Archive: Blog Entries from May, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

George open thread
11:44AM EST | link | comments (48) |

UPDATE - 6/19@9:39AM: Attendance / Capacity: 10450 / 14482
Gross Ticket Sales: 638211

UPDATE - 6/4@12:09PM: Here's a review from the North Kitsap Herald.

UPDATE - 6/2@12:05PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 31st @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 24
Venue: Gorge Amphitheatre
Place: George, WA

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

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
3:13PM EST | link | comments (90) |

Rush has completed their first set of Canadian dates on the tour and will be heading back to the states tomorrow to play the Gorge Amphitheatre. The official attendance numbers for the first part of the tour were released Wednesday. So far the average attendance has been 7,715 tickets sold out of 9,555 available and the average gross sales has been $538,754. To compare to the 2007 leg, the average attendance on that tour was 10,633 tickets sold out of 15,052 available with gross sales of $589,333. So the attendance has fallen nearly 25% but gross sales are about the same. So that obviously means higher ticket prices this time around. Indeed, on the 2007 leg the average ticket price was $55.37. This time around it's $73.10 - an increase of about 30%.

Last weekend was the unofficial kickoff to summer here in the States. So I thought for my next poll question I'd ask everyone what concerts (other than Rush of course) that they plan on attending this summer. I tried to include all the major tours that I thought a Rush fan might also like to see although I'm sure I may have missed a couple. So take the poll and let us know.

Earlier this week we learned that Rush donated $100,000 of the ticket sales from this past Saturday's show in Winnipeg to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Way to go guys.

Filmmaker Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal) recently was interviewed and had a few words to say about the upcoming Rush documentary he's working on with Scott McFadyen. To check out what he said see this post.

Sean let me know that WLUP in Chicago is running a contest to win Rush tickets to the Chicago show along with $250 worth of Rush merchandise. For details, check out this link.

Reader PhillyMike alerted me that the May 30, 2008 issue of Entertainment Weekly, featuring its summer music preview, has a short interview with Taylor Hawkins (drummer for the Foo Fighters). One of the questions relates to Alex and Geddy's guest appearance at the Foo's show in Toronto:

Q: During a Foos show earlier this year, you played Rush's "YYZ" with the band's guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist-vocalist Geddy Lee. What was that like?

A: That was a real frickin' dream come true. First of all, man, I'm no [Rush drummer] Neil Peart, not by any stretch of the imagination. But a lot of times when I warm up, I'll just play through that song. Alex and Geddy were definitely slumming it. But it goes down as one of the top five most exciting stage moments for me ever.

Reader thedigitalman let me know of a Rush reference on the Canadian comedy reality TV series Kenny vs. Spenny. In episode 11 of season 2 titled Who Can Sell More Bibles?, Kenny was reciting mock Bible exerpts and one of them was from the book of Jean-Luc Picard 21:12. You can check out the video here.

Reader coder_ pointed me to this cool electronic song posted at rifflet.com which combines several pieces from a bunch of Rush songs. Check it out here.

And finally, reader UltimoGuitarist wanted me to let you all know about his new Rush Tribute Band project over at YouTube.

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

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vancouver open thread
2:25PM EST | link | comments (84) |

UPDATE - 6/1@10:21AM: Here's a review from Straight.com. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/30@8:27AM: Here's a review from The Province (thanks RushJax).

Date/Time: Thursday, May 29th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 23
Venue: GM Place
Place: Vancouver, BC

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

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Tour attendance and sales figures update
10:27AM EST | link | comments (98) |

UPDATE - 5/29@2:51PM: Oops. Looks like the Puerto Rico show actually was the highest-grossing, not Vegas. PR was reported much earlier than the others so I'd overlooked it.

The official Billboard Boxscore attendance and sales figures for the first part of the tour were released yesterday. All shows up through May 11th - with the exception of the April 17th show in Jacksonville - have reported numbers. Keep in mind that the capacity figures reported do not correspond to the actual physical capacity of the venue; it reflects the number of tickets that were made available to be sold. That said, both the Sunrise and Reno shows were sold out although the Reno show was also the least attended with 6,114 tickets sold. The numbers for the 2 Nokia shows in LA were lumped together for some reason so I simply split those down the middle. Therefore it's not really clear how each show did individually. But from anecdotal evidence it's pretty clear that the 1st show was the better-attended one. That would mean that the 2nd show probably sold under 4000 seats making it the unofficial least-attended show. Clearly the most-attended show was the New Orleans show on April 20th and the highest-grossing was the May 10th show in Vegas. Many thanks to Mark S and Habs2112 for providing the numbers. I've added the figures to the tour section, each individual show's open thread and also repeated them here.

Fri, Apr, 11: Coliseo De Puerto Rico - San Juan, PR
Attendance / Capacity: 6855 / 9598
Gross Ticket Sales: 740155

Sun, Apr, 13: BankAtlantic Center - Sunrise, FL
Attendance / Capacity: 8432 / 8432
Gross Ticket Sales: 568067

Tue, Apr, 15: Amway Arena - Orlando, FL
Attendance / Capacity: 7612 / 8517
Gross Ticket Sales: 513348

Sat, Apr, 19: Woodlands Pavilion - Woodlands, TX
Attendance / Capacity: 7653 / 11033
Gross Ticket Sales: 507265

Sun, Apr, 20: New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, LA
Attendance / Capacity: 10529 / 12987
Gross Ticket Sales: 663000

Wed, Apr, 23: Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX
Attendance / Capacity: 7049 / 7836
Gross Ticket Sales: 417260

Fri, Apr, 25: Superpages.com Center - Dallas, TX
Attendance / Capacity: 8496 / 11500
Gross Ticket Sales: 546048

Sat, Apr, 26: Ford Center - Oklahoma City, OK
Attendance / Capacity: 7953 / 8497
Gross Ticket Sales: 477831

Tue, Apr, 29: Journal Pavilion - Albuquerque, NM
Attendance / Capacity: 7653 / 11496
Gross Ticket Sales: 345952

Thu, May, 1: Cricket Wireless Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ
Attendance / Capacity: 8531 / 12000
Gross Ticket Sales: 420818

Sat, May, 3: Reno Events Center - Reno, NV
Attendance / Capacity: 6114 / 6114
Gross Ticket Sales: 468486

Sun, May, 4: Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord, CA
Attendance / Capacity: 9451 / 11500
Gross Ticket Sales: 469767

Tue, May, 6: Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA *
Attendance / Capacity: 4930 / 6308
Gross Ticket Sales: 592788

Thu, May, 8: Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA *
Attendance / Capacity: 4930 / 6308
Gross Ticket Sales: 592788

Sat, May, 10: Mandalay Bay Resort - Las Vegas, NV
Attendance / Capacity: 7762 / 8449
Gross Ticket Sales: 680901

Sun, May, 11: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA
Attendance / Capacity: 9488 / 12298
Gross Ticket Sales: 615582

* The numbers for the 2 Los Angeles dates were not reported separately; both shows were lumped together. So I simply split the numbers down the middle for both shows.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rush donates $100,000 to Canadian Museum for Human Rights
4:09PM EST | link | comments (38) |

[Rush donates $100,000 to rights museum]

Here's some news regarding the latest of Rush's many charitable contributions. For the New Orleans show last month the band donated $100,000 from the proceeds to the Katrina relief effort. Now it's Canada's turn. The band donated $100,000 of the ticket sales from this past Saturday's show in Winnipeg to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. From the Winnipeg Free Press:

The members of Canadian rock band Rush have donated $100,000 from the sale of tickets to last weekend's Winnipeg concert to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The three band mates -- Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart -- also announced today they will be selling museum T-shirts at all of the remaining Canadian stops on their Snakes and Arrows Live concert tour, and donating all of the proceeds from those sales to the museum's $105-million private sector fund-raising campaign.

"My band mates and I are proud to be associated with the creation of a Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg," Lee said in a written statement.

"Canadians are uniquely positioned to be leaders in championing such causes, and we applaud the efforts of the Asper family in making this museum a reality. We hope that Canadians across the country will join us in lending their support."

Gail Asper, chair of the museum's fund-raising campaign, said the Rush donation is another indication of how the museum has become "closer to the heart" of more and more Canadians.

"This generous donation demonstrates Rush's commitment to advancing the cause for human rights in Canada and around the world," she said. "We are thrilled with this donation and encourage all Rush fans to buy the T-shirts and wear them proudly."

The T-shirts state: "My pals Rush and I support the Canadian Museum for Human Rights."

The $265-million museum, which has the support of all three levels of government and 50 ethno-cultural and human rights groups in Canada, will explore the subject of human rights in order to enhance people's understanding of human rights, promote respect for others and encourage reflection and dialogue.

It will be the first national museum to be built outside the National Capital Region and the first to be created in 41 years.

Acts like these are one of the many reasons I love this band. Thanks to robertkincaid96 for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Edmonton open thread
2:09PM EST | link | comments (45) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:15PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/28@9:53AM: Here's a review from the Edmonton Sun.

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 27th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 22
Venue: Rexall Place
Place: Edmonton, AB

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

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Sam Dunn on the upcoming Rush documentary
11:37AM EST | link | comments (23) |

Scott McFadyen and Sam DunnAbout a year ago we learned that filmmakers Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn - creators of the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and its soon-to-be-released follow-up Global Metal - were planning on creating a documentary on Rush. They were present at last year's RushCon and the shows in Toronto getting footage and interviewing fans. The official press release about the project then came out in October of last year. The plan was originally to release it later this year, but the duo decided to first put out an Iron Maiden documentary that they were also working on. It now looks like the Rush documentary won't see the light of day until sometime later next year. Sam and Scott were recently interviewed by iConnotations and when asked about the Rush documentary, Sam Dunn had this to say:

... Well it's in the early stages yet. It's not a film that's going to be based around a particular tour like the [Iron] Maiden doc. It's going to be more of a history of the band and a chronicle or testament to their influence over the years. Because you guys know how influential Rush is on musicians and we just feel that nobody's ever really told their story. You know, it's funny - we've been listening to Rush for decades and I really don't feel like I know who they are still. They're quite private and I don't really have a sense of what makes them tick or the struggles that they've been through. So what we're aiming for is to try and pull that out and make it kind of a human story about how they've changed over the years - some of the struggles and experiences they've been through. And then - at the same time - show how influential they are. They're Canada's biggest rock band and they're one of the biggest rock bands in the world. So it's high time someone did something. ...

You can listen to the entire interview at this location or download the mp3 directly at this link. The Rush question occurs at about the 27-minute mark. Thanks to BlabberMouth.net for the heads up.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Regina open thread
12:00PM EST | link | comments (28) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:14PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section including some Load In shots.

UPDATE - 5/27@9:47AM: Here's a review from the Regina Leader-Post (thanks Josh).

Date/Time: Sunday, May 25th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 21
Venue: Brandt Center
Place: Regina, SK

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

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Winnipeg open thread
10:24AM EST | link | comments (176) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:14PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/28@4:11PM: Rush donated $100,000 from this show's ticket sales to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

UPDATE - 5/25@10:11AM: ... and here's a review from the Winnipeg Sun.

UPDATE - 5/25@8:16AM: Here's a review from the Winnipeg Free Press (thanks theanalogkid).

Rush begins the Canadian leg of the tour tonight, playing Winnipeg for the first time in over 20 years (I believe they last played there on the Power Windows tour). In an article posted yesterday by Rob Williams of the Winnipeg Free Press Geddy Lee apologizes to Canadians for ignoring much of their home country on recent tours.

... We basically ignored a lot of Canada to focus on the rest of the world for a long time, and as our touring slowed down, we sacrificed a lot of the world," the Rush frontman says over the phone days before beginning the next leg of the band's Snakes & Arrows tour. "We didn't get to England for 20 years, so it's not like we ignored Western Canada. We just concentrated on our bigger markets and just focused on the bare essentials. Now we enjoy touring more and the last couple of tours we're hitting places we haven't been to for a long time ...

You can read the entire article at this link. To all my Canadian friends, happy Victoria Day! And for those going to the show tonight, have a great time and tell us all about it.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 24th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 20
Venue: MTS Center
Place: Winnipeg, MB

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

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The secret behind Geddy's bass sound revealed!
12:35AM EST | link | comments (21) |

UPDATE - 5/27@5:01PM: Note: several readers have pointed out that the Henhouse diagram from the Rush.com site is also what is printed on the back of the shirts that the band has been throwing out to the crowd just before the encore. The fronts of the shirts simply say Henhouse.

Back on May 14th Rush.com teased us all by posting the following message in the News section of the website:

COMING SOON. Finally after years of waiting, rush.com is proud to announce we will reveal the "secret behind Geddy's bass sound" !!!!
Stay tuned for this shocking secret to un-fold!

Also around this time they posted a video in the Multimedia: Rush Videos section of the site with Geddy Lee backstage at the Austin show tuning his bass. I mistakenly thought that this video was what they had been referring to in the message. I was wrong! Earlier today the actual secret was revealed:

The wait is finally over... After years of admiration, speculation and imitation, Rush.com is proud to unveil "THE SECRET BEHIND GEDDY LEE'S BASS SOUND" Please go to band section and see what years of research and testing in Gainesville, GA (the self-proclaimed Chicken Capital of the World) have resulted in. Geddy Lee, along with a team of sound experts, developed this top secret pet project in the summer of 2007 and he is now ready to share with RUSH fans all around the world... THE HEN HOUSE.
Enjoy!

To witness the secret simply go to this link. In addition to this golden nugget of information, a new video with Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider was posted in the Multimedia: Rush Videos section. Howard chats a bit and hints at a future installment where he'll reveal some more of his drink-mixing secrets. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
5:53PM EST | link | comments (116) |

The 2008 Snakes & Arrows Live tour is back in full swing and heading to the East. Rush played Moline on Tuesday and St. Paul last night. This weekend and through next week they'll be back in the Motherland to play dates in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver. Attendance continues to be relatively low but I think that's more due to an overloaded summer concert circuit and a poor economy than anything else. Despite this, the feedback from fans and critics alike remains very positive. The only new official attendance figures that I have are for the Los Angeles shows at the Nokia (thanks Mark S). Billboard Boxscore for some reason lumped the attendance and sales figures together for these 2 shows since they were back to back. They have the attendance listed as 9,861 out of a capacity of 12,616 with gross sales totaling $1,185,575. That averages out to around 4,930 per night although the first night was close to sold out. That second night must have been very intimate indeed. One other tour-related note; apparently Neil's riding buddy and head of Rush security Michael Mosbach took a spill on his bike back before the Oklahoma City show and sprained his wrist (he's fine now). So Chris Stankee of Sabian Cymbals filled in as Neil's riding partner and - for the last couple of shows - also helped out as Neil's drum tech because Lorne Wheaton had an emergency appendectomy! Quite a lot of drama. You can read some more details at this Counterparts thread and at the This Gig Sucks Blog.

Late last Friday Geddy and Alex released an official statement via Rush.com regarding John Rutsey's death. You can check it out here. Since then, several news sites on the net have picked up the story. When Rush returned to the tour Tuesday they did not pay any kind of tribute to John or acknowledge his death in anyway. I am told that Geddy and Alex did both attend the funeral though. Reader Vince R also let me know that DJ Eddie Trunk paid tribute to John on his radio show this past Monday and played a couple of songs off of Rush's debut album in his honor.

Earlier this week I told you about a Star Tribune article from last week where Alex Lifeson was interviewed and essentially confirmed that there would be no further setlist changes on the tour. He also remarked on a possible Rolling Stone feature story on Rush. If you haven't checked out the interview yet, you can read it here.

Speaking of Rolling Stone, reader shakeitmadam let me know that in the latest issue (#1053) there's an interview with Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard titled The indie rocker on Obama, Rush, and smashing guitars. In one question the interviewer asks:

Your first single, 'I Will Possess Your Heart,' is over eight minutes long. Do you have any favorite long rock songs? Maybe you love Rush's 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog'?

... and Gibbard replies ...

A friend suggested I listen to the Rush album 'Grace Under Pressure.' He said, 'They do some of the same things you guys do.' I was into the idea that there may be some kind of aesthetic connection between Death Cab and Rush. But when I heard the album, I was like, 'Is my friend high?'.

Heh heh.

Spindrifter pointed me to a new article at AZCentral.com that features a short Alex Lifeson interview. It's titled 30 years later, Rush broadens fan base and you can check it out here.

Wednesday I let you know that Thiago Sarkis of Brazilian heavy metal mag Roadie Crew recently organized a poll in which 330 prominent guitarists were asked about their favorite guitarists of all time. The results were published in the May 2008 issue (#112) and Alex Lifeson came in at #34. You can see the complete list and all of the participants at Blabbermouth.net.

Reader Scott_PA let me know that the May/June issue of Drumhead Magazine contains a cover story and interview with drummer Stewart Copeland (The Police). There's a little sidebar article that Stewart himself penned and in it there's a humorous mention of Neil Peart:

WHAT A RUSH

"There are two indignities of being me that I have put up with on an almost daily basis. I'll just tell you about them and you can tell your readers about them so that they don't think that I just live in this perfect, unblemished world.

One is, "Hey, aren't you that guy that used to work for Sting?

The other is, "you're my 2nd favorite drummer, next to Neil Peart" Who, just to make life a real bitch, is a capital fellow. He's a wonderful man. I mean, I do have a hit squad looking for him, but I hired these assassins with love in my heart for this wonderful man. Since meeting Neil, and discovering what a great guy he is, I've intended to iTunes one of their albums. Goddamnit, I've been intending to do that for years; just haven't gotten around to it."

Rush will be included on yet another classic rock compilation album due out June 3rd. It's titled Now That's What I Call Classic Rock and will feature 20 tracks from artists such as The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Queen, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, The Steve Miller Band and of course Rush. Rush's contribution will be The Spirit of Radio. A VH1 Classic special promoting the album's release will premiere May 31st at 8PM EST. Thanks to malterb for the heads up.

Reader Nettie reminded me of the ongoing Meet and Greet contests that the Rush Backstage Club is running. If you haven't entered yet, you can do so at this link.

Actor Josh Holloway of the hit ABC series Lost was recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He plays the character Sawyer and when he came out on stage they played ... Tom Sawyer of course. You can see the video here. Thanks to Drodham for the heads up.

For those of you with a website, blog, etc. I found this cool Rush tour widget that you can stick on your site. It shows all the tour dates and venues including an interactive Google Map. Pretty cool.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend everyone!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

St. Paul open thread
12:11PM EST | link | comments (75) |

UPDATE - 6/19@9:38AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7901 / 12440
Gross Ticket Sales: 494340

UPDATE - 5/30@12:14PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 22nd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 19
Venue: Xcel Energy Center
Place: St. Paul, MN

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

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Alex Lifeson makes Roadie Crew top guitarist list
5:54PM EST | link | comments (28) |

Roadie CrewThiago Sarkis of Brazilian heavy metal mag Roadie Crew recently organized a poll in which 330 prominent guitarists were asked about their favorite guitarists of all time. The results were published in the May 2008 issue (#112) and Alex Lifeson came in at #34. You can see the complete list and all of the participants at Blabbermouth.net. Thanks to Peart#1 for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Moline open thread
12:08PM EST | link | comments (210) |

UPDATE - 6/19@9:38AM: Attendance / Capacity: 5789 / 6526
Gross Ticket Sales: 298153

UPDATE - 5/30@12:13PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/21@1:59PM: I also forgot to mention that there was no tribute or acknowledgment of any kind by the band regarding John Rutsey's death.

UPDATE - 5/21@9:31AM: ... and another review from The Quad-City Times.

UPDATE - 5/21@9:29AM: Here's a review from Quad-Cities Online (thanks Al C).

Rush is back in action tonight after their 9-day break. They'll be playing the i wireless Center in Moline, IL. This will be their first show since the unfortunate death of original Rush drummer John Rutsey. No word on whether they'll do any sort of tribute or acknowledgment of any kind. They had posted a message on Rush.com late last week. For those of you going, have a great time and let us know how it went.

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 20th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 18
Venue: i wireless Center
Place: Moline, IL

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

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Alex Lifeson interview; No setlist changes, Rolling Stone and Rush
11:45AM EST | link | comments (220) |

[Rush Redux]

UPDATE - 5/19@8:33AM: There was a technical error with this post that was not allowing any comments to be posted. Sorry about that - it's fixed now. Carry on. :)

Alex Lifeson was interviewed for a recent Star Tribune article previewing Thursday's show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Alex pretty much puts to rest the idea that they might change up the setlist for the 2008 leg at some point:

... "Once we've established what the set is for the tour, it stays that way," Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson said recently during tour rehearsals in Puerto Rico.

For this leg of the tour, the Canadian rock trio has "dropped a couple of songs and put a couple of others in. We've changed a bit of the video stuff that goes on behind us," Lifeson said. "Other than that, it's pretty much the same as it was on the first half of the tour," even though half the cities will probably be repeats. ...

He also touches on a possible Rolling Stone feature story on Rush:

... Over 35 years, Rush has developed one of rock's most devoted cults. Because the band is either loved or hated (especially by critics), the fans have "this badge of honor," said Lifeson, who occasionally reads fans' rabid postings on the Internet.

He thinks the fans are more upset than the band members about Rush never even landing on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"They feel really slighted by it," he said. "I've read those postings. For us, it really, really doesn't matter. It's like the Grammys; if we get nominated, we think, 'There goes our credibility if we win a Grammy.' Fortunately, we never do."

Perceptions of rock's most enduring cult band, however, may be changing. Apparently, Rolling Stone magazine has taken an unexpected interest in Rush recently, dispatching a reporter to spend a whopping four days with the trio in Canada.

"They've never been much in the way of fans of ours -- in fact, totally the opposite of that for the longest time," Lifeson said. "There's been quite a bit of friction between them and us. It was odd to us to get this request to do this big interview with them. I've yet to see how it turns out. If they want to do a cover story on Rush, then something's changing somewhere."

Maybe Rolling Stone is starting a Canadian edition, eh?

Rush on the cover of Rolling Stone!? I'll believe it when I see it. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Official Rush statement regarding John Rutsey's death
9:41AM EST | link | comments (49) |

Rush.com has released an official statement from Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson regarding the death of Rush's original drummer John Rutsey:

Our memories of the early years of Rush when John was in the band are very fond to us. Those years spent in our teens dreaming of one day doing what we continue to do decades later are special. Although our paths diverged many years ago, we smile today, thinking back on those exciting times and remembering John's wonderful sense of humour and impeccable timing. He will be deeply missed by all he touched.

Alex & Geddy

Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631).

Thanks to phsycobass for the heads up.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
4:04PM EST | link | comments (36) |

John RutseyRush played their last show on the tour before a nine-day hiatus last
Sunday in Irvine. They'll pick it up again this coming Tuesday at the iWireless Center in Moline, IL. On the same day of that last show in Irvine Rush's original drummer and founding member John Rutsey died at the age of 55 from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes. You can read the obituary here. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He played an integral role in establishing Rush back in the early days and will be sorely missed. Thanks for the music and rest in peace John.

The news of John Rutsey's death overshadowed any other news last week so I'll take a moment and touch on some other items of interest you may have missed. Neil Peart just updated the News portion of his website last night. If you haven't read it yet you can check it out here. Neil chronicles his motorcycle travels on the tour thus far. Neil was also spotted at Freddie Gruber's 81st birthday party earlier this week. There's a short video on YouTube showing Neil sitting next to Freddie which you can check out here. [VIDEO WAS REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE]

Earlier this week I informed you of an effort that is underway to get Rush a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The effort is being led by Donna Halper, Keith Purdy and Kevin Purdy. For details and information on how you can help out see this post.

On Wednesday Rush.com revealed the secret behind Geddy's bass sound via a video they posted in their Multimedia: Rush Video section. The video features Geddy Lee backstage in the tuning room before the Austin show tuning his bass and talking about the tour and how much fun the band and crew are having.

In celebration of its first anniversary I asked you what your favorite song off of Snakes & Arrows was in my last poll. I was curious as to how the results would compare to the first time I asked this question back when the album came out. It turns out not much has changed. Once again taking the top spot was The Main Monkey Business. And the next 3 spots remained unchanged as well except that The Way The Wind Blows and Armor and Sword swapped the 2nd and 3rd spots; and Workin' Them Angels remained at number 4. The results were a bit tighter this time around though, and the bottom 9 spots mixed it up a bit. You can check out last year's full results here and compare them to the results this time around.

In honor of John Rutsey, I thought that for this week's poll I'd ask everyone what their favorite song off of Rush's debut album was. I think a lot of us revisited this album in the last week since hearing of John Rutsey's death - I know I've probably listened to it a dozen times myself since Monday. So take the poll and let us know.

Snakes & Arrows Live has finally dropped off the Billboard charts in its 4th week of release. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the Snakes & Arrows Live tourbook. It's essentially the same as the Snakes & Arrows tourbook with several additional pages of images from the European leg of the tour taken by Ross Halfin. You can check out the transcription here and the images at this link (WARNING: huge load time for this page - it contains several large images).

Last month I let you know that Geddy Lee would be making a guest appearance on a new children's album from fellow Canadian rockers the Barenaked Ladies called Snacktime. The album was released earlier this month and it turns out that Geddy's sole contribution is a short spoken message at the end of the title track where he says Hi! I'm Geddy. I love barbequed potato chips. :) Thanks to RestlessOldRomantic for the report.

The first East Coast Rush Tabcon in 4 years will take place the weekend of May 30th to June 1st at Pope John Paul II Elementary School in West Brandywine, PA near Philadelphia. Many players and tabbers from the Rush Tablature Project will be in attendance including players from Rush tribute band Momos Dance Party. It should be a great event and a good time open to anyone who wants to check it out. If you don't know what a TabCon is check out the website to learn all about them.

Reader PhillyMike let me know that 93.3 WMMR in Philadelphia recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary and their anniversay logo features Rush along with several other prominent rock artists. The station also recently ranked the 933 top rock songs and Rush has a bunch of songs included on the list - the highest being Tom Sawyer at #57.

In my last update I let you know about a Rush concert dream package put together by Rock 100.7 DJ Jeff Burrows (formerly of The Tea Party and The Big Dirty Band) that was auctioned off on eBay last week to raise money for Transition to Betterness. The package included two first class return Via One Rail tickets to Montreal from Windsor, London, or Toronto; a two-night hotel stay at The Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal; premium seating at the concert; and 2 meet-and-greet passes. It ended up going for $3000. If you missed out on the bidding, not to fear; there's another auction going on. It runs through Monday and you can place your bid here. Thanks to primemover_3 for the heads up.

No doubt due to help from RushIsABand readers (I urged folks to vote in my last update), the Greatest of All Time Blog has determined that Rush's 2112 is the Greatest Album of All Time! Hell ... I already knew that, but it's nice to be reassured. :)

Sean alerted me to this post from a couple months ago at MTV's Headbanger's Blog which asks the question Who Rocks Harder?: Rush or Dream Theater?.

Reader The Mighty Dudad pointed me to this satirical piece in the Phoenix New Times music section titled Clinton vs. Obama: Is Neil Peart the best drummer in the world?. For once I actually agree with Hillary Clinton. :)

And if you're looking to build a fallout shelter, check out this site; it features a really cool midi version of Manhatten Project as background music. Thanks to starman.2112 for the link.

And I'll end with this very impressive video from reader Corey N. He taught his 4-year-old son Kolby to play the intro to Far Cry on the drums. You can check out the video at this link. Watch out Neil Peart! :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Neil Peart news update
9:53AM EST | link | comments (39) |

PR beach riding (photo by Michael Mosbach)[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - May, 2008: South by Southwest]

Just like on the 2007 leg, Neil Peart has taken advantage of the band's first extended break on the tour to compose another News Update to his website. Neil chronicles his motorcycle adventures over the first part of the tour, riding his way from east to west from Puerto Rico to California. There are a number of especially good photographs included in this update as well. Neil's also very pleased with the tour and how the band is playing:

... Hoping not to appear immodest (to quote Dizzy Dean again, "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up"), I have to say that I think the band is playing at its absolute peak. (And I guess that's not bragging-I'm only talking about our peak, not anybody else's!)

But each show takes so much out of us that we live in a world of hurt, especially towards the end of a long run like this one. But-it's a good hurt. It is well earned, and well rewarded ...

Thanks to cincyrushgirl for the heads up.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

John Rutsey obituary
12:47PM EST | link | comments (40) |

John RutseyAs I'd posted a couple days ago, Rush's original drummer John Rutsey died this past Sunday from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes. A short obituary which includes information for charitable donations in John's name was published in today's National Post.

John Rutsey
RUTSEY, John Howard - It is with deep sadness that John's family announces his untimely passing due to complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes, at age 55. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631). Online Condolences: newbiggingfh@rogers.com.

Thanks to i love rush for the heads up.

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Neil Peart spotted at Freddie Gruber's 81st birthday party
9:42AM EST | link | comments (129) |

UPDATE - 5/18@9:48AM: The video has been removed from YouTube.

Jazz drumming legend Freddie Gruber turned 81 years young recently and his friends threw him a birthday bash at La Ve Lee jazz club in North Hollywood Tuesday night. JoesMechanic over at the House of Drumming forum was at the party and spotted Neil Peart. Neil studied under Freddie back in the mid-90s and has remained good friends with him. You can read about JoesMechanic's experience at the party and check out some pics/videos at this link. You can see Neil in the video below sitting next to Freddie as someone sings him Happy Birthday.

*** VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE ***

Thanks to MVL for the heads up.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Rush.com video: Geddy Lee in the tuning room
12:40PM EST | link | comments (81) |

Geddy Lee in the tuning roomUPDATE - 5/15@3:12PM: I'm not sure if this is in reference to the Geddy video or not, but Rush.com put up the following post in its news section yesterday:

May 14, 2008

COMING SOON.......Finally after years of waiting, rush.com is proud to announce we will reveal the "secret behind Geddy's bass sound" !!!!
Stay tuned for this shocking secret to un-fold!

----- snip -----

A new video has been added to the Rush.com Multimedia: Rush Video section. This video features Geddy Lee backstage in the tuning room before the Austin show. Geddy talks about the tour and how much fun the band and crew are having. He's really enjoying the days off between shows and mentions how he went golfing and drinking with Alex in the day off prior to the Austin gig. Thanks to cincyrushgirl for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

John Rutsey passes away at age 55
7:39AM EST | link | comments (161) |

John RutseyUPDATE - 5/17@9:44AM: The official statement from Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson:

Our memories of the early years of Rush when John was in the band are very fond to us. Those years spent in our teens dreaming of one day doing what we continue to do decades later are special. Although our paths diverged many years ago, we smile today, thinking back on those exciting times and remembering John's wonderful sense of humour and impeccable timing. He will be deeply missed by all he touched.

Alex & Geddy

Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631).

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/15@10:52AM: A short obituary which includes information for charitable donations in John's name was published in today's National Post (thanks i love rush).

John Rutsey
RUTSEY, John Howard - It is with deep sadness that John's family announces his untimely passing due to complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes, at age 55. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631). Online Condolences: newbiggingfh@rogers.com.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/13@10:44PM: Some more details are starting to trickle in via Draco over at Counterparts. Apparently the cause of death was a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes. His family will be making an announcement as to where to send a charitable donation in his memory within the next few days.

If you've been keeping up with the comments in the original blog post over at the Q107 Rock Report you may have noticed a few comments from some notable names in Rush history. Here's one from the woman credited with discovering Rush back in 1974 - Donna Halper:

When I discovered Rush in Cleveland in 1974, John was the drummer and he looked really frail even back then. There were rumours he was on drugs but NO! He was not. He was struggling with diabetes, and would all his life. I hope he rests in peace-- a very good guy with a disease that today is treatable, but back then, not so much.
Posted by Donna L. Halper on 5/13/2008 3:27:15 PM

And here's one from Lindy Young - who is Geddy's brother-in-law and had a short stint in Rush back in 1969:

John was an integral part of the band Rush in the beginning. It was his drive and leader- ship that first help establish the band. A solid drummer with a flare for showmanship made him unique. What a pleasure it was to play with John,Geddy and Alex in the those early days of Rush. Goodbye, my friend.
Posted by Lindy Young on 5/13/2008 5:00:49 PM

Now that I've had all day for this news to sink in, and after a few listens to Rush's debut album ... I'm pretty bummed out about it. Rest in peace John.

----- snip -----

The Q107 Rock Report is reporting that Rush founding member John Rutsey passed away over the weekend according to Rush's management company Anthem. Rutsey was with Rush from 1968 to 1974 and played on the band's self-titled debut album after which he quit the band due to creative differences and health issues. He was replaced by Neil Peart in the summer of 1974. He died on Sunday, May 11 at the age of 55. As of the moment there has been no official statement on a cause of death nor plans for a memorial service. Thanks to Jay C and Brian S for the heads up.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Rush Star Hollywood Walk of Fame Project
10:30AM EST | link | comments (69) |

Hollywood Walk of Fame StarmanI wanted to take a few moments to alert everyone to a campaign that's currently underway to get Rush a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you are a Rush fan, it's very likely you have heard the name Donna Halper. Donna is credited with discovering Rush while working at WMMS-FM in my hometown of Cleveland back in 1974. She was also pivotal in getting them signed to a record contract, and they dedicated their first two albums to her. Donna along with Rush fans extraordinaire Keith and Kevin Purdy are spearheading this project and have already received the blessing of the band and their management. They could also use some help from us - the fans. Since the nominations are reviewed in June each year, they are soliciting testimonials from Rush fans across the world about how the band and their music has played a positive and meaningful role in their lives. There is no format per se - emails, letters, etc. are fine. They simply need to be well-written and come from the heart. If possible, please send your testimonials to kdpurdy@hotmail.com by Friday, May 23rd so they can be packaged up and sent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame committee.

As part of the nomination effort, an account will be set up at some point to collect the $25,000 needed to fund the Hollywood Walk of Fame star. The money is not due until 30 days prior to an eventual induction ceremony, the date of which would be the band's choosing if (when hopefully) they are chosen. That date realistically would be no sooner than mid-year 2009. They hope to have the account set up later this summer and will keep everyone posted.

Donna, Keith and Kevin want to thank everyone in advance for their assistance in this effort. The image above of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Rush Starman is courtesy reader Matt R.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Irvine open thread
11:20AM EST | link | comments (56) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:13PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/29@10:25AM: Attendance / Capacity: 9488 / 12298
Gross Ticket Sales: 615582

UPDATE - 5/27@1:55PM: Here's a review from KNAC.com (thanks Spindrifter).

Date/Time: Sunday, May 11th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 17
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Place: Irvine, CA

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

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Las Vegas open thread
11:40AM EST | link | comments (93) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:13PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/29@10:25AM: Attendance / Capacity: 7762 / 8449
Gross Ticket Sales: 680901

UPDATE - 5/12@8:54AM: Here's a review from the Las Vegas Sun.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 10th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 16
Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort
Place: Las Vegas, NV

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

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:39PM EST | link | comments (156) |

Rush played their 2nd of 2 shows at the Nokia in LA last night and will head to Vegas and Irvine over the weekend before taking a 9-day hiatus. If you have photos from any of the shows that you'd like to share, you can upload them in the tour section. To view fan photos, check out the tour photo gallery. The Rush.com website has also been very up-to-date with adding great quality photos from shows to their Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Speaking of Rush on the Road, on Thursday of last week the first episode of the long-awaited Rush road crew documentary series Backstage Secrets finally aired on the appropriately-named RUSH HD in Canada. The second episode aired last night. 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.

I just added a couple more Geddy Lee radio interviews from earlier last month to the radio interviews thread (thanks AnalogKidAudioVideo). If you haven't heard Rush's Rockline interview from a couple of weeks ago yet, you can listen to it at this link.

Snakes & Arrows Live has fallen to #178 on the Billboard album charts (thanks Sean) in its third week of release; down from #18 in its debut week and #110 last week. The iTunes store gave the album a great review - you'll need to have iTunes installed to check out the full review but here's a snippet:

... it is all killer. After nearly 35 years, Rush are as vital and creative as ever - not just in the recording studio either, as anybody who's seen them live in recent years will attest. If you're a fan, you gotta have this, and that's it. ...

iTunes users have also given it an average review of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Thanks to Chris B for the heads up. Also, the Workin' Them Angels live single from the album continues to hold in the mid-20s on both the Mediabase Mainstream Rock Chart (#24) and the Radio and Records Rock Chart (#23).

Long-time Rush fan, musician, musicologist and RIAB reader Chris McDonald is writing a book on Rush and he needs our help. The book will be an academic (musicological) study of the group published by a university press. He has put together a survey for Rush fans so that he can include a representative range of opinions on the band. So if you have a few minutes, take his survey and email your answers to rush_survey@hotmail.com. You can check out the questions below the fold.

Michael of NeilPeartDrumSticks.com recently made several updates to the Fan Gallery section of his site, adding many pics from the recent tour. Check them out at this link.

Wednesday marked the 15th anniversary of Harvard Lampoon's induction of Rush as Musicians of the Millennium. Here's a video of this monumental event:

Last week I reported that Rock 100.7 DJ Jeff Burrows (formerly of The Tea Party and The Big Dirty Band) hosted a 24-hour drum-a-thon for Transition to Betterness over the weekend at the Rock Head Resto Pub in Windsor. The event was a huge success, raising $12,000 for the charity. Jeff has also put together a Rush concert dream package that is being auctioned off on eBay. The package includes two first class return Via One Rail tickets to Montreal from Windsor, London, or Toronto; a two-night hotel stay at The Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal; premium seating at the concert; and 2 meet-and-greet passes. The charity auction runs through 8PM May 12th. You can place your bid at this link. Thanks to sandman for the heads up.

On Monday I let you know about reader ReGorLaTroy's challenge to all Rush fans to help out the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. He was inspired by Rush's recent donation of $100,000 to the Katrina relief effort. There's been a great response to his challenge and he's working on getting some kind of official link for donations set up. I'll keep you posted.

Steve Robles of webzine 10 Zen Monkeys posted a humorous article last week titled Rush: The Last Taboo where he admits to his love of Rush and gives an explanation. Thanks to Sean for the link.

On a recent edition of the Dennis Miller radio show Dennis mentioned that he was going to see Rush in LA and chatted a bit with a listener about Neil Peart. Dennis also has some Rush in his Bumper Music section of his website and the current poll on his home page asks readers what their favorite Rush song is. Thanks to Bryan S for the heads up.

Geddy Lee got a mention in this recent article about Toronto's annual Pug Awards. The awards gives Torontonians an opportunity to vote on the most contemptible new works of architecture greater than 50,000 square feet in the city. Geddy is a member of the Pug advisory board. From the article:

... "He cares so much about the buildings that are being erected around here, even as he's touring around the world," says Simone. "That itself speaks volumes about the impact of Toronto architecture. His level of knowledge blows my mind."

Reader Vince R let me know that during a recent telecast on WGN of a baseball game in Toronto between the Blue Jays and White Sox they had a poll asking folks what their favorite Ontario-based band was. Rush won with 65% of the vote with Neil Young in 2nd at 15%

Apparently NASCAR racer Carl Edwards is a Rush fan. During coverage of the Richmond race last week several of the drivers were asked their opinion on the greatest rock bands ever. Carl said Tom Petty, Rush and The Eagles. Thanks to 2112-YYZ for the heads up.

The Greatest of All Time blog is currently running a poll pitting Rush's 2112 up against Iron Maiden's Powerslave; both great albums in my opinion, but you know who to vote for. So go vote for Rush!!

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

READ MORE...

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Los Angeles night #2 open thread
11:35AM EST | link | comments (224) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:13PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/23@5:11PM: Billboard Boxscore for some reason lumped the attendance and sales figures together for both LA shows since they were back to back. They have the attendance listed as 9,861 out of a capacity of 12,616 with gross sales totaling $1,185,575. That averages out to around 4,930 per night although the first night was close to sold out. So as far as reporting these in the tour section goes I'm just going to split the numbers in half. Thanks to Mark S for getting me the numbers.

UPDATE - 5/15@4:29PM: Here's a review from LA.com (thanks LoganBruin).

Date/Time: Thursday, May 8th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 15
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Place: Los Angeles, CA

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

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Los Angeles night #1 open thread
11:30AM EST | link | comments (253) |

UPDATE - 5/30@12:12PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 5/23@5:11PM: Billboard Boxscore for some reason lumped the attendance and sales figures together for both LA shows since they were back to back. They have the attendance listed as 9,861 out of a capacity of 12,616 with gross sales totaling $1,185,575. That averages out to around 4,930 per night although the first night was close to sold out. So as far as reporting these in the tour section goes I'm just going to split the numbers in half. Thanks to Mark S for getting me the numbers.

UPDATE - 5/15@3:25PM: Here's a review from LA Met Blogs (thanks Mar).

UPDATE - 5/10@11:40AM: Ross Halfin has some photos from the show up on his website (thanks TorontoWriter).

UPDATE - 5/8@11:10AM: Here's a good review from the Orange County Register titled Rush still fierce in a smaller setting. It also includes a few snippets from an Alex Lifeson interview along with the review.

UPDATE - 5/7@2:28PM: Rock photographer Ross Halfin was at the show and gave the following report in his online diary:

... I go with Andy Curran to see Rush who are playing at Nokia Theatre in downtown LA. Go and watch the soundcheck, take a few photos, great to see them again. Neal Peart looks healthy - he's lost weight. Alex tells me they really liked the photos from Europe. They've added sixteen pages to the tour book, plus the new live cd, and it looks impressive.

Go hang out backstage, see Bob Rock with his blow-dried hair. At first I thought Bob was Kevin THE CAVEMAN Shirley come to have a rock'n'roll party and tell everyone about the new Judas Priest cd.

Went out to watch and shoot a bit of the show. The crowd was wasted, on Alex's side fairly well behaved, but Geddy's side was a different matter. Middle-aged men so fucked up they didn't know where they were. Stumbling around in circles, playing pretend drums and air guitar and bass. The strange part I don't get was that they mostly tended to not look at the stage, just bother everyone next to them as if it was their show. How can you say pay $1500 for a ticket then not have a fucking clue what you went to see? It was as if they'd regressed into being three-year olds with speech impediments who found their parents booze. One, who was about six foot five, kept leaning into me pointing in the air going 'Uuuuugh' or 'Yaaaaguh', then saying 'Yoooooour in the waaaaaaaaay.' In the way of what?

Alex had a girl the size of a herd of buffalo in front of him, she sang, cried (mainly cried - I thought they were good, nothing to cry about), made strange signs and after the show was standing holding in the air an LP of Signals with a pen. What did she think was going to happen - they come back on and sign her record? I suppose Alex could have taken pity and given her a bucket of KFC from Geddy's on stage rotisserie. Someone should film the crowd, horrifying. Imagine watching it in say thirty years - 'Welcome to America, the most civilised country in the world.'

I did manage to finish the night in a civilised way, drinking Dom Perignon with Donovan Lundstrom, Rush's very suave tour manager...

He certainly has a way with words... And he still can't spell Neil's (Neal?) name right. Thanks to LovLee for the heads up.

----- snip -----

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 6th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 14
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Place: Los Angeles, CA

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

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Monday, May 5, 2008

The Great Rush Fan Challenge
10:13AM EST | link | comments (73) |

NOLA Habitat for HumanityOne of the many reasons I admire Rush so much is their tremendous generosity. They've used their fame to help out countless charitable organizations over the years, raising millions of dollars for those in need. So whenever I hear of a Rush-related charity or charity event I always try and give it some exposure on Rush is a Band. Rush fan and RIAB reader ReGorLaTroy was inspired by Rush's recent donation to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in New Orleans to put forth the following challenge to Rush fans.

THE GREAT RUSH FAN CHALLENGE

Greetings to all of my fellow RUSH fans out there.

As most of you know by now, on 17 April 08, Alex, Geddy and Neil donated $100,000 to further help the people affected by Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans region.

Please check this link to Rush.com for the official press release.

I was so impressed and moved by what our favourite band's "random act of kindness," and thought, "Wouldn't be great if we RUSH Fans could follow their example and do something likewise"?

Enter, "The Great RUSH Fan Challenge."

My challenge is simply this,

I want to encourage a minimum of 1000 RUSH fans to donate $10.00 each to The New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity ... No calculator needed here, that would be $10,000 donated to this most worthy of causes.

To do so, check out the New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity's website and follow directions to donate.

...To kick this challenge off, my wife and I have started the challenge by donating $100.

So, what do you say Net Boys and Net Girls, you up for the challenge and ready to follow RUSH's "random act of kindness"?

~Peace and Grace, ReGorLaTroy

A great idea and a great cause.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Concord open thread
10:35AM EST | link | comments (74) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:24AM: Attendance / Capacity: 9451 / 11500
Gross Ticket Sales: 469767

UPDATE - 5/11@7:14PM: Here's a really nice review of the show from Ground Control Magazine (thanks Mark Z).

UPDATE - 5/7@8:06AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Sunday, May 4th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 13
Venue: Sleep Train Pavilion
Place: Concord, CA

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

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Reno open thread
10:23AM EST | link | comments (79) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:24AM: Attendance / Capacity: 6114 / 6114
Gross Ticket Sales: 468486

UPDATE - 5/8@1:39PM: Here's a nice review from the Reno Gazette-Journal (thanks Al C).

UPDATE - 5/7@8:05AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 3rd @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 12
Venue: Reno Events Center
Place: Reno, NV

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

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
5:16PM EST | link | comments (119) |

The tour rolls on; Rush will play Reno and Concord over the weekend, then 2 LA dates, Vegas and Irvine next week before taking a 9-day break. Here's a little preview article for the LA shows from The Press-Enterprise which includes a few snippets from an Alex Lifeson interview.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the release of Rush's 19th (18th if you don't count Feedback) studio album - Snakes & Arrows. Last year right around this time I asked everybody what their favorite song off the album was. The winner was The Main Monkey Business with Armor and Sword a close second. I thought it would be interesting to ask this same question now that we've had a year to let the songs sink in. So what's your favorite song off of Snakes & Arrows? Take the poll and let us know.

Snakes & Arrows Live has fallen to #110 on the Billboard album charts - down from #18 in its debut week. It also fell from #8 to #59 on the Canadian charts. I have one more review to report. Reader madjock from Scotland let me know that the UK's Kerrang! Magazine recently reviewed the album and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee were the featured guests on Rockline this past Wednesday night. If you didn't get a chance to listen to it, the interview is now posted up on the Rockline website at this location. One spoiler warning though - the new additions to the setlist are revealed.

The long-awaited Rush road crew documentary series Backstage Secrets finally aired its first episode last night on the appropriately-named RUSH HD in Canada. I don't know of anyone who actually saw it though. If you did, please let us know what you thought. Hopefully the series will be available for purchase on DVD at some point.

Last week's episode of Land and Sea on the CBC in Canada contained a 15-minute segment on New Brunswick-based Sabian Cymbals. The show chronicles the history of Sabian and Neil Peart is prominently featured. You can watch the show online at this location but you will need Real Player. Thanks to bigleaf at Counterparts for the heads up.

Reader rushfan_132 let me know that Canadian syndicated radio program The Legends of Classic Rock hosted by Jeff Woods is running a contest to determine the 40 greatest classic rock drummers of all time. During the month of May over 4 consecutive weeks on the Legends of Classic Rock weekly hour-long show, Jeff Woods will count down the 40 Greatest Rock Drummers of All Time, as chosen by Legends listeners. So go vote for Neil Peart at this link!

Reader sandman let me know that Rock 100.7 DJ Jeff Burrows (formerly of The Tea Party and The Big Dirty Band) will be hosting a 24-hour drum-a-thon for a great cause called Transition to Betterness this weekend at the Rock Head Resto Pub in Windsor. Those who donate will have the chance to win 2 backstage passes to see Rush.

Most Rush fans already know all about Bob and Doug McKenzie and their relation to Rush. But just in case you don't know, Bob and Doug were a pair of walking Canadian sterotypes who were originally introduced on SCTV in Canada back in 1980 by actors Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. The pair hosted a recurring sketch panel show called The Great White North. The sketch became so popular that in 1983 a movie featuring the duo titled Strange Brew was released that has since become a cult classic. The duo's first album Great White North featured an appearance by Geddy Lee on the main track Take Off. About a year ago the CBC aired a prime time special celebrating the 24th anniversary of the release of Strange Brew and Geddy Lee made a surprise appearance. The duo's latest project is an animated series which will premier next year in Canada and hopefully in the US too. There's a trailer for the show available online which you can watch at this link. The trailer features Freewill as some of the background music. Thanks to Will C for the heads up.

I recently came across some more Rush-inspired artwork. Artist Mark Blanchette is a fine art photographer who specializes in darkroom created photomontages. Much of his work is Rush-inspired and he donates a piece of his artwork every year to the charity auction at RushCon. You can check out his creations at www.Grymwish.com.

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

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Phoenix open thread
1:00PM EST | link | comments (81) |

UPDATE - 5/29@10:24AM: Attendance / Capacity: 8531 / 12000
Gross Ticket Sales: 420818

UPDATE - 5/7@8:05AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Rush heads to the Cricket Pavilion in Phoenix tonight before hitting dates in Nevada and California over the next week. Geddy was spotted at the Diamondbacks game last night (thanks to azbubba for the pic).

Date/Time: Thursday, May 1st @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 11
Venue: Cricket Wireless Pavilion
Place: Phoenix, AZ

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

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