hello old timer.' Old Timer, me? I am, I suppose, I started shooting Rush in 1977. God that's thirty years ago. I'm old - ish!

The Manic Street Preachers were there (to interview Rush). I'd never met Nicky Wire before, he seemed a fine man. He was nervous, James Dean Bradford was quiet. 'We're serious fans.' I told them some stories, and Nicky had a great knowledge of the photographers from my era, good and bad. He asked me 'Do you like anyone?' I told him the ONLY thing musicians care about is 'themselves and money.' I mean, I like some of them - I just can't think of any...

The Manics were ushered in to meet Geddy and Alex, who looked bemused as they were asked serious fan-like gushing questions. Nicky even pulled out his older brother's embroidered denim jacket (I took a photo of them together with it). Next time the Manics do something I must shoot them.

Rush played for eight hours (okay it was three). Too many new songs for me, but I forgave them when ****** [spoiler edit] was the second encore. I felt at home shooting them, enjoyed it - as only a old timer can...

Many thanks to Victor S for the heads up.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

London show #2 open thread
6:08PM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 10/17@2:10PM: Here's a great gallery of pro-shot pics from this show (thanks Graham B).

UPDATE - 10/13@9:48AM: Here's a review from The Guardian (thanks Fiat).

Sorry this is late. The site had technical issues and I was out of town.

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 10th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 54
Venue: Wembley Arena
Place: London, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

London show #1 open thread
10:42AM EST | link | comments (23) |

UPDATE - 10/17@2:10PM: Here's a great gallery of pro-shot pics from this show (thanks Graham B).

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 9th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 53
Venue: Wembley Arena
Place: London, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Neil Peart makes Blender's list of worst lyricists
9:48AM EST | link | comments (167) |

[Sting tops list of worst lyricists]

Here's the latest from the stupid-list-from-crappy-magazine department. Neil Peart has made Blender magazine's list of worst lyricists in their upcoming November issue, coming in at #2. Topping the list was Sting with Creed frontman Scott Stapp at No. 3, Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher at No. 4, and soft-rocker Dan Fogelberg at No. 5. From the press release:

... Blender described Canadian rocker Peart's lyrics as "richly awful tapestries of fantasy and science," ...

Whatever. Thanks to everybody who sent me the link this morning.


Monday, October 8, 2007

New video at; interview with Poolie
7:44AM EST | link | comments (11) |

PoolieUPDATE - 10/8@3:21PM: Reader joesaracer noted in the comments that they also added pics from the Cincinnati, Chicago, and Toronto shows to the Rush on the Road section.

Another video interview with one of Rush's crew has been posted to the Multimedia section of This time it's Donavan's (aka Poolie) turn to explain what he does for the band. He describes himself as a glorified concierge as well as the Pool Boy. The interview is a little under 4 minutes and Geddy Lee makes a cameo. Thanks to Liverpool.78 for the heads up.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Official Rush on MySpace page
10:04AM EST | link | comments (10) |

[Rush on MySpace]

You may recall last summer when Rush launched an official MySpace page. They eventually took it down because they weren't satisfied with the look of it and were planning on relaunching it when they had revamped. Back in March the new revamped was launched to coincide with the Far Cry release, but there was still no new Rush on MySpace. Well it looks like those sneaky guys at have had the MySpace page up for some time now (since May it looks like) but never really advertised it; it completely fell under my radar at least. It's even linked over at (just go to the Mailing List section). You can visit the site at It's nothing too spectacular; it has a few songs posted and the tour dates listed. Thanks to UltimoGuitarist over at Counterparts for the heads up.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sheffield open thread
10:59AM EST | link | comments (11) |

UPDATE - 10/7@9:25AM: Setlist #2; with the substitution (thanks Dave in Leeds). So it is looking like setlist #1 has finally been retired. I'll assume setlist #2 from here on out and just pipe in if there's any change.

Date/Time: Saturday, October 6th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 52
Venue: Hallam FM Arena
Place: Sheffield, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Permanent Waves Gold Ultradisc II release date announced
10:52AM EST | link | comments (10) |

I first mentioned back in August that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is releasing a 24 KT Gold Ultradisc II version of the 1980 Rush classic Permanent Waves. The release date for the package has been announced as November 6 and you can preorder it at this link. Permanent Waves joins 2112 (1993), Moving Pictures (1992), and Signals (1994) as the fourth Rush album to be released in the Ultradisc II format. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Alex Lifeson to participate in Kidney Foundation's A Brush of Hope
10:21AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Alex Lifeson paintingLast year Alex Lifeson, along with about 90 other Canadian celebrities, participated in a project of The Kidney Foundation of Canada called A Brush of Hope. The celebrities created paintings (Alex's from last year is shown here) which were eventually sold on eBay, garnering over $16,000 for the charity. According to a news posting on yesterday, Alex will again be participating in the project.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Newcastle open thread
11:53AM EST | link | comments (12) |

UPDATE - 10/6@9:56AM: Setlist #2; with the substitution (thanks jdesousa)... that makes 2 shows in a row. Rumor has it that it will be setlist #2 from here on out too.

Date/Time: Friday, October 5th @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 51
Venue: Metro Radio Arena
Place: Newcastle, UK

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]

Updates and other random Rush stuff
9:45AM EST | link | comments (20) |

Rush kicked off the European leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour a couple of days ago in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the next week they'll play six dates in the UK starting with Newcastle tonight and ending in Manchester. Then it's on to mainland Europe for another 8 dates, finishing off in Helsinki, Finland. But is that the end?? No! We now know that they'll be back in 2008! Big Al himself confirmed that Rush would be continuing the Snakes & Arrows tour through the summer of next year, bringing the total number of dates up to 110; that's potentially 46 more shows next year.

Regarding tonight's gig, it will be the first time in 27 years that Rush has played Newcastle; the last time was on the Permanent Waves tour. Alex Lifeson recently spoke about this with David Whetstone of Newcastle's The Journal:

...We've felt a great deal of guilt over the years for not coming over to the UK sooner and more often," confessed Lifeson. "But we used to do these long tours of North America and we'd be exhausted and in no shape to do the same show anywhere else.

"We didn't want to come over here for the sake of it and then put ourselves in a position where we couldn't perform at the highest level. In addition, it's only in the last decade that the UK has boasted the kind of arenas we need to put on a proper Rush show. The big venues are our bread and butter and that's where we're at home. These days we can do our full three-hour show with the best possible production at home and abroad."...

Alex also remarks on the Led Zeppelin reunion and seeing Zeppelin back in 1969. You can read the entire article at this link. Thanks to AVitalSign for the heads up.

If you're attending one of the European shows, don't forget to enter the contest to win front row tickets or a meet and greet. Details here.

There's a new contest up at the Rush Backstage Club too. You can win an autographed Snakes & Arrows tour poster. The poster is 24" X 36" and is signed by all three guys. This contest closes on October 15th. To enter go to this link. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.

Also, The Canadian Music Scene is now taking questions for Terry Brown that he'll be answering at Rush EuCon. Their Q&A with Howard Ungerleider was a great success; they submitted the questions to Howard after the Toronto show and they'll be posting his answers over the upcoming weekend.

No new poll this week - I think I'll just keep the current one going a bit longer. If you haven't taken the poll yet, let us know which of these 6 September-released Rush albums is your favorite; Caress of Steel (1975), A Farewell to Kings (1977), Signals (1982), Hold Your Fire (1987), Roll the Bones (1991) and Test For Echo (1996). So far Signals and A Farewell to Kings are fighting for first.

Thanks to everybody who voted for (and in the 2007 BT Digital Music Awards, but - I'm disappointed to say - neither site won. Here are the winners. Speaking of, I forgot to point out that the background music on the site has been switched over from Far Cry to Workin' Them Angels. No doubt this is to gear up for the upcoming release of the single. Thanks to dinoman for reminding me of this.

Andy O has added a couple more postcards to his Postcards from Neil page at his Neil Peart fan site. These are very cool - definitely check them out if you get a chance.

As we learned last week, Rush unsurprisingly was not on the list of 2007 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Bromstein notes in this article at Sympatico/MSN (thanks Habs2112) how she's not exactly sure what Chic is doing on the list when bands like Rush, Metallica, KISS and Stevie Ray Vaughn have still not been inducted. I heartily agree. Now that's the last I'll say on this subject ... until next year's snubbing of course. :)

I have a couple of television Rush references to share. The first one comes from the BBC comedy series Saxondale. In Episode 13 which first aired on September 28, 2007 there are several references to Rush's Caress of Steel album. The opening of The Necromancer, Part III, Return of the Prince was played a few times. Towards the end of the show Mags wants to make out with Saxondale and says to him, Bugger this, I want to listen to a bit of Rush, so put on Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince. Saxondale replies, SHHHH, you had me at Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince. :) Thanks to reader Merv W for the heads up and Power Windows for the details.

The second reference comes from The Sarah Silverman Program, a comedy series on Comedy Central starring comedian Sarah Silverman. In the season 2 premier episode Bored of the Rings which first aired on October 3rd, 2007 - the gay couple on the show (Steve and Brian) have a fight because the one was upset that the other forgot it was date night and they were supposed to go see Rush. Thanks to jln3170 for the info.

Reader Jon told me of a brief mention of Rush in this article about the late British composer Ronnie Hazlehurst who died this week. He was the composer for the classic BBC comedy Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and was known for putting Morse code into his compositions. Rush is mentioned as another composer that does this; I'm assuming they're referencing the opening of YYZ.

The creator of this Apple Widget that works with iTunes is apparently a fan of Geddy Lee's My Favorite Headache judging by the screenshot he used. :) Thanks to Lamb Saag for the tip.

Reader canuckster alerted me to this impressive gallery of pro-shot pics from the 2nd Toronto show. The gallery includes several pre-show shots from the sound booth - including a nice one of Howard Ungerleider. You can check out the gallery at this link.

And I had to point out this guy's gallery of the Ottawa show just because it contains nearly 1000 pics! Thanks to tst4eko for the heads up.

Have a great weekend everybody!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Q&A with Terry Brown at The Canadian Music Scene
10:21PM EST | link | comments (12) |

Terry BrownA few weeks back The Canadian Music Scene website took questions from fans for Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider. They submitted the questions to Howard after the 2nd Toronto show and will be posting his answers over the upcoming weekend. Next up is former Rush producer Terry Brown. You can submit your question to Terry at this link. Terry will be answering these questions at Rush EuCon after which they will be posted on The Canadian Music Scene website. Rush EuCon will take place on Sunday October 14th at the Manchester University campus in Manchester, UK. The event will run from 11AM to 6PM and then Rush will play at the MEN Arena that evening. In addition to Terry Brown, Rush friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan will be on hand along with a special surprise guest from within the Rush camp.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Glasgow open thread
12:18PM EST | link | comments (28) |

UPDATE - 10/12@8:52AM: Here is a review from the Sunday Mail in Scotland courtesy whywhyzed:

Veteran rockers spark a Rush to the SECC

Rush ***** (out of five)
SECC, Glasgow, October 3

Rock's mightiest trio shook the SECC to it's foundations during this three-hour music marathon. Much of the show was taken up by tracks from new album Snakes and Arrows with **** and **** stand-outs. **** was the best song of the night, with Geddy Lee showing his vocal, keyboard and bass mastery. The band sprang a surprise for hardcore fans during the encore, playing old rarity *****.
- Monty Archibald

I commented out the song titles for those who haven't seen a gig yet.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 10/6@11:39AM: Here's a review from The Herald (thanks Liverpool.78).

UPDATE - 10/4@4:07PM: For an interesting tidbit about what was heard at soundcheck, check below the fold (SPOILER).

UPDATE - 10/3@8:12PM: Setlist #2; with the substitution (thanks nephronic).

Rush kicks off the European leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour with show number 50 in Glasgow, Scotland tonight (actually just a couple hours from now local time). And we have confirmation from Big Al himself that Rush will be continuing the tour through 2008 for a total of 110 shows! To my friends across the pond - have a great time tonight!

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 3rd @ 7:30PM (local time)
Show Number: 50
Venue: SECC - Hall 4
Place: Glasgow, Scotland

gallery: [view] [upload] [bootleg videos]
reviews: [reviews]


Alex Lifeson confirms 2008 tour!
10:15AM EST | link | comments (50) |

Rush Snakes & Arrows Tour[Round-the-world Rush are a band in a hurry... but they've always got time for Glasgow, finds Stuart Morrison]

About a month ago I reported that Rush would be touring in 2008 including dates in the Eastern/Southern US and Atlantic Canada. Since then, there have been several rumored confirmations of this from within the Rush camp. But now it sounds like we have confirmation from Big Al himself! In a recent interview with Glasgow's The Herald (Rush kicks off their European tour in Glasgow tonight) Alex Lifeson confirms that Rush will be touring through the summer of 2008:

... "We're enjoying the tour," he says. "We're playing really well and the response has been great so far. The set includes nine new songs, which is more than we have ever included. That shows just how much we like the album." ... "The Police and bands like that are doing their greatest-hits thing now and we really covered that three years ago on our R30 tour. We want to move forward and we'll be touring this album until next summer, when I think we'll have done 110 shows."

110 shows!! That means they'll be playing around 45 shows next year! At the rate they've been going that means they'll be out for at least another 3 or 4 months. Wow. Thanks to cinderellamanr30 and Bob A for the heads up.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rush releases Drum Tones for mobile phones
10:04AM EST | link | comments (21) |

[Rush and g8wave Release First Ever Drum Tones for Mobile Phones]

Back in August Rush opened up their official Mobile Store on in partnership with g8wave. The mobile store offers mobile videos, ringtones, and wallpaper available for purchase. Their first batch of ring tones included several Alex Lifeson rants. They have since added a few others including Harry Satchel's bagpipe version of Limelight and what they are calling the first-ever drum tones for mobile phones. From the press release:

g8wave Holdings, Inc., an integrated mobile media company with offices in Boston and London, today announced that progressive rock band Rush and g8wave have released what is believed to be the first-ever 'drum tones' for downloading onto mobile phones.

Available first on the website under the 'Mobile' section, these are tones created by iconic drummer and Rush band member Neil Peart and can be downloaded onto fans' phones via g8wave's integrated mobile technology.

"Working with Rush is an exciting new venture for us," said Habib Khoury, President and Chief Executive Officer of g8wave. "Together we are launching something that we believe is 'first ever' in the mobile world and different from any of the 'regular' ring tones you can get for your phone."

"This is a perfect example of using mobile to bring dynamic content to fans of a specific band and artist," said Brad Mindich, g8wave's Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. "To be able to work with Neil and Rush is an amazing experience. These guys really get it and are very forward thinking and creative. No surprise there, of course."

Andy Curran, from Rush's management company SRO-Anthem, added, "To have one of the world's greatest rock drummers playing a ring tone on his own is excellent! If I'm not mistaken I think we've invented the drum tone! It will drive parents crazy, kids at school will get detentions, some marriages will be on rocky ground once drummers and RUSH fans get a hold of this...I can't wait."

You can access the Mobile Store at this link. Thanks to Metal Tim for the heads up.

Win front row tickets or a Meet & Greet for the European tour
9:44AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Just like they did with the North American leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour, Rush is running a contest where you can win either front row tickets or a Meet & Greet with the band by playing a simple little matching game. If you can match the song titles with their corresponding album art, you will be entered in a drawing to win either front row tickets or a meet & greet with the band. If you win a meet & greet, you must already have tickets to the venue you indicate on the contest submission form. Winners are responsible for their own travel and hotel accommodations. To enter the contest go to this link.

Heavy Metal Box set featuring Working Man released
9:24AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Rhino Records releases their 4-disc, 70-song Heavy Metal Box Set compilation today. The set includes Rush's Working Man along with many other hard rock and heavy metal classics spanning the period from 1968 to 1991. You can order it at this link. From the press release:

Heavy metal is not for the faint of heart. The songs don't want you to dance, shake, spin, or jump. They insist that you bang your head. Forget nuances or subtlety, heavy metal's main concern is kicking your ass. Rhino dives into the mosh pit with a four-disc collection of musical wickedness that packs more fire and brimstone than an Aleister Crowley barbeque. The set will be offered in limited edition packing that resembles an amplifier. In a nod to Spinal Tap-whose song "Big Bottom" is included in the set-the faux-amp box features an authentic, turn-able Marshall knob allowing you to literally turn it up to 11. Arranged chronologically, the compilation gathers 70 choice selections from various record labels tracing the evolution of metal during its first golden age between 1968 and 1991. The Heavy Metal Box presents more than five hours of blistering fury guaranteed to send devil horn salutes in the air.

The Heavy Metal Box invokes some of metal's biggest names with Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies"; Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights"; "Highway Star" by "the loudest group in the world," Deep Purple; Iron Maiden's "The Phantom Of The Opera" with singer Paul Di'Anno and "The Number Of The Beast" with singer Bruce Dickinson; Judas Priest's "The Ripper" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"; Metallica's "Whiplash" and uber-doom-ballad "One"; Megadeth's searing political statement "Peace Sells"; Slayer's soul crushing "South of Heaven"; and Pantera's marriage of metal and hardcore on "Cowboys From Hell." The boxed set also includes songs by Ted Nugent, Kiss, W.A.S.P., Diamond Head, Venom, Living Colour, and a pair of tracks featuring leather-lunged Lemmy Kilmister who appears on Hawkwind's "Lost Johnny" and Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."

For the complete tracklist and product details go to this link. You can also view a product shot video on YouTube at this link.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Planet Rock's Rush Month comes to a close
12:08PM EST | link | comments (11) |

UK digital radio station Planet Rock closed out Rush Month over the weekend. Each month they choose an artist to showcase and in September it was Rush's turn. Aside from playing more Rush and having competitions for tickets (Rush will be playing 7 dates in the UK over the next couple of weeks) they broadcast four exclusive interviews with the band members over the last several weekends. They closed out the celebration this past weekend with 2 specials; one airing Friday and the other on Sunday. Friday's special was on the making of Snakes & Arrows where they aired portions of their interviews with all 3 members and also revealed their list of the top 10 Rush songs as voted on by listeners. The top 10 were:

1. Xanadu
2. The Spirit Of Radio
3. Tom Sawyer
4. La Villa Strangiato
5. Closer To The Heart
6. The Trees
7. Red Barchetta
8. Limelight
9. Distant Early Warning
10. YYZ

Last night they took a look at Rush live through the ages, showcasing live performances from the band throughout their career. Both specials are currently available for listening up on their website if you know where to look. Just go to the Planet Rock website, click on Listen Now and a window will pop-up. At the top of this window click on Listen Again. To the right will be a listing. Look for the Last 7 days: Special Feature link and click that. Both specials will then be listed; click on the one you want to listen to. Thanks to Distant Early Warning for the heads up.





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