Archive: Blog Entries from April, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reminder: Rush on Rockline tonight
3:19PM EST | link | comments (153) |

UPDATE - 5/1@9:14PM: The interview is up on the Rockline website (thanks dwman). It should be noted that there are spoilers in the interview; they reveal the new additions to the setlist.

UPDATE - 5/1@10:18AM: I was not able to listen in last night, but from all the reports I've read there was not much new in this interview. The program should be posted up on the Rockline website in the next couple of days.

As previously reported, Rush will be appearing on the nationally syndicated radio show Rockline hosted by Bob Coburn tonight at 11:30 PM EST (8:30 PM PST). Fans can talk live with Rush by calling 800-344-ROCK (7625). To find a station near you or to listen to the show live via webcast, go to the Rockline website. I'm assuming that it will just be Alex and Geddy on the program.

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Snakes & Arrows Live falls to #110 on Billboard album chart
2:47PM EST | link | comments (31) |

UPDATE - 5/2@12:36PM: The album fell to #59 on the Canadian charts in its 2nd week.

UPDATE - 4/30@3:23PM: Sean just let me know that the CD sold 4,012 copies according to Soundscan in its 2nd week compared to nearly 21,000 in its debut week.

Snakes & Arrows Live - after a strong debut at #18 last week - has begun it's downward spiral off the Billboard album charts. RollingStone.com is reporting (in its typical snarky manner) that in its 2nd week of release the album has plummeted out of the top 100 to settle at #110. This phenomenon is typical of Rush albums; we diehard fans tend to know exactly when the album is coming out and buy (or pre-order) our copies immediately - thereby front-loading the chart numbers. Personally I think this is reflective of the loyalty of Rush's fanbase and something to be proud of.

In addition to debuting at #18 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, the album debuted at #2 in internet sales and #5 on the Rock Albums chart. I don't have info yet on how Snakes & Arrows Live faired on these 2 charts in the 2nd week of release, but based on the #110 number my guess is it is no longer in the top 10 on either chart. I also haven't received any word on the 2nd-week Canadian sales figures yet. The album debuted at #8 in Canada.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Backstage Secrets Rush road crew documentary update
2:59PM EST | link | comments (84) |

UPDATE - 5/8@4:34PM: Reader sandman saw the first episode and reported the following:

The show focused on two main guys on the crew; that being the monitor tech and the sound engineer for the shows.

They showed how the lights and speaker cabinets were rigged up, some notable stats, one being that they have 160,000 watts of (sound) power at their disposal, of which they do not use all of. Each speaker cabinet is roughly 500 lbs and it's all rigged up in only a few hours.

Essentially they went through a typical concert day, the one on the show was at the ACC in Toronto last fall. Their day is usually about 16 hours long. They start at 9:00 am unloading all the gear and then it showed what they did from that time until show time. The guys in the documentary also said they program all of the monitors etc when the band is rehearsing prior to the tour. It looks like the crew has a great sense of humor, something that they all need due to the stress of the job.

They didn't interview the band members, but it showed them hanging out with the roadies prior to the sound check etc.

One other notable interview was with Howard Ungerleider when he showed them the tour buses. They have FIVE tour busses that are absolutely gorgeous. Much nicer than any living room I've been in. Satellite TV, all leather and of course Howard showed us the bar. In addtion to the five tour buses for the band and crew they have seven semi's to haul all the gear.

----- snip -----

Back in December I'd mentioned that WhistleStop Productions was putting the final touches on a 5 part documentary series which follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the Canadian leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour and is called Backstage Secrets. It was originally supposed to air this past February on RUSH HD in Canada but was delayed and is now scheduled to air each Thursday evening at 9PM over the next 5 weeks starting this Thursday, May 1st. In order to receive RUSH HD you need to subscribe to Bell Express Vu and sign on for their high definition package. It's not clear if or when the program will air in the US but I had been hearing it would be shown on RAVE HD. There were also some rumblings that Anthem was working on putting the series together in some kind of box set for fans to purchase. The series features Rush Lighting Director Howard Ungerleider; sound guys Brad Madix and Brent Carpenter; instrument technicians Lorne Weaton, Bobby Huck, Tony Geranios and Russ Ryan; video guys David Davidian and Bob Larkin; and production manager Craig Blazier. Many thanks to David at WhistleStop Productions for the heads up.

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Albuquerque open thread
11:47AM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:24AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7653 / 11496
Gross Ticket Sales: 345952

UPDATE - 5/2@8:54AM: No setlist changes. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 29th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 10
Venue: Journal Pavilion
Place: Albuquerque, NM

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

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:29AM EST | link | comments (162) |

The tour is well underway now. Rush played their 9th show last night at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Anecdotal evidence points to the attendance levels at the last few shows being much better than the first few. Thanks to reader Mark S we have our first official Billboard attendance numbers; for opening night in Puerto Rico the attendance was 6,855 out of a capacity of 9,598 and the concert grossed $740,155 in ticket sales. Since I'm bound to get questions about it, I believe the capacity number just means that there were 9,598 tickets available for sale and 6,855 of those were purchased. It has nothing to do with the actual maximum capacity of the venue; the Coliseo can hold a lot more than 9500. I've also been informed that 600 tickets were released last week for the first show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles which had been sold out; and that Live Nation is slashing ticket prices and offering special ticket packages at many of the outdoor venues. Check the specific venue(s) for details.

Geddy and Alex continue to give several interviews across the nation to promote the tour and the album. Earlier last week a very interesting interview with Alex Lifeson was published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. In it Alex admits to considering a B-track Rush tour or possible performing 2112 with an orchestra! Friday another interview with Alex Lifeson was published in The Oklahoman titled Mountain haven inspires Rush to reach new peak. I also recently added the Paul and Young Ron interview with Alex Lifeson from April 7th that was aired on BIG 105.9 and 98.7 The Gater to the radio interview thread. Also, as I'd mentioned last month Rush (just Geddy and Alex I assume) will be the featured guest on the nationally syndicated radio show Rockline with host Bob Coburn this coming Wednesday, April 30th at 11:30PM EST. Fans are encouraged to call in to speak with the guys toll free at 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). For a station near you and for information regarding how to listen online go to the Rockline website.

Snakes & Arrows Live debuted at #18 in its first week of release in the US; it debuted at #8 in Canada. Not bad at all. With a new release come the inevitable reviews both good and bad; so far it's been mostly good. Here's a gushing review from The Bolton News, a generally positive review from Blogcritics, and a negative review from the Niagara Falls Review. That last review really makes Neil mad. :)

Alex Lifeson finally got a bit of good news in his ongoing case against the Ritz-Carlton involving his and his son Justin's New Year's 2004 run-in with Florida police. A federal appeals court ruled that a lower court judge in Florida was wrong to dismiss a negligence claim by Lifeson's son against the hotel and the security manager on duty at the time of the altercation. In other Alex Lifeson news, his house in the affluent Toronto suburb of Rosedale is up for sale.

Many of you older farts (like me) might remember that from 1982 to 1993, Neil Peart answered Modern Drummer magazine readers' questions in a column called Ask a Pro. Andrew Olson has posted scans of these fan Q&As over on his Neil Peart site site. These are really cool - I suggest you check them out when you get a chance. Thanks Andy!

One of my favorite Rush fan sites is Cygnus-X1.net. John has been providing great content for the online Rush community for about 4 years. He has the best and most comprehensive library of Rush album art out there. About 2 weeks ago, John's site was the victim of a MalWare virus attack. As a result of the attack several visitors to his site were also infected and his site blacklisted at Google. He shut down his site, fixed the files, found the cause and corrected the problem. It was quite an ordeal - you can read all the details here. John came close to just packing it in and shutting down his site. So if you get a chance stop by his site and send him a few words of encouragement.

Several readers emailed me about a Rush sighting at an NHL playoff game last week in Detroit. The Red Wings hosted the Predators at Joe Louis Arena and there was a huge billboard at center ice advertising the June 10th Rush show (which I'll be attending by the way). Reader PhillyMike sent the screenshot.

Reader Bravest Face hosts a radio show on HAY98 on Friday nights from 9PM-2AM. He wanted me to let everyone know that this coming Friday night, May 2nd at 10PM he'll be playing the entire Snakes & Arrows Live disc completely from start to finish with no interruptions. To listen online just go to www.hay98.com and click on the listen live link.

If you aren't already aware of it, Between Sun & Moon is an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise owned and operated by Rush fan and Rush Is A Band reader Katy. Mother's Day is right around the corner (just 2 weeks away!) and - as she has done several times in the past - Katy is offering an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers. Even if the mother in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry by Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Custom order Mother's Jewelry for your wife, mother or grandmother with her children's birthstones and names. It's a completely unique gift she will love for a lifetime. Mother's Day is Sunday May 11th, order your custom creations by tomorrow, April 28th and all other designs by May 5th to ensure timely delivery. Use discount code RUSHISABAND for Free Priority Mail shipping. Thanks Katy!

In October of 2006 the popular Candian TV show the Trailer Park Boys made its big screen debut in Canada. The movie was a resounding success garnering the highest opening-weekend gross of any English-language homegrown film. Alex Lifeson was heavily involved in the making of the film's soundtrack (Geddy Lee also participated) and also got a cameo as a cop in the movie. The film is also riddled with Rush references including a movie marquee which lists several Rush song titles as movies. Last February the movie was released on DVD in Canada and earlier this year the film was finally released to select theaters in the United States. This past Tuesday the movie was released on DVD in the US. You can order a copy at Amazon using this link. Thanks to RushTabConVideo for the heads up.

The Great Zo over at the Counterparts message board is running a Name That Rush Tune charity drive for the 3rd year in a row. The contest has been cranking along for several months and it's now down to the semi-finals. As of right now, the Name That Rush Tune charity fund is sitting at $1430.00. If you want to contribute to the cause, please visit the charity donation page at this link. To see how the game has gone so far, visit the homepage at this location.

Earlier this year I'd put up a post about an independent film which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year called Adventures of Power. The film is chock full of Rush references and most notably includes a cameo from Neil Peart; his first speaking role in a live-action film. The movie just won the Audience Award at the Vail Film Festival earlier this month and the filmmakers are pursuing getting it distributed to theaters. For details on Adventures of Power and to sign up for the mailing list you can visit its newly-revamped website at this location.

Kaki King is an American virtuoso guitar player and singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. She was recently quoted in Spinner magazine as saying the following:

"Somehow, Rush can still sell out arenas. If I was sitting in row one, I would take my chair, unbolt it from the ground and run away."
--Kaki King

I'm not sure exactly what this means but I think it's a slam of some kind? Whatever. Thanks to Dave R for the heads up.

Reader Terry H is a professional welder who fashions artistic creations using rebar (cool, huh) and made a very neat Rush starman logo which you can check out here. Its made out of 1/4 inch round steel, and the man figure is 3/16 inch round steel.

The Deadliest Catch is a reality show on Discovery Channel which documents the events aboard fishing boats in the Bering Sea. Rhapsody.com recently featured a playlist from the Captains of Deadliest Catch and one of the featured songs is Xanadu. Thanks to Jake for the link.

One last thing. Many of you have noticed that there's been a delay of 15 seconds or so when posting comments. At this time I'm not sure exactly why this is happening but I'm aware of the issue and am working on a fix. Thanks to everybody who alerted me to this.

Have a great week everyone!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oklahoma City open thread
11:36AM EST | link | comments (89) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:23AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7953 / 8497
Gross Ticket Sales: 477831

UPDATE - 4/27@10:02AM: No setlist changes. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section. There's also this short but sweet review in The Oklahoman.

Rush will be playing Oklahoma City tonight for the first time since May 25, 1992 on the Roll the Bones tour. For those going, have a great time. I'll be posting my regular Updates and other random Rush stuff tomorrow.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 9
Venue: Ford Center
Place: Oklahoma City, OK

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

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Dallas open thread
12:54PM EST | link | comments (81) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:23AM: Attendance / Capacity: 8496 / 11500
Gross Ticket Sales: 546048

UPDATE - 4/26@11:26AM: Here's a great review from Pegasusnews.com.

UPDATE - 4/26@8:55AM: No setlist changes. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Rush finishes their Texas swing tonight playing the Superpages.com Center in Dallas. I'll have my regular weekly Updates and other random Rush stuff post up either tomorrow or Sunday. For everybody going tonight, have a blast!

Date/Time: Friday, April 25th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 8
Venue: Superpages.com Center
Place: Dallas, TX

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

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz-Carlton: One Little Victory
9:50PM EST | link | comments (59) |

Justin and Al in court[Rush guitarist's son wins round in lawsuit]

UPDATE - 4/24@10:40PM: Here's a link to a pdf of the court document (thanks Paul K).

Most Rush fans are already aware that Alex Lifeson and his son Justin were arrested in Naples, FL on New Year's eve 2004 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. After a lengthy court battle, the multiple felonies the two were charged with were eventually reduced to misdemeanors and Alex and his son filed a counter suit which proved to be unsuccessful. But there's been a recent positive development for Lifeson in the case. From the Associated Press:

... A federal appeals court says a lower court judge in Florida was wrong to dismiss a negligence claim by Alex Lifeson's son against the hotel and the security manager on duty at the time of the Dec. 31, 2003 altercation.

However, an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld the dismissal of the rest of the claims by Lifeson and his son - including the contention that the Collier County deputies violated their civil rights by using excessive force. ...

... The appeals court said in an opinion filed Wednesday that Alex Zivojinovich "unreasonably escalated an already volatile situation" in trying to come to the aid of his son and was not entitled to pursue the negligence claim.

The panel said a jury should be allowed to hear the portion of the lawsuit involving Justin Zivojinovich because Barner had falsely led the deputies to expect trouble, making it more likely that the hotel guests could be hurt. ...

So finally some good news for Lerxst. If you want all the details of the case, there is a great running history over at the Power Windows site. Thanks to robertkincaid96 for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz-Carlton: Alex reacts to case dismissal]
[The latest Alex versus the Ritz-Carlton news: case dismissed]
[The latest Alex versus the Ritz-Carlton news]
[Alex Lifeson on the Ritz Carlton incident in Ontario Golf Magazine]
[Latest Alex vs. Ritz-Carlton News]
[Alex Lifeson mentioned in article about ... spit]
[Alex Lifeson vs. The Ritz-Carlton News]
[Alex Lifeson "Makes History"]
[New Year's Eve at the Orbit Room]
[Latest Alex vs. Ritz-Carlton News]

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Austin open thread
12:20PM EST | link | comments (39) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:23AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7049 / 7836
Gross Ticket Sales: 417260

UPDATE - 4/25@8:10AM: Here's a generally positive review from The Daily Texan.

UPDATE - 4/24@8:55PM: Here's another great review - this one from the Austin Chronicle (thanks Pete from Austin).

UPDATE - 4/24@1:27PM: Here's a short but sweet review from Rob Palladino of the Austin American-Statesmen (thanks PhillyMike).

UPDATE - 4/24@11:05AM: No setlist changes. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 23rd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 7
Venue: Frank Erwin Center
Place: Austin, TX

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

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Snakes & Arrows Live debuts at #18 #36 in the US
10:00AM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 4/30@2:31PM: One thing that I had missed when I originally posted this was that the album was #2 in internet sales in its debut week, and #5 on the Rock Albums chart. Not bad.

UPDATE - 4/25@8:12AM: Here's the official word on the Canadian chart number.

UPDATE - 4/23@9:20PM: I've just received the Canadian sales figures; the album debuted at #8 in Canada selling 9,350 copies.

Also, Sean points out that although Snakes & Arrows Live is indeed the 2nd highest charting live album from Rush, the actual debut week sales numbers are the worst since 1976's All The World's A Stage. For instance, 1988's A Show of Hands debuted lower than Snakes & Arrows Live at #21 but sold over 52,000 copies.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/23@2:31PM: Reader PhillyMike pointed out that - other than Exit... Stage Left - Snakes & Arrows Live is the highest charting Rush live album ever. Exit... Stage Left peaked at #10 back in 1981.

UPDATE - 4/23@12:53PM: I have a bit of a correction/clarification to make regarding the charting numbers. The #36 number as reported by Hits Daily Double counts only the actual over-the-counter sales and is not the official charting position. I say this because Billboard just posted (thanks aspiralarray) that the album came in at #18 selling just under 21,000. These Billboard numbers also include pre-orders and since this number will be the official chart entry (and since it's much better than 36!), we'll go with it. Sorry for the confusion. I should have reported the #36 as a preliminary number. Thanks to Sean for helping me sort this out. You learn something new every day. :)

UPDATE - 4/23@11:24AM: I forgot to mention that the album is also available on iTunes and mrmike513 let me know that all the songs off the album can be heard at rhapsody.com (subscription required).

Rush's latest live album - Snakes & Arrows Live - was officially released last week and I've just received details regarding the CD's charting for its debut week. It sold 14,671 copies and squeaked into the top 40 coming in at #36; not too surprising considering it's a live album. This information is not yet posted at Billboard.com but has been confirmed by Hits Daily Double. The album was recorded at the Ahoy Arena on October 16 and 17, 2007 in Rotterdam, Holland and contains the entire 27-song setlist from last year's tour. You can listen to 30-second preview clips of all the tracks at Amazon.com at this link. You can also listen to the one-hour world premier radio special at this link. The special is titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live and was produced by FMQB Productions. It was hosted by Lou Brutus and features 7 songs from the album along with an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Here's the album's complete tracklist:

Disc 1

1. Limelight (4:48)
2. Digital Man (6:57)
3. Entre Nous (5:18)
4. Mission (5:39)
5. Freewill (6:02)
6. The Main Monkey Business (6:06)
7. The Larger Bowl (4:21)
8. Secret Touch (7:45)
9. Circumstances (3:47)
10. Between the Wheels (6:01)
11. Dreamline (5:16)
12. Far Cry (5:20)
13. Workin' Them Angels (4:49)
14. Armor and Sword (6:57)

Disc 2

1. Spindrift (5:46)
2. The Way the Wind Blows (6:25)
3. Subdivisions (5:43)
4. Natural Science (8:34)
5. Witch Hunt (4:49)
6. Malignant Narcissism - De Slagwerker (Drum Solo) (10:42)
7. Hope (2:21)
8. Distant Early Warning (4:54)
9. The Spirit of Radio (5:03)
10. Tom Sawyer (5:49)
11. One Little Victory (5:27)
12. A Passage to Bangkok (3:57)
13. YYZ (5:17)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rush-inspired jewelry for Mother's Day
11:31AM EST | link | comments (64) |

Between Sun & Moon handcrafted jewelryIf you aren't already aware of it, Between Sun & Moon is an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise owned and operated by Rush fan and Rush Is A Band reader Katy. Mother's Day is right around the corner (less than 3 weeks away!) and - as she has done several times in the past - Katy is offering an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers. Even if the mother in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry by Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Custom order Mother's Jewelry for your wife, mother or grandmother with her children's birthstones and names. It's a completely unique gift she will love for a lifetime. Mother's Day is Sunday May 11th, order your custom creations by April 28th and all other designs by May 5th to insure timely delivery. Use discount code RUSHISABAND for Free Priority Mail shipping. Thanks Katy!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Alex Lifeson's house for sale
10:21AM EST | link | comments (86) |

[Rosedale Loses a Rocker]

UPDATE - 4/21@11:35AM: Here's the property listing which contains some pictures. Nice place. For those who are worried about Lerxst's privacy, my guess is that the house isn't currently occupied and that Big Al and Charlene have probably already bought another residence. Besides - Alex is on tour, so he wouldn't be there anyways. :) Also, the publicity is probably more than welcome since it may help him unload the place quicker and for more money.

I received a barrage of emails over the weekend regarding this next news item. Saturday's edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail featured an article titled Rosedale Loses a Rocker which revealed that Alex Lifeson's Rosedale, Ontario home is up for sale for 5.7 million dollars. Rosedale is the Toronto suburb that both Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee have called home for several years. From the article:

... Torontonians wanting an up-close glimpse of these legends can hang around Rosedale, where Mr. Zivojinovic and Mr. Lee, also a Rosedale denizen, are frequently seen picking up their groceries at the Summerhill Market. But as far as Mr. Zivojinovic goes, they'll have to act fast as it's uncertain whether, after selling his house, the rocker will buy in the neighbourhood.

Word on his exclusive street, home to such leading lights as industrialist and philanthropist Walter Carsen, is that with his two children grown (including son Justin, with whom he was arrested in 2003 during an altercation with police at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Fla.), Mr. Zivojinovic, like many empty-nesters, will be looking for a home smaller than the 6,000-square-foot behemoth that he has occupied for the past 10 years with wife Charlene. ...

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Orleans open thread
11:47AM EST | link | comments (39) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:22AM: Attendance / Capacity: 10529 / 12987
Gross Ticket Sales: 663000

UPDATE - 4/23@10:29AM: Here's a humorous review of the show from Keith Spera of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

UPDATE - 4/21@8:05AM: No setlist changes. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Sunday, April 20th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 6
Venue: New Orleans Arena
Place: New Orleans, LA

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

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Alex Lifeson interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune
3:35PM EST | link | comments (189) |

[Rush's Alex Lifeson: The interview]

UPDATE - 4/20@8:49AM: I'd forgotten to mention that you can also listen to Alex's interview at this link or using the player below.

----- snip -----

Keith Spera of the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote a great article along with a superb interview with Alex Lifeson that appears in today's edition. The article is titled Still a Rush: Geddy, Alex and Neil continue to dazzle this critic and the interview can be read at this link. Alex talks about the tour and the new live album, but also touches on Rush in Rio, his little mishap in Florida, Rush's lyrical themes, Snakes & Arrows and other topics. But where it really gets interesting is when he discusses the band's future:

... With every tour, it feels like it's the last tour. But we're really enjoying ourselves. We're playing the best that we've every played. We're sounding really good, really tight. But there are other things in life. You keep thinking as you get older that maybe you want to pursue other things, or maybe it's time to pack it in, blah, blah, blah.

But this time, though, just before we started rehearsals, Ged and I were talking about what we're going to do on the next tour. So I guess we're looking forward. I don't know what our plan is. I think we want to take a little bit of a break after this tour ends.

We're saying that, but I don't know what's going to happen. We might get itchy like Ged and I normally do; after a few months we'll want to start writing and get back into it. Whether we go back in the studio and make another record or do another tour...hard to say.

We've got so much catalog. I'd love to do a tour where we just play stuff that we've never played before. Don't play anything that we play now and call it the B-track Rush tour. Play some of the stuff nobody has ever heard us play live. That would be a lot of fun. There are lots of opportunities and directions that we can go. ...

... There's been talk about getting an orchestra together and doing "2112." That's almost Spinal Tap-ish in concept. But at the same time, it might be kind of cool with a great visual presentation.

The B-track Rush tour?! 2112 with an orchestra!!?!?! That's the kind of stuff I like to hear. I'm skeptical but we'll see. It's cool to know that this type of thing at least crosses their minds. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Houston open thread
10:15AM EST | link | comments (35) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:22AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7653 / 11033
Gross Ticket Sales: 507265

UPDATE - 4/21@8:04AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 4/20@8:39AM: There were no setlist changes last night. 4000 free tourbooks were given out as an apology for the date switch (thanks su2112).

Date/Time: Saturday, April 19th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 5
Venue: The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Place: Woodlands, TX

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

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:05AM EST | link | comments (183) |

UPDATE - 4/18@11:54PM: I got a few emails regarding the Montreal show being sold out and I did some digging. The Montreal show was sold out... but it's not now. They opened up some more blocks of seats. These days "sold out" rarely really means sold out. :)

It's 1 week into the tour and Rush has 4 shows, 1 US territory, 1 state, and 2 rescheduled shows under its belt already. Whether it's due to the high ticket prices coupled with the poor economy, the lack of changes in the setlist from the first leg, or something else, attendance thus far has been mediocre as have ticket sales for the tour in general. That said, Rush is still putting on great shows and the fan reviews are overwhelmingly positive, despite a bit of grumbling about the setlist. There are also a few bright spots regarding ticket sales; the shows in Red Rocks, Montreal and the first Los Angeles show have sold out.

This weekend Rush will be hitting both Houston and New Orleans, but not in the original order planned. The band was forced to swap the 2 dates due to the NBA playoffs, inconveniencing large numbers of fans. You can read the explanation for this along with an apology in this official press release from Rush.com. In a very classy move, Rush has decided to donate $100,000 from the show to the post-Katrina relief effort in New Orleans. There's also a front page feature on the New Orleans fiasco in today's Times-Picayune titled Bumped band is a good sport.

Late last year when the tour itinerary was being worked out, Rush had planned to play at least one date in Atlantic Canada - and had even planned on opening the tour there. But due to last-minute scheduling conflicts with the originally-planned South American dates (these are now dead in the water), they were forced to reshuffle their entire itinerary and Atlantic Canada got left on the cutting room floor. However, a recent interview with Geddy Lee in the National Post gives reason to think there is still hope for Halifax; Geddy confirmed that the band was still working hard to add a date there.

To mark the start of the tour the Rush Backstage Club has added a bunch of new stuff to their website including a new 2008 version of the Snakes & Arrows tourbook that contains an extra 16 pages of photographs from the European leg of the tour taken by rock photographer Ross Halfin.

On the last leg I tried to be very careful regarding setlist spoilers out of respect for those who didn't want to spoil the surprise, and I'll continue doing that on the 2nd leg. Basically, as long as you stay on the main page of the site, you shouldn't see any spoilers. I say shouldn't because I may occasionally let slip some hint regarding the show and/or setlist. You have been warned. The whole spoiler thing is also not as big of a deal this time around since we all have an idea of what the setlist is from the 2007 leg and not much has changed at all for the 2008 leg.

Speaking of spoilers, this week's poll contains some. In my last poll I asked you what non-Snakes & Arrows songs you thought should be dropped from the setlist. The results are in and the Vapor Trails album is the big loser; Secret Touch and One Little Victory took the top 2 spots with 19% and 18% of the vote respectively. Rounding out the top 5 were Mission (12%), Dreamline (9%) and Between the Wheels (7%). You can see the complete results here. This week I thought I'd ask everyone what they think of the changes (as few as they may be) to the setlist. So which of the new additions to the setlist are you most pleased about? If you don't want to know the setlist changes, don't take the poll. Otherwise, take the poll and let us know what you think.

Rush's double-live CD Snakes & Arrows Live was released earlier this week. You can check out all the CD artwork at this link and listen to 30-second preview clips of all the tracks at Amazon.com at this link. The world premier radio special titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live was posted online by FMQB Productions last week and you can listen to it here. The special features 7 songs from the album along with an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. All Music has posted its review of the CD and given it 4 out of 5 stars. You can read the full review at this link. There's also this negative review from the Times Colonist. In addition, the Power Windows site has a very cool Snakes & Arrows Live theme featured. The Workin' Them Angels single from the CD is currently holding steady in the mid 20s on both the Mediabase Mainstream Rock Chart (#26) and the Radio and Records Rock Chart (#24).

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee continue their radio and print interview blitz to promote the new album and tour. I've been adding any radio interviews I come across to the radio interviews post I'd put up a couple weeks ago. The guys also held a long press conference in Puerto Rico before the tour started. You can watch portions of that interview at this link. Geddy had a couple of great print interviews both with the Sun Media and the National Post last week. And just yesterday yet another short Geddy interview with the Austin American-Statesman was released.

I stopped taking questions for my Nick Raskulinecz Q&A last Friday. Thanks for all your questions; I have over 100 submissions to shift through. I'll be doing that over the next few weeks and then shipping them off to Nick. Hopefully he'll get to them before the end of the year! :)

I found this sad story in the Brantford Expositor about a very brave young Rush fan named Jared who was killed in a domestic violence incident 2 years ago. Jared's family and friends are holding their 2nd annual memorial walk to spotlight National Victims' Awareness Week.

There are a bunch of new ring tones at the Rush Mobile Store including many from Geddy's alter-ego Harry Satchel and Alex Lifeson doing his Genie voice. Thanks to AFarCryfromFBN for the heads up.

I received a bunch of emails about a Rush reference on the Wednesday, April 9th edition of Countdown with Keith Olberman. Keith was interviewing Elizabeth Edwards and when asking her about choosing between the 2 Democratic candidates he says something to the effect of ... is it like the old rock lyric: if you do not choose, you still have made a choice?.

Reader go maple go alerted me to a Rush reference on an episode of Jeopardy! which aired last Friday, April 11th. In the second half of the show one of the categories was Band Origins and the contestants had to name the country which the indicated band came from . The very last clue was Rush and no one got it correct.

Reader Stephen let me know that in the May 2008 issue of Maxim magazine on page 32 a reader asks Maxim, Why does so much music sound like total crap now? Maxim's response begins, You obviously haven't heard the latest Rush album. This is accompanied by a photo of Geddy in concert with the joke quotation Are you ready for some prog rock? Hello? Anyone?

SPIN - the company which was the creative force behind most of the Snakes & Arrows tour visual effects - has a short preview video spotlighting some of their contributions to the Rush stage show up on their website at this location. Thanks to tnhldr for the heads up.

Here's a vintage picture of Alex and Geddy on the cover of Guitar World from April, 1988 - 20 years ago. Thanks to RushFan19 for the link.

Sean let me know that Rush's Moving Pictures appeared at #13 on RHYTHM! Magazine's list of the 50 Top Drum Albums of All Time.

VH1 Classic has a program called Classic/Current which features video double-plays by established artists where they play a vintage clip paired with a newer song. Reader chordhead reports that Rush was featured on a recent airing of the program; they played Subdivisions following with Far Cry.

The latest issue of Golfworld Magazine has an article on golfer Mark Calcavecchia who happens to be a huge Rush fan. From the article:

... Calc is a huge rock fan, particularly the band Rush. There is a collection of seven guitars, several autographed, under the photo of Mark and Brenda's wedding party that hangs above the fireplace in the den. "If I could play guitar like Alex Lifeson or Eddie Van Halen, I would trade that for golf any day," he says. "They're just great every night. They make one or two mistakes a show, nobody knows anyway. I make a mistake, and I'm done for the week. I love playing golf and always have but, to me, if you could play guitar like that and stand up on a stage in front of all those people and do that, it just seems to me that would be the ultimate. ...

Thanks to Mark S and Pat for the heads up.

This next one is for all the ladies. Reader Hans located some pics of Geddy and Alex with a fan on the Adventure Rider forum. This in itself is not noteworthy, but the fact that Geddy is topless is. :)

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jacksonville open thread
12:53PM EST | link | comments (106) |

UPDATE - 7/16@3:31PM: Attendance / Capacity: 6271 / 12234
Gross Ticket Sales: 341025

UPDATE - 4/18@11:12AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Rush wraps up their swing across the Sunshine State tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. For all those going, have a great time!

Date/Time: Thursday, April 17th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 4
Venue: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Place: Jacksonville, FL

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

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New Orleans and Houston shows swap dates due to NBA playoffs
9:43AM EST | link | comments (49) |

UPDATE - 4/18@10:07AM: There's a front page feature on the New Orleans fiasco in today's Times-Picayune titled Bumped band is a good sport (thanks pblaster).

UPDATE - 4/17@8:43PM: Rush.com has posted this official press release regarding the rescheduling of the shows:

For Immediate Release
April 17th, 2008

Rush has announced that two of the tour dates on this year's continuation of the Snakes and Arrows tour will be switched. The New Orleans date scheduled for Saturday, April 19th at the New Orleans Arena will be moved to Sunday, April 20th at the same venue. The Houston date originally scheduled for Sunday, April 20th will be held on Saturday, April 19th at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The reason: The New Orleans Hornets have clinched their first playoff berth in four years and will play their first playoff game at the New Orleans Arena on Saturday, April 19th, the same night that Rush was scheduled to perform.

"You always know that there is a slight possibility that this could happen" says Rush Manager Ray Danniels, "but no one was expecting it to. We have to congratulate the New Orleans Hornets on capturing their first division title in their 20 year franchise history. Concerts are often booked on potential playoff dates using an educated guess at the time, in all our years of touring this is a first time a date has been forced to change. We apologize to any Rush fan who is inconvenienced by this."

This change will not be an easy one for the band as it will necessitate additional travel for band and crew as they bypass New Orleans on their way to Houston, backtrack for the New Orleans show and then head back to Texas for Rush's Austin show on April 23rd. "It's disappointing" says Danniels "we have 40 crew members who are logging a lot of extra miles and additional expense as a result of this shift". Still, Rush is expecting a sold out crowd when they play New Orleans for the first time in 12 years.

Rush is also announcing that they will contribute $100,000 from the show in New Orleans to assist in the continuation of revitalizing the city post Katrina.

I think I can summarize this in 2 words - we're sorry. :) I'm not sure how much of a consolation this is for all the inconvenienced fans, but it's a start I guess. Maybe they should play Camera Eye... I bet that would make everyone happy. In all seriousness though, the $100,000 contribution to the city is a very classy move. Thanks to pblaster for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/17@2:46PM: Reader Laura N received an email from Music Today regarding getting a refund for your tickets to either of the shows. Here's what the email said:

Subject: URGENT! - RESCHEDULED - Rush show dates in New Orleans and Houston

Dear Fan,

Due to the NBA playoff game in New Orleans the Rush show dates in New Orleans and Houston have been switched. Rush will now be playing Houston on Saturday April 19th and New Orleans on Sunday April 20th.

Your tickets will be honored at the venue listed on your tickets on the rescheduled date. Your ticket order is still valid.

If you cannot attend the rescheduled date, please reply to this e-mail with a refund request no later than 3:00 PM ET on Friday April 18th. The barcodes will be cancelled immediately upon receipt of your e-mail and the tickets will be invalid.

In order to receive the refund, you will need to return the tickets to us immediately. Returned tickets must be postmarked by Saturday April 19th, 2008.

We will not be able to honor refunds if tickets are shipped past April 19th.

Please ship your tickets back to
Musictoday:
Attn: RUSH Ticketing Customer Service
5391 Three Notch'd Road
Crozet, VA. 22932

Once tickets are returned we will process a refund of the face value of the tickets as per the cancelled/ postponed show refund policy stated in the online user agreement.

Please allow 48 business hours for the transaction to appear on your statement following the refund.

Sincerely,
Ticketing Customer Service Dept

I assume this would only apply for tickets purchase through Music Today and not Ticketmaster. I'm not clear if Ticketmaster has a similar refund policy or not.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/17@11:40AM: Rush.com has also posted the info on their website:

April 16, 2008

Due to the NBA playoffs the Rush show dates in New Orleans and Houston have been switched. Rush will now be playing Houston on Saturday April 19th and New Orleans on Sunday April 20th.

Thanks to ashpkt for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/17@9:57AM: Here's another link confirming the move from the Cynthia Woods Pavilion website (thanks GeddyGirl).

In a follow up to my post on Monday regarding a possible rescheduling of the New Orleans show, Live Nation has announced that the New Orleans and Houston shows are swapping dates due to the NBA playoffs. The New Orleans show originally scheduled for this Saturday, April 19th will now take place on the following day - Sunday, April 20th. The Houston show originally scheduled on the 20th will now take place on Saturday, April 19th. Here's the announcement from NOLA.com:

Due to the New Orleans Hornets Playoff Game now scheduled for Saturday 4/19, Saturday's RUSH concert at the New Orleans Arena has been moved to the following day, Sunday April 20th. All tickets for the Saturday April 19th show will be honored at the new show date.

KKRW The Arrow has also posted a copy of the Live Nation press release (pdf file) on their website (thanks su2112). Thanks to LVS_R for the heads up.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Geddy Lee interview in Canada's National Post
8:31AM EST | link | comments (76) |

Adam McDowell of Canada's National Post recently interviewed Geddy Lee for an article titled Rush bring brainier brand of rock back on the road. There's also a side article of items that didn't make it into the main interview called From the Cutting Room Floor: Geddy Lee pines for Halifax. There's not anything too exciting in the main article but in the side article when talking about the tour Geddy says:

We wanted to expand the tour to hit cities that we haven't hit for a long time. I'm looking forward to playing a lot of Canadian cities that we haven't played in a while. We haven't played Winnipeg in a while, or Regina. We're still hoping to expand the Canadian dates to include something on the East Coast. We've had a hell of a time getting arena dates in those cities, especially Halifax.

So Geddy confirms that the band is still trying to secure a date in Atlantic Canada but having trouble with scheduling - which corroborates what I've been hearing from other sources. There is still hope for Halifax yet! Thanks to TMMB for the heads up.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Orlando open thread
12:03PM EST | link | comments (162) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:22AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7612 / 8517
Gross Ticket Sales: 513348

UPDATE - 4/18@11:11AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 4/16@7:21AM: Here's a review from the Orlando Sentinel (thanks RushJax).

UPDATE - 4/15@11:49PM: Same setlist as opening night, although there were a few minor change-ups in the stage show - details below the fold.

Rush heads to central Florida this evening, playing the Amway Arena in Orlando for show #3. From what I'm hearing regarding ticket sales, attendance for this show should be a bit better than Fort Lauderdale. I'll chime in with updates this evening if there are any setlist changes or other major happenings to report. For those going, have a great time!

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 15th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 3
Venue: Amway Arena
Place: Orlando, FL

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

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Snakes & Arrows Live official release
5:43PM EST | link | comments (187) |

UPDATE - 4/15@9:46AM: All Music has posted its review of Snakes & Arrows Live and given it 4 out of 5 stars. You can read the full review at this link. Thanks to PhillyMike for the heads up.

Rush's latest live album - Snakes & Arrows Live - is officially released tomorrow in North America and has already been released in Europe. The album was recorded at the Ahoy Arena on October 16 and 17, 2007 in Rotterdam, Holland and contains the entire 27-song setlist from last year's tour. John over at Cygnus-x1.net obtained a preview copy of the CD and scanned the contents which you can check out at this link. There are a lot of great live photos of the band and the album has been dedicated to Rush's former publicist Shelly Nott who died earlier this year. You can listen to 30-second preview clips of all the tracks at Amazon.com at this link. You can also listen to the one-hour world premier radio special at this link. The special is titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live and was produced by FMQB Productions. It was hosted by Lou Brutus and features 7 songs from the album along with an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Here's the album's complete tracklist:

Disc 1

1. Limelight (4:48)
2. Digital Man (6:57)
3. Entre Nous (5:18)
4. Mission (5:39)
5. Freewill (6:02)
6. The Main Monkey Business (6:06)
7. The Larger Bowl (4:21)
8. Secret Touch (7:45)
9. Circumstances (3:47)
10. Between the Wheels (6:01)
11. Dreamline (5:16)
12. Far Cry (5:20)
13. Workin' Them Angels (4:49)
14. Armor and Sword (6:57)

Disc 2

1. Spindrift (5:46)
2. The Way the Wind Blows (6:25)
3. Subdivisions (5:43)
4. Natural Science (8:34)
5. Witch Hunt (4:49)
6. Malignant Narcissism - De Slagwerker (Drum Solo) (10:42)
7. Hope (2:21)
8. Distant Early Warning (4:54)
9. The Spirit of Radio (5:03)
10. Tom Sawyer (5:49)
11. One Little Victory (5:27)
12. A Passage to Bangkok (3:57)
13. YYZ (5:17)

If you've already received your copy and listened to it, let us know what you think.

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New Orleans Rush show may be rescheduled
4:38PM EST | link | comments (55) |

[Hornets may bump Rush]

UPDATE - 4/14@4:55PM: I meant to make mention of the great sales figures for New Orleans; over 10,000 tickets sold thus far. This is one of the dates that's actually doing quite well despite the tour selling poorly overall. So far I'm hearing that Red Rocks, Montreal and Los Angeles (show #1) have sold out, but there are still several dates that are struggling to top the 5000 mark (last night's show is one example).

I thought this bit of news was important enough to garner a post of its own. The Rush show scheduled for this Saturday, April 19th may need to be rescheduled due to a potential Hornets basketball playoff game. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

... "We'll find out at midnight Wednesday, when the regular NBA season ends," said arena spokesman Bill Curl. "We'll make an announcement Thursday morning."

When concert promoter Live Nation booked Rush at the New Orleans Arena, they were aware of this potential April 19 conflict, Curl said. "The first option on that date was always a playoff game for the Hornets," Curl said. "The NBA is aware of our situation, but they have first call on the date if they want it. Rush would have to move."

More than 10,000 tickets have been sold for the Rush show, Curl said. He was unsure when the concert might be rescheduled if it moves. The band is slated to perform in Houston on Sunday, April 20, then in Austin on Wednesday, April 23.

This really sucks for folks who made plans to travel into New Orleans for the weekend to see the show. Because the most logical reschedule date would place the show on either Monday or Tuesday of the following week. I guess we'll know for sure by Thursday morning. Thanks to LVS_R for the heads up.

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New Geddy Lee interview
12:51PM EST | link | comments (102) |

[Lee still gets a Rush]

A new print interview with Geddy Lee from Canada's Sun Media newspapers was released today titled Lee still gets a Rush. Geddy talks about their new double live CD Snakes & Arrows Live - due out tomorrow in the US and Canada - and their current tour supporting the album. He says the following regarding the setlist:

... this current leg sees four or five changes in the set list, with some rarities played last year replaced by more signature material.

"We're playing more cities on this tour that we haven't played in quite some time," he says. "And I think those fans kind of want to hear more of the classic tracks."

The request for rarities isn't something the band ignores, but Lee says deciding which ones to dust off isn't an easy process.

"We try them out at rehearsal to see which old songs we can still stomach, and which old songs we can actually improve upon," he says. ...

So this partially explains some of the setlist decisions on the 2008 leg. He also mentions future projects:

... Rush have a few things in the planning stages, including a new studio album they see somewhere on the horizon. A possible Feedback II covers album of '50s and '60s rock songs is also something Lee doesn't close the door on.

"It would be fun," he says. "I think my manager goes to sleep having dreams that we'll do that. It was really a lot of fun to do and pretty easy. You never know, maybe when we're on the verge of our 50th anniversary."

A Rush documentary is also in the works, but Lee is a bit miffed why anyone would want to film the trio.

"A filmmaker thinks that we're interesting," he says. "We're doing our best to disappoint."

Feedback 2? That's the first I heard of that. I'm not sure how serious Geddy was about it though. It's also nice to hear yet more confirmation of their plans for another studio album. Thanks to Armeee for the heads up.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fort Lauderdale open thread
10:43AM EST | link | comments (500) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:21AM: Attendance / Capacity: 8432 / 8432
Gross Ticket Sales: 568067

UPDATE - 4/14@1:00PM: There are already a bunch of pics from the show up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section. As a bonus, they include some pics of the crew loading up the equipment for the crossover to the US. Cool.

UPDATE - 4/14@11:56AM: There are no official attendance figures for this show yet, but the entire upper deck was curtained off, and tickets reissued for all those sections for the lower bowl. Thanks to Sean for the info and the pics.

UPDATE - 4/13@11:04PM: Show's over. Same setlist as opening night.

UPDATE - 4/13@9:03PM: The show started around 7:45. It's now intermission and the first set was identical to the setlist from opening night (thanks Sean).

Rush plays their first US date on the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour tonight in Sunrise, FL at the BankAtlantic Center. Here's a little preview article for the show that reader Sean sent me from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel titled Enduring Rush, Geddy Lee keep creative, play Sunrise. It contains a few interview segments with Geddy Lee.

There's some speculation that the band might have a slightly different setlist for the mainland US dates so we'll keep a close eye on things tonight. I have a spy in place that will be texting me the setlist, and if there are any changes/additions or interesting tidbits to report I'll post them here. For those of you going tonight, have a great time!

Date/Time: Sunday, April 13th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 2
Venue: BankAtlantic Center
Place: Sunrise, FL

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

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Opening night hangover open thread
9:04AM EST | link | comments (501) |

Since you crazy guys and girls maxed out the comments on yesterday's opening night open thread post I thought I'd start an opening night hangover open thread for continued discussion.

Last night's show started about a half hour late and went very well from all the reports I've heard so far (outside of one Neil trainwreck on a song in the second set). The setlist followed the rehearsal setlist reported by reader Hemisferios on Thursday. To read up-to-the-minute updates from last night courtesy Justin, just check out the opening night thread. There are already several great photos in the gallery and a fairly decent quality bootleg video of the opening video/song at this link. If you have pictures of your own from the show, you can upload them here. There are also a couple of reviews posted.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Opening night in Puerto Rico open thread
11:57AM EST | link | comments (500) |

S&A liveUPDATE - 4/24@11:24AM: Attendance/Capacity (Sales): 6,855/9,598 ($740,155).

UPDATE - 4/13@10:11AM: The guys over at The Rush Tour Forum have created a new RushTour.com Banner to haul along with them on the 2008 leg. They'd created one on the first leg and carried it to nearly every show and got 100s of fans to sign it. They got off to a good start for the 2008 leg and got Big Al Lifeson himself to autograph the banner! Pictures and details at this link. Thanks to Ray for the heads up.

UPDATE - 4/12@12:24AM: There are already a bunch of pics up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section from rehearsals and tonight's show. Thanks to Walter H for the heads up.

UPDATE - 4/11@11:20PM: Show's over and it followed the rehearsal setlist as reported by Hemisferios yesterday morning exactly. Details on the encore below the fold. That's it for tonight's updates. Many, many thanks to reader Justin for his up-to-the-minute reports from Puerto Rico. Good night!

UPDATE - 4/11@11:00PM: The last two songs of the second set heading into the encore below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@10:50PM: Coming out of the drum solo, the next two songs of the second set below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@10:37PM: The next three songs of the second set, heading into Neil's drum solo below the fold. The rehearsal setlist reported earlier yesterday is still being followed exactly.

UPDATE - 4/11@10:15PM: The next three songs of the second set below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@9:55PM: Songs 2 and 3 of the second set below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@9:50PM: Back from intermission. Details regarding the intro video and first song of the second set below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@9:17PM: Intermission time. The last 2 songs of the first set below the fold. The first set exactly followed the rehearsal setlist as reported yesterday by reader Hemisferios.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:59PM: Next 2 songs below the fold. Still following the rehearsal setlist.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:49PM: Songs 6 and 7 below the fold. The rehearsal setlist has been proven correct so far.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:37PM: Next 2 songs below the fold.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:27PM: Songs 2 and 3 below the fold. Reader redbarchettoed also uploaded a cellphone pic of Geddy to the gallery.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:15PM: The pre-show video started shortly after 8:05 and they broke into ... see below the fold for the opening song.

UPDATE - 4/11@8:08PM: A couple of local guys (DJs?) came out at about 7:55 and said a few words, but as of 8:05 the show hadn't started yet. By the way, these up-to-the-minute updates are coming via text message from reader Justin.

UPDATE - 4/11@7:50PM: Looks like the scheduled 7:30 start time was delayed; people are still making their way into the venue.

UPDATE - 4/11@3:20PM: If anyone still doubts the rehearsal setlist (SPOILERS), go checkout the gallery page (SPOILER). There's a cellphone photo of tonight's setlist written on a piece of paper and attached to guitar pedals which was taken by a member of the stage crew and uploaded to Puerto Rican rock site Pulsorock. Thanks to yoninrush for the heads up. I guess we'll all know for certain in a few hours anyways though. :)

Rush will be kicking off the Snakes & Arrows Live tour tonight in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. Rush has never played Puerto Rico before so fans on the island are in for a real treat. The band arrived in San Juan earlier this week and conducted a full production rehearsal Wednesday evening. For details on the rehearsal setlist check out this post (SPOILER). Assuming my contacts come through for me I'll be posting tonight's setlist (with appropriate spoiler warnings) as it happens as well as any other interesting tidbits to this thread. I have no reason to believe it'll be any different than the rehearsal setlist, but you never know - maybe they'll surprise us.

Date/Time: Friday, April 11th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 1
Venue: Coliseo de Puerto Rico
Place: San Juan, PR

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

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New merchandise at the Rush Backstage Club
11:25AM EST | link | comments (18) |

Rush S&A tourbook 2008The official Rush merchandise store - the Rush Backstage Club - has added a bunch of new stuff to celebrate the start of the new tour including a new 2008 version of the Snakes & Arrows tourbook that contains an extra 16 pages of photographs from the European leg of the tour taken by rock photographer Ross Halfin. Check it all out when you get a chance. Thanks to nposter for the heads up.

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Snakes & Arrows Live world premier
7:56AM EST | link | comments (29) |

UPDATE - 4/11@9:40AM: The entire special is now available online in 4 parts at the following links:

Inside Rush: Snakes and Arrows Live, Part 1 (14:26): [link]
Inside Rush: Snakes and Arrows Live, Part 2 (15:30): [link]
Inside Rush: Snakes and Arrows Live, Part 3 (08:52): [link]
Inside Rush: Snakes and Arrows Live, Part 4 (13:28): [link]

You can also listen to all 4 segments using the player below. Thanks to John at Cygnus-x1.net for the heads up.

----- snip -----

Rush's latest live album - Snakes & Arrows Live - will be officially released this coming Tuesday, April 15th. John over at Cygnus-x1.net just obtained a preview copy of the CD and scanned the contents which you can check out at this link. There are a lot of great live photos of the band and the album has been dedicated to Rush's former publicist Shelly Nott who died earlier this year. You can listen to 30-second preview clips of all the tracks at Amazon.com at this link. As I'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago, over the next few days select radio stations nationwide will air a one-hour radio special produced by FMQB Productions and hosted by Lou Brutus titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live. The special will feature 7 songs from the album along with an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Reader Firefighter Sal obtained a copy of the special and sent me the details from the official cue sheet. He also listened to the program and added some notes regarding what Geddy and Alex discussed during the interview segments. Here are the details:

CD Track #1 - Segment #1 - Length: 14:26
In Cue: "Welcome to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..."
Geddy and Alex: "Longevity"
Song: "Limelight"
Geddy: "The Set List"
Song: "Workin' Them Angels"
Out Cue: "...on the Rush Radio Network."

CD Track #2 - Segment #2 - Length: 15:30
In Cue: "Hey, welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..."
Song: "Far Cry"
Geddy and Alex: "Wise-Ass Cut-Ups" "Practical Jokes"
Song: "Subdivisions"
Out Cue: "...on the Rush Radio Network."

CD Track #3 - Segment #3 - Length: 8:52
In Cue: "Welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..."
Alex and Geddy: "Stand-out Influential Albums & Times"
Song: "Witch Hunt"
Alex and Geddy: "Mob Scene Intro"
Out Cue: "...the Rush Radio Network."

CD Track #4 -Closing segment - Length: 13:28
In Cue: "Welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..."
Geddy: "Great Moments in Rush Catalog"
Song: "A Passage To Bangkok"
Geddy and Alex: "Spinal-Tap Moments"
Song: "Tom Sawyer"
Out Cue: "...the Rush Radio Network."

I don't currently have a list of stations that will be carrying the special so check with your local rock station to see if they'll be airing it.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rush Puerto Rico press conference
10:37PM EST | link | comments (29) |

Rush will be kicking off the Snakes & Arrows Live tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico tomorrow; their first time playing there. The band arrived on the island earlier this week and conducted a full production rehearsal last night - no second rehearsal was held tonight. For details on last night's rehearsal, including the setlist check out this post (SPOILER ALERT). Prior to the rehearsal Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson held a press conference to promote the tour and their Friday show at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. About 10 minutes worth of video segments from the conference were posted to YouTube and can be seen here. I've also embedded the video below. The guys chat about the current state of music, their guest appearance at a recent Foo Fighters show, the upcoming tour and other subjects. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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SPOILER ALERT!: rehearsal setlist
6:10AM EST | link | comments (380) |

UPDATE - 4/11@3:20PM: If anyone still doubts the rehearsal setlist (SPOILERS), go checkout the gallery page (SPOILER). There's a cellphone photo of tonight's setlist written on a piece of paper and attached to guitar pedals which was taken by a member of the stage crew and uploaded to Puerto Rican rock site Pulsorock. Thanks to yoninrush for the heads up. I guess we'll all know for certain in a few hours anyways though. :)

UPDATE - 4/11@10:35AM: Some of you are skeptical that Hemisferios was actually outside the Coliseo and could hear any of the rehearsal through the main doors. So to quell you skeptics he had taken a short little video that I posted online here (SPOILER). I also embedded the video below. There's a snippet of one song off of Snakes & Arrows that you can clearly hear, so if you don't want to know which one it is, don't watch the video. :)

----- snip -----

*** MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! ***

Our resident spy down in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Hemisferios - managed to listen in to Rush rehearsing for the tour last night and has a setlist for us. Major spoilers ahead. To check out the setlist continue reading below the fold. Many, many thanks to Hemisferios for getting us this information.

READ MORE...

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee radio interviews
10:10AM EST | link | comments (177) |

UPDATE - 5/8@2:13PM: Just added a couple more Geddy Lee interviews; an April 7th interview from KGON in Portland, and an April 8th interview with WCSX in Detroit (thanks AnalogKidAudioVideo).

UPDATE - 4/24@9:47PM: I added the Paul and Young Ron interview with Alex Lifeson from April 7th that was aired on BIG 105.9 and 98.7 The Gater to the list and the player (thanks AnalogKidAudioVideo).

UPDATE - 4/16@3:24PM: Geddy was on New York's Q104.3 Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke program on Sunday, April 13th. You can listen to it online here. I also added it to the list and the player. Thanks to Asif for the heads up.

UPDATE - 4/15@11:29AM: Geddy was on 96.5 WHTQ in Orlando last week and the interview is now online at this link (thanks Sean). I added it to the list below.

UPDATE - 4/11@10:08AM: Reader AnalogKidAudioVideo alerted me that the QFM96 interview out of Columbus with Geddy Lee is now online here. I added the link below and also to the player.

UPDATE - 4/9@10:42PM: I'd forgotten to add the WMMR Alex Lifeson interview that I'd mentioned on Monday (thanks to John S for reminding me). You can listen to that interview at this link - the interview is about 2 hours and 10 minutes into the show.

Alex was also on 98.7 The Gater out of West Palm Beach on Monday. No link for that one yet, but I added it to the list (thanks jimmydean for the heads up).

----- snip -----

As I'd mentioned on Monday, Alex and Geddy are on their pre-tour radio phone-in interview blitz. They've had a number of short interviews at various radio stations across the nation over the last couple of days. I'll use this post to compile any interviews that I become aware of. To listen to the interviews use the links provided or the player at the bottom of the post. If you hear of any other interviews or come across links to the missing interviews below, please let me know.

Alex Lifeson - Albuquerque, 94 Rock, 4/8/2008 [link]
Alex Lifeson - Houston, 93.7 The Arrow, 4/8/2008 [link]
Geddy Lee - Columbus, QFM96, 4/8/2008 [link]
Alex Lifeson - San Jose, 107.7 The Bone, 4/8/2008 [link]
Alex Lifeson - Denver, 103.5 The Fox, 4/8/2008 [link]
Alex Lifeson - Miami, BIG 105.9, 4/7/2008 link
Geddy Lee - St. Louis, KSHE 95, 4/7/2008
Alex Lifeson - West Palm Beach, 98.7 The Gater, 4/7/2008 link
Alex Lifeson - Philadelphia, WMMR, 4/7/2008 [link] (entire show - Alex interview at about 2:10 mark)
Alex Lifeson - San Juan, Alfa Rock, 4/7/2008
Geddy Lee - Orlando, 96.5 WHTQ, 4/7/2008 [link]
Geddy Lee - New York, Q104.3, 4/13/2008 [link]
Geddy Lee - Portland, KGON, 4/7/2008 [link]
Geddy Lee - Detroit, WCSX, 4/8/2008 [link]

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Geddy Lee to guest on Barenaked Ladies children's album
5:16PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Barenaked Ladies SnacktimeGeddy Lee will be making a guest appearance on a new children's album from fellow Canadian rockers the Barenaked Ladies. The album is called Snacktime and is set to release via the official Barenaked Ladies store on May 6th; you can pre-order it at this link. Snacktime contains 24 tracks and the title track includes guest appearances from several celebrities including Geddy Lee, Lyle Lovett, Jason Priestley, Sarah McLachlan and Gordon Lightfoot. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Rush in Puerto Rico
2:07PM EST | link | comments (289) |

UPDATE - 4/9@10:49PM: Sean just pointed me to this cool commercial promoting the show at the Coliseo:

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/8@10:01AM: Alex Lifeson's phone-in interview on Denver's 103.5 The Fox from yesterday is now posted up on their website here (thanks Derek W). He does indeed say that they will by playing 9 songs off of Snakes & Arrows which is the same number they played on the first leg.

Alex and Geddy seem to be on the pre-tour radio interview blitz; reader dave let me know that Geddy was on QFM96 in Columbus this morning, and su2112 alerted me that Alex was on 93.7 the Arrow in Houston. So keep an ear pealed to your local rock station for an Alex or Geddy phone-in interview in the next couple of days.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 4/7@4:33PM: The first batch of spy pics from the Coliseo were taken by reader Hemisferios - I hadn't mentioned before in case he wanted to remain anonymous, but he owned up to it in the comments. I also just received a couple more spy photos courtesy reader redbarchettoed. They picture Rush's equipment arriving yesterday at the San Juan airport (see right).

Reader Derek W also let me know that 103.5 The Fox in Denver also had a phone-in interview with Alex Lifeson this morning. Alex mentioned that they are doing 9 songs off of Snakes & Arrows and that Neil is riding around Puerto Rico having fun today.

----- snip -----

I mistakenly reported on Friday that Rush was already in Puerto Rico last week when they in fact just arrived over the weekend. Myself and others were a little confused by this article in El Nuevo Dia from last week titled Llegan los Maestros (The Masters Arrive). Anyways, after my Friday posting I received information that the band was actually arriving over the weekend which was confirmed by a full page add in Sunday's El Nuevo Dia. Also, Alex Lifeson stated in a short phone interview on Philly's WMMR this morning that he was indeed in San Juan (thanks to Chad for the heads up). The interview is only 5-10 minutes long and doesn't reveal anything earth-shattering but if you want to listen to it you can download the podcast here - the Alex interview is about 2:10 (130 minutes) in. One of my spies on the ground also confirmed that Rush's gear was unloaded at the Coliseo this morning (see the pictures above). As I'd mentioned Friday, San Juan's local rock station Alfa Rock will be running a special program tonight at 8PM where they'll be airing Rush hits and interviewing Alex Lifeson. Alex will also be introducing all the songs. You can listen live to the special by going to the station's website and clicking on the big EN VIVO link.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:49PM EST | link | comments (263) |

UPDATE - 4/6@9:18AM: Looks like I was mistaken about the band already being in Puerto Rico last week; that El Nuevo Dia article doesn't really confirm anything now that I've gotten a good translation - plus Geddy was at the Jays game in Toronto the other night. I'm now hearing that the band and crew is heading down there over the next couple of days (today and tomorrow) instead.

UPDATE - 4/5@9:27AM: Several fans spotted Geddy at the Blue Jays home opener last night, so either he hadn't gone down to Puerto Rico yet or he snuck off for the day. Alex is at least definitely down there though - Neil as well presumably.

Sorry for the late update today - I'm a tad behind this week. There's only one week left until the kickoff of the 2008 leg of Rush's Snakes & Arrows tour in Puerto Rico. Just as was rumored, the band arrived in Puerto Rico a couple of weeks early and are currently there rehearsing and getting to know the island according to this article (in Spanish) from El Nuevo Día (thanks rush_head for the link). El Nuevo Día will also be sponsoring a Rush Pre-party at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico for select subscribers. In addition, reader betorush let me know that San Juan's local rock station Alfa Rock will be running a special program this coming Monday, April 7th at 8PM where they'll be airing Rush hits and interviewing Alex Lifeson. Alex will also be introducing all the songs. Unfortunately the Puerto Rico show (and the tour in general) is still not selling well. Reader Enrique let me know that the promoters closed part of the back sections of the Coliseo de Puerto Rico and lowered the ticket price. Maybe things will pick up if there are any significant setlist surprises. Speaking of which, the big news of the past week was the release of some snippets of an Alex Lifeson interview with Billboard.com where Alex states that the setlist will contain some surprises. He even mentions The Camera Eye and Jacob's Ladder as 2 songs that often are requested by fans; perhaps he's giving us a clue? ... or just teasing us. He also states that the band will likely start working on new material with Snakes & Arrows producer Nick Raskulinecz sometime next year. If this is true then my guess is that we'd see a new studio album by early 2010.

Rush's upcoming double live album Snakes & Arrows Live is now available for pre-order as an mp3 download from iTunes. Also, Amazon.com recently posted 30-second preview clips from all of the songs on the album which you can listen to at this link. The album will be released on April 15th and in the week prior to the release, FMQB Productions will be releasing a one-hour radio special featuring an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live. The show will air on select stations from April 11-15th.

Rush and its members recently received accolades from various musician's magazine annual readers' polls; Alex Lifeson in Guitar Player, Geddy Lee in Bass Player, and Neil Peart in Modern Drummer.

In case you missed it, I'd posted earlier this week about a neat story regarding Alex Lifeson giving away one of his Hughes & Kettner signature TriAmps to a young fan. And just yesterday we learned that Sonic Reality will be releasing a Neil Peart Studio Profile of drum samples from his Snakes & Arrows kit later this year. Check out this post for details.

Tickets for the upcoming Buddy Rich Memorial Concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th are now on sale via TicketMaster. The concert will feature Neil Peart among several other drumming greats. Thanks to reader Nick for the heads up.

Back in February, Neil Peart penned an article for DW Drums and also appeared in a video where he discusses his X shell and hybrid kit. Since then DW Drums has posted several more videos with Neil Peart; he talks about his Snakes & Arrows kit, his VLT snare drum, and his 23" bass drum (just a video narration of the article he wrote). Just go to this link and navigate through the videos using the dropdown. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.

Darren Gladstone of PC World magazine recently located a very bizarre Rush-themed video game on the net and blogged about it late yesterday. The game is called Neil Peart-Mission: The Camera Eye and is available as a 2.66M free download from this location. Here's the game's premise from the website:

New Year's Eve, 2111. The members of RUSH have defied natural science and willed themselves to live upwards of 160 years old, in anticipation of the year that their stellar '2112' album was named for. Everyone expects them to play 2112 in its entirety for Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve, but virtuoso drummer Neil Peart has a different plan.

Hours before the show, Neil announces to bandmates Geddy and Alex that he wants to finally play their lost epic 'The Camera Eye,' as a show of thanks for the almost 200 years of support from their fans. Horrified, Geddy and Alex attempt to lock Neil backstage and teleport his giant drum set into the icy caves of Xanadu. Nevermore shall they return! Little do they know the evil plans of the Portnoybot 1000 will turn everything they all know upside down!

Can Neil Peart escape his prison and travel to the icy caves of Xanadu to assemble his drum set again? Will he be able to do it in time for Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve show? Can he thwart the Portnoybot 1000 and save Geddy and Alex from his mad overplaying? Will 'The Camera Eye' ever be played live?

I downloaded the game and played it a little bit - it's a real hoot. Thanks to TMMB for the heads up.

Reader David E relayed to me this really interesting story regarding Yes drummer Alan White. Alan White has a new side project called Circa: where he collaborated with former Yes members Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood. They released an album in 2007 and performed at the Baja Prog Festival last weekend in Mexicali B.C. Mexico where David was lucky enough to meet Alan White. David was wearing his Rush Grace Under Pressure shirt and asked Alan if he would sign his autograph book. He instead grabbed the marker and started writing on David's shirt. This is what he wrote:

Alan White
I love you Neil
You Stole a Lot
Of My Licks
But I Stole a Lot of
Yours

You can see some pics up above. What a great story.

Glide Magazine's Hidden Tracks blog has a regular feature called The B List and this week's topic was Underrated Classic Rock albums. At the very top of the list was Rush's Moving Pictures. Here's what they said about it:

Most people have a "love it or hate it" relationship with Rush largely because of Geddy Lee's high-pitched voice. But this album is pure rock and roll. The album opens with the thick drumming of Tom Sawyer, probably Rush's best known song. The most underrated song about a car ever follows and provides a nice lead-in to the instrumental assault, and Neil Peart concert explosion, known as YYZ (named after the airport code in Toronto). Limelight, with Alex Lifeson's springy guitar lick, and the dark and down Witch Hunt are also great classic rock songs.

Well said. Thanks to chilangoenelgabo at The Rush Forum for the heads up.

There was a Rush reference in today's video offering from the Politico's James Kotecki. It's about 2 minutes in. Thanks to Jon for the heads up.

Reader Just_A_Guy let me know the sad bit of news that Allaire Studios where Snakes & Arrows was recorded appears to going under according to this article from ProSound News

Several folks let me know that Rush won The Loop's March Bandness competition. Bill A reports that Geddy Lee won best bassist and Neil Peart best drummer in 96 Rock's March Bandness competition. Also, Meatball2112 told me that Rush is currently going up against Motley Crue for the championship in Rock 105's Tournament of Rock and currently winning. Go help out Rush by voting at this link. And George alerts me that Rush is in the finals at Mancow.com's Most Deserving Band Not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame competition. Rush is up against Alice Cooper and currently winning. Go help them out and vote.

That's all for this week. I'll probably skip the Updates next Friday and focus on opening night. One week to go! Have a great weekend everybody.

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Neil Peart wins 2 Modern Drummer Readers' Poll Awards
3:54PM EST | link | comments (30) |

Not to be outdone by his bandmates' recent Readers' Choice Awards at both Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines, Neil Peart has won awards in 2 categories in the 2008 Modern Drummer Readers' Poll. Although the results are not official yet, several websites (BigDrumThump.com, Alfred.com, AndrewOlson.com) recently reported that Neil Peart won the top spot in both the Rock Drummer and Recorded Performance (Snakes & Arrows) categories. He also got 5th place in the Progressive Rock Drummer category. The complete official results will be published in the July 2008 issue of Modern Drummer magazine, due to hit newsstands May 30th.

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Snakes & Arrows Live preview clips available
2:44PM EST | link | comments (27) |

Rush's upcoming double live album Snakes & Arrows Live is now listed as an mp3 download at Amazon.com and reader Brian C let me know that it is now available for pre-order on iTunes. Amazon has 30-second preview clips of all the songs at this link. The album contains the entire 27-song set from the October 2007 shows in Rotterdam and will be released April 15th. You can also pre-order the CD version at this link. Thanks to TwoSoups for the heads up.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rush makes the Bass Player Readers' Choice Awards
6:42PM EST | link | comments (84) |

[Web Exclusive Peek: The First Annual Bass Player Readers' Choice Awards]

Just like their sister magazine Guitar Player did, Bass Player magazine recently posted a web preview of their 2008 Readers' Choice Awards. Rush and Geddy Lee won in the following categories:

Best 2007 Cover Feature
Geddy Lee, August 2007

Coolest Bass Line In A Song Released In 2007
Rush's Malignant Narcissism gathered the most votes for a cool '07 line, followed up by Far Cry, also from the Toronto trio's Snakes and Arrows album.

2007's Best Album For Bass
Rush: Snakes & Arrows

Thanks to yyztmmb for the heads up.

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Neil Peart drum kit samples
9:53AM EST | link | comments (61) |

David Kerzner, Neil Peart and Nick RaskuclineczSonic Reality is a company that samples, programs and develops sound libraries and software for sound companies, keyboard manufacturers and recording artists. According to a posting from Sonic Reality CEO/Producer David Kerzner (screenname Squids) at the KVR Audio forum the company recently completed a Neil Peart drum sampling session engineered by Nick Raskulinecz with the end goal being the creation of a Neil Peart Studio Profile similar to what the company did with drummers Bill Bruford and Bun E. Carlos. The profile will most likely include a complete sample of Neil's Snakes & Arrows DW kit and his V-drum sounds and possibly Neil Peart loops. What this all means is that for around $79 you will be able to purchase professionally-recorded sampled sounds from Neil's kit that you can use with music software on a computer or plug them into keyboards or electronic drums. The session took place last month in Los Angeles at Nick Raskulinecz's studio and the final product is scheduled to be released by the end of this year. There's a lot of cool little tidbits in the forum posting, so I suggest you read the whole thing (Andy O has a nice little summary over at his website). Many, many thanks to Andy O for the information.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rush makes the Guitar Player Readers' Choice Awards
9:09AM EST | link | comments (88) |

[Exclusive Web Preview! The 2008 GP Readers' Choice Awards]

Guitar Player magazine recently posted a web preview of their 2008 Readers' Choice Awards. Rush and Alex Lifeson won in the following categories:

Best Article in 2007
Different Strings
Alex Lifeson

Best Rock Guitarist
Alex Lifeson

2007's Most Ferociously Brilliant Guitar Album
Rush: Snakes & Arrows

Thanks to Cat for the heads up.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Alex Lifeson interview at Billboard.com
3:14PM EST | link | comments (104) |

[Rush Promises Surprises On Summer Tour]

Billboard just posted some snippets of a recent conversation with Alex Lifeson to their website. Alex talks a bit about the upcoming tour; the Snakes & Arrows Live CD and DVD; and Rush's next studio album. He mentions that fans can expect some setlist surprises on the tour:

... "we thought we should maybe revisit some older songs we're not playing currently or haven't been in the last little while. So we changed out a few songs in the set. We're gonna keep it loose and maybe kind of bounce back and forth."

Lifeson says the group frequently gets fan requests for specific material. "We see 'Camera Eye' come up quite often, 'Jacob's Ladder' and some of the longer songs like that from our mid-period," he says. ...

So some of the rumors I'd mentioned a couple weeks ago might be true. Did he actually mention Camera Eye!? Now that would be a surprise. Let's keep our fingers crossed. He also addresses the Snakes & Arrows Live DVD:

... Lifeson says Rush is also starting to tuck into the video material from the [Rotterdam] show last October at Ahoy Rotterdam arena in the Netherlands for a DVD the guitarist says will be out in the late summer or early fall.

"We shot it in HD, and I hear it looks really dramatic," says Lifeson, who supervised the stereo mix for the CD. The group decided to put the CD out first, he says, because "we wanted to kind of bridge the two halves of the tour with a release so there's something there, and then we'll follow up with the live DVD." ...

So he confirms that the DVD will be released late summer or early fall as I'd mentioned a couple of months ago.

He also confirms that Rush is planning on another studio album with Nick Raskulinecz:

... Lifeson says that he and bandmates Geddy Lee and Neil Peart are also thinking a bit about Rush's next studio album -- mostly likely with "Snakes & Arrows" co-producer Nick Raskulinecz -- but suspects that will come later rather than sooner.

"I'm guessing that we're probably going to take a little bit of the break at the end of this tour," says Lifeson, who's been updating his Web site with a number of new features he hopes to roll out soon. "I don't see us really doing much in the way of any new material probably until the spring of next year, and then we'll see where we go. We generally prefer to just start on that first day and sit down and start jamming; it's such an exciting moment, and it becomes it's own living thing. We seem to be much more balanced and a lot happier working that way." ...

Fantastic news. Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.

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Rush rehearsal live footage
8:06AM EST | link | comments (85) |

Rush is currently rehearsing for the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour. I have a spy working on the inside of the tour that was able to get this exclusive footage of their rehearsal from yesterday. I think you'll be very surprised when you see the clip. Here it is:

Have a great April 1st everybody.

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