Archive: Blog Entries from July, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Neil Peart news update
5:54PM EST | link | comments (89) |

Neil Peart sipping coffee in Littleton, New Hampshire[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - July, 2008: Independence Day]

Now that the tour is over, Neil Peart has taken some time out to update the News page on NeilPeart.net. As usual, Neil spends most of the time detailing his motorcycle travels between shows but he had these interesting observations regarding the Atlantic City show:

... The arena in Atlantic City was inside a garish casino, where the management held back (denied us and our fans) the front section of seats. Those were "comped" to the "high rollers" (by definition, big losers), and thus we looked out from the stage at the first few rows (the ones we could see most) filled with people who had no idea why they were there except that it was free.

In contrast to our real fans farther back, who would mortgage their Hemispheres picture discs, and perhaps internal organs, to get closer to the stage, we were confronted by mild curiosity at best, and at worst, rude indifference. As the show went on, we started to see empty seats where bored big losers had slipped away, a woman looking down and texting through whole songs, and a pair of slack-jawed, sulking teens (the Beavis and Butthead of the Guitar Hero generation-as Cartman from "South Park" says in the hilarious sample that Geddy uses in "The Trees," "Real guitars are for old people") actually yawning. Anyone would agree that yawning is not appropriate behavior at a rock concert. (Vomiting, yes, but not yawning.)

These casino specimens are only noteworthy because they represent such an utter contrast to the audience around them, and to the front rows every other night-smiling, singing, dancing, and cheering people pressed along the barricade and stretching to the far distance. Several nights this summer, during the opening song, "Limelight" ("Living on a lighted stage, approaches the unreal"-still so true!), especially when we were playing outdoors and I could see everybody, I couldn't help shaking my head in disbelief at the sheer numbers of people out there. "Unbelievable," I thought, "All of those people spent their money and their time, on this night in this place, to come and see us."

That realization is somehow humbling-you feel you have to try to earn that, because it's obvious that those people deserve the best you can give them.

A couple of years ago my father sent me an anecdote about baseball great Joe DiMaggio, telling how a journalist asked The Yankee Clipper why he went out and played so hard every day. Joltin' Joe replied, "There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best." Dad added that this attitude reminded him of someone else he knew, which made me feel good. ...

Go Neil!! Well said. Neil goes on to amusingly describe his experience of going commando (riding sans helmet or jacket) on Block Island and then waxes philosophic on helmet laws and riding safety in general. He finally concludes with the following:

... In almost 20,000 miles on the bikes this summer, and 24,000 last year, I and my various riding partners had just enough misadventures to be able to say, "Adventures suck when you're having them," and to laugh about them later.

The forty-nine shows (added to the sixty-four last year) were exhausting, all right (and some of the rides, too), but satisfying, on the whole. Alex and Geddy and I were talking before the Atlanta show, one of the final ones, and agreed that the overall quality of our performances this summer has been better than ever before-that's something to be able to share, after all these years. The audiences, as I wrote last summer, were "wonderfully large and unbelievably appreciative (adjectives interchangeable)", and-crucially-we remained mostly healthy. (Though we all had our sufferings, and toward the end, I lived in a world of hurt. My days began and ended with a couple of Bufferins, which almost rhymes with "sufferings.")...

... And now, as our traveling circus folds up its tents once again after a successful season, crew members, buses, and trucks go their separate ways, and the gear goes back into the warehouse, I still have many notes and Action Self-Portraits that haven't found their stories yet. But that's all right-as Ernest Hemingway once advised writers, "Always stop working when you know what's coming next."

For now, I look forward to a long, slow recovery, and to a whole series of Independence Days. They will be sweeter for being so hard-won.

Another wonderful update from Neil. I have a feeling it'll be a while until his next one. :)

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
4:02PM EST | link | comments (32) |

I'm hitting the road for vacation tomorrow so I'm posting the updates a day early this week. Now that the tour's over things are pretty quiet in Rush-land. Fans everywhere are suffering from the post-tour doldrums, me included. Rush is taking a much needed break for a few weeks so this lull will likely continue through the end of summer. I'll be using some of the downtime to make a few minor tweaks to the site and wrap things up for the 2008 tour. I'm slowly getting caught up on updating the tour bootleg videos page and I've taken down the homepage tour box. However, you can still access all the tour information and threads on the tour page and upload pics if you have them. Other items on my agenda are a revamp of the sorely-neglected videos section of the site, a poll archive page, and perhaps some page layout shuffling. No major design changes or anything - just a few tweaks.

Thanks to everybody who generously donated to the site in the last few weeks. For anybody else who wishes to donate just use this link. With any donation of $3 or more you'll get a free RUSH IS A BAND bumper sticker. Also, check out my RUSH IS A BAND store at Zazzle.com if you haven't yet. There are fully customizable t-shirts, hats, mugs, etcetera available for men, women and kids of all shapes and sizes.

Earlier this month Pollstar released their Top 100 Tours chart (PDF file) for the first six months of North American concert tours in 2008. Rush came in at #12 with $18.3 million in gross sales and an average ticket price of $66.20. Rolling Stone just published this same list in their current issue but removed the non-rock/pop entries. This pushed Rush into their top 10 at #8. You can check out the entire top 10 list at this link. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

As of Wednesday we have tour attendance figures for almost all of the 2008 dates. All of the Canadian dates except Montreal along with Milwaukee, Atlanta and Indianapolis have yet to report numbers. So far the average attendance has been 8,033 tickets sold out of 10,289 available and the average gross sales has been $527,158. 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 attendance on this leg is down about 25% compared to last leg but gross sales are only down 10%. This illustrates the higher ticket prices on the 2008 leg. Indeed, on the 2007 leg the average ticket price was $55.37. This time around it's $65.63 - an increase of nearly 20%.

The other big news for the week was the release of details regarding Rush's involvement on the Songs for Tibet benefit album. Rush's contribution will be a newly-recorded live version of Hope which you can listen to a sample of at this link. You can check out the complete tracklist and pre-order the CD here.

In last week's updates I mentioned that the 2009 Rush Wall Calendar was now available to order via the NMR Distribution site at this link. It's now also available for pre-order at Amazon. I'm assuming it will also soon be available via the Rush Backstage Club too. Thanks to John at Cygnus-x1.net for the heads up.

Reader tst4eko uploaded over 1000 pics from the Indianapolis show to photobucket. You can view them at this link.

Reader charbaugh relayed this amusing story about a Rush sighting at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo:

This weekend I had a pleasant surprise at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. In the Zoo Farm (petting zoo area), one of the keeper's brought a cool looking barn owl out, and my kids all went over to check it out. Being a Harry Potter fan my daughter asked the owl's name, thinking it might be connected to the stories, and the keeper said, "he's one of two we have here at the zoo. His name is Geddy, and the other is named Alex."

I asked if they were getting another one because they seemed to be one short, and she said "we're hoping to get a third, and if we do, he'll be named Neil."

My eleven-year old son and I gave each other a high five without anyone else in the area knowing why that was necessary.

Awesome. :)

We all remember watching the Colbert Show behind-the-scenes video of Rush failing at playing Tom Sawyer on the Rock Band video game a couple weeks ago. Comedy Central posted yet another behind-the-scenes video of rapper Nas showing Rush the proper way to play the song. You can check out the vid here or view it below (assuming you're not in Canada!):

Thanks to Stewart for the heads up.

Although I'll be on vacation for the next couple of weeks I still plan on posting to the site on a regular basis, although maybe not as frequently as usual. With Rush taking a break there likely won't be much to report anyways! Have a great weekend everybody!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tour attendance and sales figures update
3:36PM EST | link | comments (101) |

UPDATE - 7/31@10:39AM: I'd neglected to mention that the Bristow show is now the most-attended show on the 2008 leg with 10,784 tickets sold. The previous most-attended show had been New Orleans Chicago with 10,600 tickets sold. Two other shows - Philadelphia New Orleans and the Gorge - also sold over 10,000 tickets.

The official Billboard Boxscore attendance and sales figures for 6 more dates were released today. The shows in Manchester, Holmdel, Jones Beach, Hershey, Bristow and Charlotte 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. The least-attended show for the tour remains the Atlantic City date with only 4,327 tickets sold. With the new numbers, the average attendance for reported dates rises a bit to 8,033 tickets sold out of 10,289 available and the average gross sales rose to $527,158. We are still missing data from the 4 late-May Canadian dates, the Milwaukee date, the Toronto show, the Atlanta show and Indianapolis, but otherwise the data from all dates on the 2008 leg has been reported. Hopefully those will be forthcoming soon so we can do a final analysis. Many thanks to Mark S 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, Jul, 11: Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, NH
Attendance / Capacity: 7989 / 8679
Gross Ticket Sales: $496,740

Sat, Jul, 12: PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
Attendance / Capacity: 9641 / 12700
Gross Ticket Sales: $638,247

Mon, Jul, 14: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY
Attendance / Capacity: 9070 / 10829
Gross Ticket Sales: $733,035

Thu, Jul, 17: Hersheypark Stadium - Hershey, PA
Attendance / Capacity: 9597 / 13153
Gross Ticket Sales: $631,050

Sat, Jul, 19: Nissan Pavilion - Bristow, VA
Attendance / Capacity: 10784 / 14500
Gross Ticket Sales: $684,385

Sun, Jul, 20: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Charlotte, NC
Attendance / Capacity: 8997 / 12517
Gross Ticket Sales: $399,279

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Songs for Tibet tracklist revealed; Rush's Hope to be included
9:36AM EST | link | comments (51) |

UPDATE - 7/31@5:57PM: Power Windows informed me of another nugget of information via the Art of Peace Foundation blog. Apparently the version of Hope used was recorded on May 25, 2008 at the show in Regina, SK.

UPDATE - 7/30@2:30PM: Power Windows just pointed out to me that you can listen to a 55-second sample clip at this link.

UPDATE - 7/30@2:22PM: The version of Hope seems to have been recorded especially for this album. From The Art of Peace Foundation website:

... We also received a recording that Rush just did a few weeks back for us at a concert. Alex Lifeson did a rendition of 'Hope' that really breathes and let's you appreciate the subtleties of the composition. It differs from the studio version in tempo and tone. This was a fantastic contribution on so many levels (our only acoustic instrumental). Personally, I have been a huge Rush fan since my younger years when Alex 'taught' me how to play guitar by trying to imitate his playing for years by listening repeatedly to Rush albums. We received the song coincidentally when Rush was coming to town. I went to the show and got there right when they hit the stage. What a show - over 3 hours of amazing performances, one great song after another. ...

This info was available 4 days ago too. I guess I should have checked their website more closely! Thanks to Rush Fan for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 7/30@10:55AM: From the way it's described in the tracklist (Live for The Art of Peace) it's likely the version on Snakes & Arrows Live.

Just the other day I gave you an update on Rush's involvement with the Songs for Tibet album which is due out in the next couple of weeks. Amazon.com just recently posted the tracklist for the album and Rush's contribution will be the 2-minute acoustic track off of Snakes & Arrows - Hope. Here's the entire tracklist:

Disc: 1

1. Hide & Seek 2 (Imogen Heap)
2. Send Your Love - Art of Peace Remix (Sting)
3. Versions of Violence - Recorded in dressing room in Cologne, Germany (Alanis Morissette)
4. Belief (John Mayer)
5. Better (Regina Spektor)
6. We Are All Made of Stars - 2008 (Moby)
7. Making Noise (Damien Rice & The Cheshire Project)
8. More Than This - Campfire Take (Vanessa Carlton)
9. Nothing Fades- Kosen Rufu Version (Duncan Sheik)
10. Where Are You Going - Live in Barcelona (Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds)

Disc: 2

1. Song Of Sand - Great City Version (Suzanne Vega)
2. All The Good In This Life (Garbage)
3. Hope - Live for The Art of Peace (Rush)
4. Madonna On The Curb - Peace Mix (Jonatha Brooke)
5. In These Times - the Concord Mix (Joan Armatrading)
6. All My Mistakes - Featuring Tarira (Teitur )
7. Alive In The World (Jackson Browne)
8. Better Way - Live in Six Fours les Plage (Ben Harper)
9. The Heart Of The Matter Underlying Mix (Rupert Hine)
10. To Heal - and Restore Broken Bodies (Underworld)

The album project was organized by the Art of Peace Foundation. It will be released on iTunes on August 5, three days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It will then be available through other outlets the following week. You can pre-order it at this link. Thanks to Schuey for the heads up.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Geddy!
8:58AM EST | link | comments (166) |

Geddy then and nowOn this day back in 1953, our favorite singer/bassist - Gary Lee Weinrib (aka Geddy Lee) - was born in Willowdale, Toronto. That makes Geddy 55 years young today! Happy birthday Geddy! May you have many more. Today was also the day that Neil Peart first joined Rush way back in 1974. So we have 2 things to celebrate today.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Update on Rush's involvement with Songs for Tibet
11:27AM EST | link | comments (60) |

UPDATE - 7/30@9:38AM: The tracklist has been revealed and Rush's contribution will be Hope. See this post for details.

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Rush and several other prominent artists would be featured on a new album designed to help bring awareness to the plight of the Tibetan people. The album is titled Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace and was organized by the Art of Peace Foundation. According to the official press release from last week, the album will be released on iTunes on August 5, three days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It will then be available through other outlets the following week. From the press release:

... This album will focus people's attention on the importance of Tibet, the gifts of its culture, and the crisis the Tibetan people are facing today," said one of the album's organisers, Michael Wohl. ... Wohl, from the Art of Peace Foundation, said the timing of the release was deliberate.

"We wanted to express our support for the Tibetan people and their message of peace through music, a fundamental means of expression, at a time when the eyes of the world are on China," he said.

Many groups critical of China's rule of Tibet are seeking to use the Olympics to highlight their concerns and express their support for the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

One group is urging athletes at the Olympics to make a simple T hand signal to indicate support for the Tibetan cause. ...

There is no news on the exact tracklist yet but the product description at Amazon states that it will include ... acoustic recordings - some original for the project and some acoustic recordings of previously released songs .... The cover art is also now available. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rush.com update: The Biggest Fans Part 3
9:53PM EST | link | comments (108) |

The Biggest FansBack in December of last year Rush.com introduced a new video feature called The Biggest Fans. Bizarre as it was humorous, it focused on the now infamous Barbie dolls from Alex Lifeson's stage right setup. Part 2 of the series debuted in late March of this year and the third installment was just posted today. Make sure you check it out and catch up on parts 1 and 2 if you missed them before. Just go to the Multimedia: The Biggest Fans section of Rush.com. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
2:44PM EST | link | comments (142) |

UPDATE - 7/28@1:56PM: Both Borders (thanks Mark S) and chapters.indigo.ca (thanks Rayzer2112) now have December release dates listed for Neil Peart's The Roadshow Illustrated Companion. We'll see I guess.

The party is over ... for now at least. Rush ended their Snakes & Arrows tour last night in Indianapolis. From all the reports the boys were in rare form and very relaxed. During Tom Sawyer they had a bunch of the crew come out and air-drum along with Neil. There are some pics of this in the gallery and Sean also sent me this link to some images from WireImages. The good news is that Rush still has a lot of cool stuff on tap for us in 2008 including the Snakes & Arrows Live DVD DVD, more Rock Band stuff, and the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert.

On the DVD front, if you read my post from earlier today you'll know that the working release date is now November 4th. The band filmed the show in Atlanta on Tuesday in order to capture footage of the 4 new songs played on this leg.

On the Rock Band front, Rush was featured in an amusing video posted at the Colbert Nation site earlier this week. The video contains behind-the-scenes footage from Rush's Colbert Show appearance last week where Geddy, Alex and Neil attempt to play their own song - Tom Sawyer - on the Rock Band video game ... hilarity ensues. You can watch the video here if you haven't seen it yet. The Rush plus Rock Band contest from Atlantic Records that I was sponsoring on RIAB ended this past Monday. The winner was Tommy J - Congrats! The similar contest run through ClearChannel.com is still going on through the weekend and can be entered at this link. This past Tuesday Rush released the alternate-master track vault edition of Working Man on iTunes. If you haven't purchased it yet you can do so at this link. You can also preview the track on YouTube at this link. The track had been released for download for the Rock Band video game a few weeks ago.

On a Rock Band-related note, Rush's The Spirit of Radio is rumored to be one of the featured tracks on the upcoming Guitar Hero World Tour game. This 3rd sequel to the popular Guitar Hero game will be similar to its Rock Band cousin in that it will include the drum and microphone controllers. The game is also slated to have a studio mode where users can create their own tracks. Thanks to showdonttell25 for the heads up.

For my last poll I asked everyone what their favorite question from Rush's Colbert Show interview was. The winner by a substantial margin was the epic song question which took in close to half the vote. In a respectable second was the hall of fame question with 28%, and the kicking ass question made a showing at 14% of the vote. You can view the full results here.

Now that both legs of the tour are over I thought that it would be a good time to compare and contrast the setlists. So did you prefer the 2007 leg setlist (let's assume the one with Distant Early Warning instead of Summertime Blues) or the 2008 setlist? Take the poll and let us know.

Rush announced some details regarding their charitable contribution to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort earlier this week. They'll be participating in Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation and sponsoring the construction of a house in The Lower Ninth Ward dubbed The House that Rush Built. Please help them out if you can. You can submit your donation at this link.

This coming Tuesday, July 29th is a big day in Rush history. Not only will it be Geddy Lee's 55th birthday, it's also the day that Neil Peart joined Rush back in 1974.

Earlier today I let you know that MusicRadar.com posted a nice little interview with Alex Lifeson yesterday. You can read it here.

Neil Peart has had a book in the works for some time now which is basically a photographic companion to his Roadshow book. The publisher release date according to Amazon.com is today - July 25th - but it's still listed as pre-order only. And there's no reference to it at all on the publisher's website (Rounder Books). So it seems to be in some state of limbo currently. Neil has also updated the introductory video on his website at NeilPeart.net. Instead of him playing the drums throughout different eras of the band, it is now a video of him riding his motorcycle. Thanks to timbale and Nettie for the heads up.

The 2009 Rush Wall Calendar is now available to order via the NMR Distribution site at this link. I assume it will also soon be available at the Rush Backstage Club too. Thanks to plunge for the heads up.

Reader djchachi let me know that on the VH1 Rock Honors page they are taking votes to determine the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. Rush's Tom Sawyer is on the list although they unfortunately have the band's name listed as Tom Sawyer and the song as Rush. :) So go vote for Rush!

Here's a humorous posting at the Classic Rock magazine site which talks about the current whereabouts of Rush's old kimono stage costumes from the 2112 era. They apparently are claiming (jokingly I assume) that they now belong to this interesting Japanese Band called Onmyo-Za. :) Thanks to GRgreg for the link.

And I leave you this week with this amazing video of an 11-year-old performing YYZ ... all by herself. Thanks to main monkey butler for the heads up.

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Rush DVD status update; tentative November 4th release
12:10PM EST | link | comments (39) |

If you read Tuesday night's Atlanta open thread, you already know that the band filmed the show. Despite some very inclement weather (2 inches of hail and 80mph winds!) which caused a slight delay (8:30 instead of 8:00), there was a huge crowd on hand and Rush had a number of HD cameras from FogoLabs in place. The main purpose for the filming was to capture video of the new songs - Red Barchetta, The Trees, Ghost of a Chance, 2112, and Neil's drum solo for bonus footage on the upcoming DVD, but the entire show was filmed for posterity. There were two very large swinging boom HD cameras on either end back by the end of the seated section just before the lawn. Those swung back and forth for the entire show. There were two manned stationary cameras on the side of either far section (one for Geddy and one for Alex). They had two cameras behind Neil with one attached to his kit, one camera on top of a pole over where the sound board was located and Alex had a stationary camera at his feet. There were also two on platforms near the spotlights on the roof in the back. These were all in addition to the standard in-house cameras in the photo pit. Apparently the footage was to head immediately back to FogoLabs for processing after the show so it could be ready for the DVD - which now has a working release date of November 4th if all goes according to schedule. Alex and Geddy will be taking the next several weeks off before putting their attention towards adding their finishing touches to the DVD and Neil is working on the packaging.

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New Alex Lifeson interview at MusicRadar.com
7:16AM EST | link | comments (23) |

[MusicRadar interview: Rush's Alex Lifeson]

MusicRadar.com posted a nice little interview with Alex Lifeson yesterday. There's not any new information or breaking news in the article, but it's a good interview nonetheless. On the band being cool again Alex says:

..."It's a fabulous time in my life," ... "The thing is, I don't take anything for granted anymore - my family, my music, you name it. Middle age is working just fine for me - and the band."... "When I hear the sound of the new album, I feel like we're a new band," ... "Every note we play has a purpose. The thing is, we've experienced so much. A lot of bad, sure, but mostly great things. And we have the best fans in the world. We never lose sight of the fact that ever second of music we make is something they're going to listen to. We take that very seriously - even if we have a lot of fun doing it. "...

And when asked if there's ever been a good slugfest between members of the band Alex answers:

"No, no, no! But it's come close. We don't always see eye to eye; we squabble. Back in the old days when we were touring ten or twelve months out of the year, my God, you get sick of each other; the slightest little thing one guy does can just set you off. But at those times when we do fight, five minutes later we're saying, 'Shit, I'm sorry, man.' We love each other, we love hanging out together, and we really love playing music together - after all these years."

Read the whole interview at this link. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Indianapolis open thread
9:56AM EST | link | comments (216) |

UPDATE - 7/31@10:57AM: Reader tst4eko uploaded over 1000 pics from the Indianapolis show to photobucket. You can view them at this link.

UPDATE - 7/28@7:45AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section (thanks Punter).

This is it. Rush's Snakes & Arrows tour comes to an end tonight. We went through this before last October on the first leg, but it was different then; we knew at the time that they'd be back on tour in another 6 months or so. The next time Rush will be touring it should be in support of a new album and will likely be in the 2010 timeframe at the earliest. So for everyone going tonight have a blast and make sure to tell the boys Thanks! for another great tour.

Date/Time: Thursday, July 24th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 49
Venue: Verizon Wireless Music Center
Place: Noblesville, IN

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

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rush plays Rock Band!
9:52PM EST | link | comments (204) |

UPDATE - 7/24@9:22PM: It's on Youtube here and hereRushman204)

UPDATE - 7/24@9:20AM: I was wrong about the vid just being available in the US. It seems that just about everybody can see it except ... Canada. Ironic, eh? Anyways, reader tst4eko has made an flv (flash video) file of the clip available at this link. Once downloaded, you can get a free flash video player to play the clip at this link.

UPDATE - 7/23@9:19AM: Unfortunately the vid only seems to be available to folks in the US. If anyone can find some alternate links for our international viewers, let me know.

Today Rush released the alternate-master track vault edition of Working Man on iTunes. If you haven't purchased it yet you can do so at this link. You can also preview the track on YouTube at this link. The track had been released for download for the Rock Band video game a few weeks ago. Speaking of which, Rush was on the Colbert Show last week and the Colbert Nation fansite just posted some behind-the-scenes video footage from the show where Geddy, Alex and Neil attempt to play their own song - Tom Sawyer - on the Rock Band game. It's very funny - they don't do so well. :) You can watch the video at this link or view it below. Thanks to Stewart for the heads up.

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Atlanta open thread
12:53PM EST | link | comments (71) |

UPDATE - 7/24@12:13PM: Pics from the load-in are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 7/22@9:57PM: I just added an image that RUSHnATL sent me of the official posted notice from FogoLabs that filming was going on.

UPDATE - 7/22@9:21PM: Reader RUSHnATL is at the show and tells me that there are several HD cameras on hand. He's spoken with the camera operators and they say that they are mainly filming new songs possibly for bonus footage on the upcoming Rotterdam DVD.

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 22nd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 48
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Place: Alpharetta, GA

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

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Rush New Orleans charity update: The House that Rush Built
4:45PM EST | link | comments (125) |

Back in April Rush announced that they would donate $100,000 of the profits from their April 20th show in New Orleans to assist in the continuation of revitalizing the city post Katrina. The details of this assistance weren't given at the time, but the band just announced via Rush.com that they decided to support Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation and sponsor the construction of a house in The Lower Ninth Ward dubbed The House that Rush Built. Here's some background on the Foundation from their website:

In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment. ... The group settled on the goal of constructing 150 homes (one of the larger rebuilding projects in the city), with an emphasis on developing an affordable system that could be replicated. Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, proving that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hopes that this project would be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans

To make a donation go to this link and click on the Donate Now button on the left side of the page. This brings you to a Donation Check Out page. To donate specifically to The House that Rush Built choose this selection from the pull down menu on Part 2 of the form under Team Sponsored Home Options. To see how The House that Rush Built is doing in comparison with the other teams, go to this page. Rush's house is currently way out in front due to their $100,000 initial donation. Let's all help them get to that $150,000 mark! Any amount - even $5 - is welcome. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.

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Working Man vault edition to be released on iTunes tomorrow
9:39AM EST | link | comments (55) |

UPDATE - 7/22@9:42PM: To purchase the song just go to this link at iTunes.

According to a news posting on Rush.com the alternate-master track vault edition of Working Man that was made available for the Rock Band video game 2 weeks ago will be available for download via iTunes tomorrow:

By popular demand Rush will release "Working Man" (Vault addition) on iTunes available for download July 22nd, 2008.

The version features a never before heard guitar solo that Alex Lifeson did during the original recordings back in the 70's. The song was re-mixed by Rich Chycki who is known for his work on R30 and Snakes & Arrows.

A great addition to the Rush song library!

Cool. You can watch a video interview with Alex and Geddy where they discuss the track at this location. And if you don't want to wait until tomorrow to hear the song, you can listen to it on YouTube at this link.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charlotte open thread
11:21AM EST | link | comments (113) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:30PM: Attendance / Capacity: 8997 / 12517
Gross Ticket Sales: 399279

UPDATE - 7/24@12:10PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Sunday, July 20th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 47
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Place: Charlotte, NC

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

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bristow open thread
10:43AM EST | link | comments (105) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:30PM: Attendance / Capacity: 10784 / 14500
Gross Ticket Sales: 684385

UPDATE - 7/24@12:09PM: Here's a review from Fredericksburg.com. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Saturday, July 19th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 46
Venue: Nissan Pavilion
Place: Bristow, VA

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reviews: [reviews]

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:33AM EST | link | comments (115) |

We're down to the final week of the Snakes & Arrows tour; only 4 more dates to go! Rush will head south to play Bristow, Charlotte and Alpharetta in the coming days, and then on to Indianapolis to close out the tour. I now have tour attendance figures for nearly all the dates through the July 7th Mohegan Sun show (I'm just missing the 4 Western Canada dates and Milwaukee). You can check out all the details in this post or over in the tour section. We also learned last week that Pollstar ranked the Rush tour as the 12th highest grossing of 2008 thus far. Attendance has definitely picked up since the summer started.

One tour-related tidbit that I'd forgotten to mention in last week's update was that some 3-D Cameras were spotted at last Wednesday's show in Toronto. According to this thread at Counterparts a company called 3-D Camera Company had approached Rush about field-testing some new 3-D cameras at this show and Rush was allowing them access. Apparently the cameras were utilized during Far Cry, The Spirit of Radio, Tom Sawyer, and YYZ. There was no immediate word as to if or when the footage would see the light of day though. Reader Chris S sent me a couple pics of the cameras which you can check out by clicking the above thumbnails.

The big news of the week was - of course - Rush's live performance on the Colbert Report Wednesday night; their first US television appearance since 1975. The last time they were on American TV was back in 1975 on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert where they played Finding My Way, In The Mood and Best I Can. Also notable was the fact that all 3 band members were interviewed together by Stephen Colbert before their performance. I can't remember the last time that happened. If you haven't watched it yet you can view it at the Comedy Central website, over at YouTube or at RedLasso. It's apparently available for purchase on iTunes too. You can also check out the thumbnail images above courtesy The Diesel and several other great behind-the-scenes pics were taken by Rush roadie Jack Secret and posted up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section in a gallery called Jack Secret Presents... .

The interview that Stephen Colbert did with all 3 members of the band Wednesday night was absolutely hilarious (watch it here). So for my poll this week I thought I'd ask everyone which question from the interview was your favorite. Take the poll and let us know.

In my last poll I asked everyone what they thought about Rush's heavy involvement with the Rock Band video game as of late. The vast majority (about 3/4) of you thought it was really cool and great for the band while another 11% thought it was sorta cool. About 10% were either indifferent or couldn't care less, and a mere 4% said that it was stupid.

Speaking of Rush and Rock Band, I had a few updates to report on that front earlier in the week. Rock Band 2 will definitely include Rush's The Trees as one of the featured tracks, and the New York Times ran a story on the game last week which mentioned Rush and contained some quotes from Anthem's Andy Curran. You can also now listen to the alternate master track of Working Man for the game at this YouTube link. Also on the Rock Band 2 subject, reader DarrenL pointed me to this Rush Rock Band 2 wish list at IGN.com. The authors discuss the 10 Rush tracks that we'd damn near kill to have featured on Rock Band 2. The list: In The Mood, Fly By Night, Freewill, New World Man, Red Barchetta, The Spirit of Radio, Territories, The Body Electric, Bastille Day, and A Passage to Bangkok. I'm all for it. :)

And don't forget that I've teamed up with Atlantic Records to help promote a Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes that they are running where you could win a prize pack including a Rock Band Special Edition game, a signed Rush lithograph, a Rush t-shirt, Snakes & Arrows and Snakes & Arrows Live! The contest runs through July 21st and you can visit this page to enter. Rush and Rock Band are also teaming up with ClearChannel.com to offer a similar contest which you can enter at this link.

Last week I let you know that Rush and several other top musical artists including Sting, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Alanis Morissette and Moby will be featured on an album titled, Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace. The album is an expression of peace and support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama and was produced by former Rush producer Rupert Hine (Presto, Roll the Bones). It can be pre-ordered at Amazon at this link.

Wednesday I reported that this month's Live Design magazine contains an interview with Rush production designer and director Howard Ungerleider titled A Day In The Life. The article describes the Snakes & Arrows stage show in painstaking detail and Howard offers up some neat little anecdotes as well. Check it out here.

The August 2008 issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine has Rush gracing the cover and includes a big 7-page feature on the band. The cover tagline reads Rush. Surviving tragedy. Defying fashion. Rock's uncoolest band take on the world. Again. Thanks to Gaumont77 for the heads up and the cover shot.

Be sure to check out all the new Rush oddities and rarities from MitA that I posted earlier today.

Reader snowdog987 alerted me to a list of the Top 25 AOR (album-oriented rock) bands of the 1970s and 80s over at Yahoo's Music Blog. Rush made the list coming in at #5. Here's what they said:

One of the most critically dismissed bands of all-time, mostly because drummer Neil Peart wrote painfully serious lyrics that scanned like they came from a sociology textbook that were then delivered by a singer who sounded like Daffy Duck shrieking on helium. Rush were actually very good at what they do--and over 30 years later sound better than just about any hard rock band that has emerged in their wake. What to make of that?

Reader and photographer Richard Pecjak made this really impressive photo collage of the Red Rocks show. You can check it out by clicking the thumbnail to your right. If anyone wants a higher-res version, let me know.

Here's a humorous blog post from life coach Tripp Lanier where he discusses shame and how it relates to his being a huge Rush fan. Check it out here. Thanks to HankMadison for the link.

Reader Lance the Shred is at it again. He's created another tribute video to the readers of RushIsABand.com. In this one he gives a shout-out to all the regular RIAB peeps and demonstrates his air-drumming prowess to the beat of Rush's Malignant Narcissism. Check it out here.

Reader Victor S wanted me to ask everyone to help support his friend and fellow Rush fan Matt Callow as he embarks on a bicycle journey from London to Paris next week to help raise money for charity. From Matt's website:

...this July I am cycling from London to Paris, and if that doesn't kill me I am sure that it will make me a little bit stronger, at least.

Having been the very grateful recipient of a couple of hip replacements in my early twenties, I am going to do this for two reasons:

Firstly, to show you what you can do after having bi-lateral hip replacements (even if you're a previously sedentary bloke in his (late...) 30's);

And

Secondly, to raise some much needed money for a phenomenal charity. Action Medical Research does some incredible work, the positive results of which affect each and every one of us. Please take your time to have a look at their website and read about all of the areas that work in - I bet you know at least two people who have been directly affected by some of conditions that they are working on. ...

To sponsor Matt in his endeavor go to this link and for more information on Action Medical Research check out their website here. Good luck Matt!

In one of my updates from early last month I mentioned how Rush was selling 4GB flash drives at their shows which were preloaded with the R30 version of Red Sector A (which was not included on the R30 DVD) in multistream Quicktime format. I just located the video on YouTube which you can check out here. I've also included it below:

Have a great weekend everyone!

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New Rush oddities and rarities from MitA
10:17AM EST | link | comments (21) |

It's been a long time but MusicInTheAbstract - owner and operator of the MitA's Rush Oddities site - has several new Rush rarities to share with us all. In the audio department we have Alex playing La Villa sans effects, Geddy's bass in Red Barchetta isolated from a live recording, hidden rhythm guitar from Lessons, an Alex live technical goof from Show Don't Tell, an isolate mellotron french horn solo from Tears, and Alex playing Mission live isolated sans effects. You can listen to them by clicking the links provided or by using the player below. In the photograph department we have several early photos of Rush live here, here, here and here. And this photo of Neil with his pre-Rush band J.R. Flood. Thanks MitA!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hershey open thread
1:26PM EST | link | comments (50) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:30PM: Attendance / Capacity: 9597 / 13153
Gross Ticket Sales: 631050

UPDATE - 7/24@12:09PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 7/20@8:49AM: Here's a great story from LancasterOnline about Rush fan and MS patient Pat Burns' first Rock concert; Rush's show in Hershey.

UPDATE - 7/18@9:44AM: Here's a review from The Patriot-News (thanks RushableKingdom).

Date/Time: Thursday, July 17th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 45
Venue: Hersheypark Stadium
Place: Hershey, PA

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reviews: [reviews]

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Colbert Report open thread number 2
10:46AM EST | link | comments (342) |

UPDATE - 7/18@12:51PM: You can watch the intro to last night's show where Stephen wakes up to Rush still playing at this link.

UPDATE - 7/17@10:06PM: Word has it that Rush will also be on at the beginning of tonight's Colbert Report too. For those of you who watched it last night (who didn't?!) you'll know that the show ended with Stephen putting on his nightcap and bedding down on his desk with a pillow and blanket while Rush played on. Reader brmperc was at the taping at tells me that tonight's show will begin with the band finishing up the song as Stephen wakes up. :)

UPDATE - 7/17@5:16PM: Several great pics from the Colbert Show appearance were taken by Rush roadie Jack Secret and posted up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section. The gallery is titled Jack Secret Presents... . Thanks to Nicecoldbeer for the heads up.

UPDATE - 7/17@2:21PM: Apparently The Colbert Bump is for real; the #7 top search term on Yahoo today is Rush (thanks vitalsigns). Reader Dusk86 also tells me that the episode is now available to purchase at iTunes.

Since you guys seem to want to chit-chat more about last night's appearance on the Colbert Report, I thought I'd open up another thread. Have at it!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rush live appearance on the Colbert Report open thread
4:46PM EST | link | comments (502) |

UPDATE - 7/18@12:51PM: You can watch the intro to last night's show where Stephen wakes up to Rush still playing at this link.

UPDATE - 7/17@10:07PM: Word has it that Rush will also be on at the beginning of tonight's Colbert Report too. For those of you who watched it last night (who didn't?!) you'll know that the show ended with Stephen putting on his nightcap and bedding down on his desk with a pillow and blanket while Rush played on. Reader brmperc was at the taping at tells me that tonight's show will begin with the band finishing up the song as Stephen wakes up. :)

UPDATE - 7/17@5:16PM: Several great pics from the Colbert Show appearance were taken by Rush roadie Jack Secret and posted up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section. The gallery is titled Jack Secret Presents... . Thanks to Nicecoldbeer for the heads up.

UPDATE - 7/17@2:22PM: Apparently The Colbert Bump is for real; the #7 top search term on Yahoo today is Rush (thanks vitalsigns). Reader Dusk86 also tells me that the episode is now available to purchase at iTunes.

UPDATE - 7/17@10:43AM: The show is now posted up on the Comedy Central website - with better quality than the YouTube vids. Reader brmperc was lucky enough to attend the taping of the show and tells me that Rush will also be on tonight's show for a few seconds; not sure in what capacity as of yet, but I assume it'll be some taped clip that they'll incorporate into one of their comedy bits. And The Diesel sent me some great pics from the taping including some closeups of Stephen's autographed hand. Just click on the thumbnails above to see the full-size images.

UPDATE - 7/17@8:49AM: Looks like we maxed out the comments on this thread! Here's the interview and performance thanks to the wonders of YouTube the internet:

And here's the first segment of the show:

[VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE]

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 7/17@12:08AM: So not only was this their first live TV performance in ages... it also was the first video interview with all three members since ... I have no idea offhand - but it's been a long time. The interview questions and answers were hilarious too, and Neil was really into it. My favorite question from Stephen: Have you ever written a song so epic that by the end of the song you were actually being influenced by yourself in the beginning of the song? Jimmy asked if they could sign his host, so all three guys signed Stephen's hand. Then Neil quips I better not see that on eBay. Good stuff. Then they played Tom Sawyer. It was very strange seeing them play on a TV stage, but I think they pulled it off well. They didn't have time to finish the whole song. After the final break they were still playing and Stephen closes out the show, puts on his nightcap, gets a blanket and pillow and feigns sleeping.

UPDATE - 7/16@11:50PM: Oh my God. He's interviewing all three of them!!

UPDATE - 7/16@11:48PM: I'm watching the show right now and it's the second commercial break. When the show opened they replaced Stephen's theme song (his Anthem as he called it) with Limelight. Stephen then complained to his director Jimmy (the huge Rush fan) about it and told him to play his Anthem. So Jimmy plays a snippet of the Anthem video. Then there's a lot of back-and-forth between Stephen and Jimmy - who keeps breaking into the show with Rush-related graphics and video; like a shot of Neil's drumkit backstage, or covering up Stephen with a picture of Rush. Stephen also makes a couple of jokes regarding Rush not appearing on TV in 30 years and how they'll sell more records because of The Colbert Bump. After coming back from the break, Stephen begins to recite the lyrics to By-tor and the Snow Dog because Jimmy put them in the teleprompter. This is awesome...

As I'd mentioned yesterday, tonight Rush will be performing on television for the first time in over 30 years with a one-song live performance on Comedy Central's Colbert Report! This is big deal folks so I thought I'd create a thread especially to celebrate this occasion. Make sure to set your VCRs and DVRs. The show airs tonight at 11:30 PM EST and will replay tomorrow at 1:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:30 PM and 8:30PM. It should also be up on the Comedy Central website a day or so after airing. All that's known at this point is that the band will be performing Tom Sawyer. It's not clear whether they'll be taking part in any other aspect of the show like an interview or skit. It should be a good time. You can read the official AP press release at this location.

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New Howard Ungerleider interview in Live Design magazine
3:12PM EST | link | comments (34) |

[A Day In The Life]

This month's Live Design magazine contains an interview with Rush production designer and director (and official Mai Tai / Mint Julep maker) Howard Ungerleider titled A Day In The Life. The article describes the Snakes & Arrows stage show in painstaking detail and Howard offers up some neat little anecdotes as well:

... Ungerleider experienced a rather significant déjà vu during the formative phase of this production. "When I originally designed the Snakes and Arrows system, I hadn't yet heard the name of the album, so it was kind of bizarre that the truss that I designed was based on curves," he says, adding that he has been experimenting with curves over the past four years after reading an article about a new curved glass that architects are using in buildings. "I wondered what the effect would be if I put automated fixtures in that same configuration, so I did some experimenting over at my shop, and it worked really well. I decided to make this S-shaped concave truss with a convex section," he says. "I showed Geddy, and he loved it. I then asked if he had a copy of the album for me, and when he handed me the Snakes and Arrows cover, it kind of freaked me out!" ... After 34 years, one must assume Ungerleider has acquired some serious job security with Rush. "The guys in the band have complete faith in what I do, and we know each other well," he comments. "We actually hang out when we're off the road, and I have freedom to pursue other projects when I'm not touring with them. As much as I love this gig, I also enjoy working on other projects; it gives me an opportunity to get away and into many different camps and come up with new fresh ideas. I think differently for each band I work with. Again, my whole thing is about uniqueness." ...

Thanks to Mike Q for the heads up.

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Tour attendance and sales figures update
1:26PM EST | link | comments (38) |

UPDATE - 7/16@3:31PM: Thanks to Sean we now also have the Jacksonville numbers. I added it in to the post below and adjusted where appropriate.

Thurs, April 17, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Attendance / Capacity: 6271 / 12234
Gross Ticket Sales: 341025

----- snip -----

The official Billboard Boxscore attendance and sales figures for 13 14 more dates were released today. All the shows from the June 7th show in Kansas City through the July 7th Mohegan Sun show plus Jacksonville have reported numbers with the exception of Milwaukee. 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. The new least-attended show for the tour is now the Atlantic City date with only 4,327 tickets sold. With the new numbers, the average attendance for reported dates has been 7,853 7,808 tickets sold out of 9,918 9,985 available and the average gross sales has been $520,286 $515,164. We are still missing data from the April 17th Jacksonville show, the 4 late-May Canadian dates and the Milwaukee date, but otherwise all the data through July 7th has been reported. Many thanks to Mark S for providing the numbers. I've added the figures to the tour section, each individual show's open thread and also repeated them here.

Thurs, April 17, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Attendance / Capacity: 6271 / 12234
Gross Ticket Sales: 341025

Sat, Jun, 7: Starlight Theatre - Kansas City, MO
Attendance / Capacity: 6339 / 7733
Gross Ticket Sales: 373564

Mon, Jun, 9: United Center - Chicago, IL
Attendance / Capacity: 10600 / 10863
Gross Ticket Sales: 802843

Tue, Jun, 10: Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, MI
Attendance / Capacity: 8744 / 13835
Gross Ticket Sales: 571309

Thu, Jun, 12: Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
Attendance / Capacity: 7575 / 9468
Gross Ticket Sales: 655450

Sat, Jun, 14: Wachovia Center - Philadelphia, PA
Attendance / Capacity: 9801 / 12017
Gross Ticket Sales: 662621

Sun, Jun, 15: Comcast Center - Mansfield, MA
Attendance / Capacity: 8263 / 10734
Gross Ticket Sales: 617859

Wed, Jun, 25: Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO
Attendance / Capacity: 8412 / 8412
Gross Ticket Sales: 672514

Sat, Jun, 28: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St. Louis, MO
Attendance / Capacity: 9744 / 12000
Gross Ticket Sales: 443455

Mon, Jun, 30: Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH
Attendance / Capacity: 7894 / 10000
Gross Ticket Sales: 419600

Wed, Jul, 2: Post Gazette Pavilion - Pittsburgh, PA
Attendance / Capacity: 8190 / 12500
Gross Ticket Sales: 329076

Fri, Jul, 4: Marc Etess Arena - Atlantic City, NJ
Attendance / Capacity: 4327 / 5256
Gross Ticket Sales: 365252

Sat, Jul, 5: Saratoga Performing Arts Center - Saratoga Springs, NY
Attendance / Capacity: 9202 / 13633
Gross Ticket Sales: 490540

Mon, Jul, 7: Mohegan Sun - Uncasville, CT
Attendance / Capacity: 6619 / 7514
Gross Ticket Sales: 455230

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rush live performance on The Colbert Report?
10:58AM EST | link | comments (233) |

Rush on Colbert Report[Rush to make rare TV performance on 'Colbert']

UPDATE - 7/15@2:38PM: It's official. This Associated Press news release confirms their appearance tomorrow:

Rush will be appearing on "The Colbert Report," and it's not Limbaugh.

The Canadian band Rush, which hasn't performed on U.S. television in more than three decades, will play their classic "Tom Sawyer" on the Comedy Central show Wednesday (11:30 p.m. EST). The Geddy Lee-led trio, which is currently on tour, hasn't played on U.S. television since 1975. ...

Thanks to John for the heads up.

----- snip -----

Rush has a couple of days off before Thursday's show in Hershey. I have it on good authority that they'll be spending these days off in New York City. Why you say? One likely reason is that Geddy Lee will be attending tonight's All-star Game at Yankee Stadium. But the other rumored reason is that Rush will be taping an episode of the Colbert Report on Wednesday! I'm hearing that they're booked to make a one song (Tom Sawyer) appearance as a spoof on the whole Rush / Rush Limbaugh name confusion. Colbert has had fun with this subject in the past (see this post) and the show's director is a big Rush fan, so it's certainly plausible. If this rumor is true, it would be Rush's first live performance of this sort that I'm aware of. They've never done these type of one or two song live performances in the past that are typical of late night shows such as the Tonight Show, Late Night or Saturday Night Live. More as I learn it. Hopefully there's some truthiness to this rumor. :)

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Rush and Rock Band news updates
2:50PM EST | link | comments (60) |

I have a few news updates on the Rush and Rock Band front to report. Last week I reported the rumor that Rock Band 2 would include Rush's The Trees as one of the featured tracks. This is no longer a rumor; the entire tracklist for the game was revealed just a couple of hours ago via the Rock Band forums and The Trees is on it. You can check out the entire list at this link. Thanks to Lennox2288 for the heads up.

There's an article in today's New York Times talking about how video games such as Rock Band are increasingly being used to market music. Rush is mentioned and Andy Curran of Anthem was interviewed for the piece:

... Rock Band has been an especially important promotional vehicle for bands that no longer get the radio play they once did. "On the last tour we started seeing young people who had heard of the band from Guitar Hero and Rock Band," said Andy Curran, an executive at Anthem Records, the record company for the band Rush. So Rush gave Rock Band an alternate version of its song "Working Man," which proved so popular that the group is now thinking of making it available through Apple's iTunes store. It is also talking with MTV about selling a full album through Rock Band, Mr. Curran said, as well as some other projects. ...

Thanks to Sidecut for the heads up.

Last week master track versions of Working Man and Closer to the Heart were made available for download for the game. The Working Man track is especially notable because it includes an alternate guitar solo. Alex Lifeson discussed the origins of this alternate-master track in this video interview that was posted on the Rock Band website last week. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube you can listen to the track at this location or watch the video below.

And don't forget that I've teamed up with Atlantic Records to help promote a Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes that they are running where you could win a prize pack including a Rock Band Special Edition game, a signed Rush lithograph, a Rush t-shirt, Snakes & Arrows and Snakes & Arrows Live! The contest runs through July 21st and you can visit this page to enter. Rush and Rock Band are also teaming up with ClearChannel.com to offer a similar contest which you can enter at this link.

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Jones Beach open thread
12:06PM EST | link | comments (15) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:29PM: Attendance / Capacity: 9070 / 10829
Gross Ticket Sales: 733035

UPDATE - 7/17@5:13PM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Monday, July 14th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 44
Venue: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Place: Wantagh, NY

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

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Happy Bastille Day!
10:30AM EST | link | comments (30) |

Bastille DayHappy Bastille Day everybody! On this day back in 1789 Parisians stormed the Bastille (pictured), freeing its inmates and taking the prison's large quantities of arms and ammunition, thereby setting in motion the French Revolution. More importantly, back in 1975 Rush decided to write a song about it. There's no bread, let them eat cake!

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth
But they're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Free the dungeons of the innocent
The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

And we're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Sing, o choirs of cacophony
The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise.

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine - claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
Power isn't all that money buys

- Rush, Bastille Day from Caress of Steel

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Holmdel open thread
11:06AM EST | link | comments (126) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:29PM: Attendance / Capacity: 9641 / 12700
Gross Ticket Sales: 638247

UPDATE - 7/15@11:50AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Saturday, July 12th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 43
Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center
Place: Holmdel, NJ

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

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Rush to be included on Songs for Tibet
9:10AM EST | link | comments (81) |

According to this story on Sting's website, Rush and several other top musical artists including Sting, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Alanis Morissette and Moby will be featured on an album titled, Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace. From the story:

... The project is the artists' expression of peace and support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

The album features acoustic songs recorded by the artists that are proactive celebrations of our shared humanity and common search for happiness. The songs themselves reflect the sublime beauty and vulnerabilities experienced in pursuit of happiness, peace and freedom.

The album will release August 5th, three days before the opening of the Summer Olympics. ...

It's not clear whether the tracks will be previously released tracks from the artists or specially recorded for this album. Songs for Tibet is being produced by former Rush producer Rupert Hine (Presto, Roll the Bones) and can be pre-ordered through Amazon. Thanks to Paul from Toronto for the heads up.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Manchester open thread
12:34PM EST | link | comments (44) |

UPDATE - 7/30@3:29PM: Attendance / Capacity: 7989 / 8679
Gross Ticket Sales: 496740

UPDATE - 7/15@11:50AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Friday, July 11th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 42
Venue: Verizon Wireless Arena
Place: Manchester, NH

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

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Rush tour 12th highest grossing of 2008 so far
11:09AM EST | link | comments (26) |

Pollstar has released their Top 100 Tours chart for the first six months of North American concert tours in 2008. Rush comes in at #12 with $18.3 million in gross sales and an average ticket price of $66.20. Not bad at all. Taking the top 3 spots were Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Van Halen respectively. You can check out the complete list at this link (PDF file). I'm still waiting on more official Billboard tour attendance figures on a show-by-show basis. As soon as I get some I'll let you know. Thanks to mcsontos for the heads up.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:53PM EST | link | comments (122) |

UPDATE - 7/11@10:22AM: Reader Gabe sent me a link to this Flickr photo gallery which contains a bunch of motorcycle pics including a few of Neil Peart, Dave the bus driver and Michael Mosbach visiting the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Just check out the last couple rows of pics on the first page and the first row on the second page. I included thumbnails of some of the more notable ones. The photos were taken on July 1st so they must have stopped there on their way to the Pittsburgh show.

Since today is an off-day for the tour I thought I'd once again post my updates and other random Rush stuff a day early this week. Rush played the hometown yesterday and will hit New Hampshire and New Jersey over the weekend. Then there's only 6 dates left after that! They'll hit Jones Beach, Hershey, Bristow, Charlotte, Alpharetta and then close things out with the rescheduled show in Indianapolis on July 24th. Then we'll just have to wait until the Rotterdam Live DVD comes out this fall. Speaking of which, the latest rumor I'm hearing is that the DVD will be released on Blu-ray!

There's been a lot of news lately in regards to Rush and the video game Rock Band. In addition to the game including Tom Sawyer as a featured track, they've also made versions of Limelight and Working Man available for download for the game. And we also recently learned that Moving Pictures would be the next album available for download while master track versions of Working Man and Closer to the Heart were released for the game earlier this week. And just a few days ago we heard that The Trees is rumored to be one of the featured tracks included with Rock Band 2, due out in September. There's also the first part of an interview with Alex and Geddy up on the Rock Band website (at Rush.com also). Geddy and Alex are interviewed by Rock Band representative Brett Milano about the game, the upcoming release of the alternate-master track version of Working Man (with an alternate solo) for the game, the early days of Rush, and the making of the first album. The interview runs about 5 and a half minutes. I've teamed up with Atlantic Records to help promote a Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes that they are running where you could win a prize pack including a Rock Band Special Edition game, a signed Rush lithograph, a Rush t-shirt, Snakes & Arrows and Snakes & Arrows Live! The contest runs through July 21st and you can visit this page to enter. Rush and Rock Band are also teaming up with ClearChannel.com to offer a similar contest which you can enter at this link.

With all this talk of Rock Band, for my next poll I thought I'd ask you all what you thought about Rush's involvement with the game. So, what's your opinion? Take the poll and let us know.

In my last poll I asked everyone what they thought about the recent Rolling Stone feature story on Rush. The vast majority (about 3/4) of you thought it was either really cool or sorta cool. A good chunk (13.5%) still thought it was stupid and the rest of you were either indifferent or couldn't care less. Speaking of the Rolling Stone story, RollingStone.com has posted an excerpt from the article online here. They also posted some additional Rush-related content including their complete album by album guide to Rush and this very interesting Rush vs. Rolling Stone Qualitative Analysis where the magazine tries to counter (not too successfully) the argument that Rolling Stone hates Rush.

Be sure to check out the video at Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush Video section where Howard Ungerleider discusses his famous Mint Julep. And also check out this post to see some pictures of the bike and drum kit that Neil Peart recently donated to the MotoStars: Celebrities and Motorcycles exhibit at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio.

Eric over at Power Windows gave me the heads up that the current issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine includes a Buyers Guide To Rush where author Neil Jeffries breaks down Rush's album catalog into 4 categories. According to him the Essential: Classics are Moving Pictures & 2112; the Superior albums are Permanent Waves, A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres and Signals; albums that are Good: Worth Exploring are Power Windows, Roll The Bones, and Snakes & Arrows; and Feedback is the one album to Avoid.

Donna Halper was recently interviewed by the Patriot Ledger for an article which ran in yesterday's edition titled Quincy woman still promoting Rush 34 years after discovering band. Donna is the woman credited for discovering Rush while working at WMMS in Cleveland back in 1974. In the interview she talks about how she discovered the band and her ongoing friendship with them. Also mentioned are her successful efforts to get Rush a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thanks to Donna Halper herself for the heads up on the article. And if you missed it, be sure to check out Donna's essay at Opednews.com from a couple weeks back.

Andy Olson has made a bunch of updates to his Neil Peart fansite and rather than list them all here, just go check them out for yourself. Andy has arguably the best Neil Peart fansite out there.

I received a few emails about a minor Rush sighting on ESPN's Sports Center the other night. Neil Everett was introducing an arena football highlight and said ... Grand Rapids and Rush, not Geddy, Alex and Neil but the Chicago Rush... Thanks to mong821 for the info.

Reader Laura H asked me to let everyone know about a new Wiki site for Rush at Fanhistory.com. She's asking for fans to help contribute to the article and document the history of the band's fandom. Help out if you can.

Reader eddievanlerxst2112 wanted me to let everyone know about a fantasy football league specifically for Rush fans. He's inviting everyone to join. Just go to this link and use the ID 117827 with password limelight1.

Reader closertotheheart alerted me to this list of the top 15 rock instrumentals at The Rock Czar. Rush's La Villa Strangiato is #1 with YYZ coming in at #9.

And last but not least, Rush is up against Iron Maiden in the finals for Best Live Band at the Greatest of All Time Blog. So ... go vote for Rush!

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Toronto open thread
12:45PM EST | link | comments (88) |

UPDATE - 8/28@5:30PM: Attendance / Capacity: 15,949 / 15,949
Gross Ticket Sales: $900,480

UPDATE - 7/15@11:50AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 7/12@10:41AM: Here's a review from the Globe and Mail (thanks Paul D).

UPDATE - 7/10@10:22AM: Here's a review from the Toronto Sun (thanks Armeee).

Rush is back in their hometown of Toronto tonight to play the Molson Amphitheatre. RushCon 8 also kicked off yesterday at the Days Inn in downtown Toronto and will run through tomorrow. For everyone at RushCon and/or going to the show tonight - have a blast!

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 9th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 41
Venue: Molson Amphitheatre
Place: Toronto, ON

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

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes
4:21PM EST | link | comments (65) |

[Enter the Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes 2008]

UPDATE - 7/8@3:38PM: In addition to the sweepstakes detailed below, Rush and Rock Band are also teaming up with ClearChannel.com to offer a similar contest which you can enter at this link.

UPDATE - 7/8@2:28PM: The interview is also posted on the Rock Band website. Apparently the interviewer is Brett Milano and this is just the first of a multi-part interview. Here's their little writeup:

July 7, 2008

WE HUNG OUT WITH RUSH!

RB's Brett Milano gets the history from Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

We've kept you in suspense for weeks, now here it is: the first part of our backstage interview with those gods of prog rock, singer/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush. We met with the lads before a show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield-For you non-locals, that's where they throw arena shows in the Boston area; They proved as smart, witty and down-to-earth as you'd hope (Drummer Neil Peart doesn't usually hang out before shows, preferring to sneak in one last drum rehearsal before hitting the stage). The band is still on the road on the second leg of their "Snakes & Arrows" tour, which combines new material from that album with vintage favorites, many of which were added back into the setlist this summer.

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 7/7@8:46PM: There's a new video interview up at Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush Video section. Geddy and Alex are interviewed by a Rock Band representative (I presume) about the game, the upcoming release of the alternate-master track version of Working Man (with an alternate solo) for the game, the early days of Rush, and the making of the first album. The interview runs about 5 and a half minutes. Thanks to Wall05 for the heads up.

There's been a lot of news lately in regards to Rush and the video game Rock Band. In addition to the game including Tom Sawyer as a featured track, they've also made versions of Limelight and Working Man available for download for the game. And we also recently learned that Moving Pictures would be the next album available for download while master track versions of Working Man and Closer to the Heart are also due to be released for the game. And just this morning we heard that The Trees is rumored to be one of the featured tracks included with Rock Band 2, due out in September.

I've teamed up with Atlantic Records to help promote a Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes that they are running where you could win a prize pack including a Rock Band Special Edition game, a signed Rush lithograph, a Rush t-shirt, Snakes & Arrows and Snakes & Arrows Live! The contest runs through July 21st and you can visit this page to enter.

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Mohegan Sun open thread
12:16PM EST | link | comments (48) |

UPDATE - 7/16@1:18PM: Attendance / Capacity: 6619 / 7514
Gross Ticket Sales: 455230

UPDATE - 7/8@2:36PM: Here's a review from the Hartford Courant (thanks ctbadger).

UPDATE - 7/8@10:40AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Date/Time: Monday, July 7th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 40
Venue: Mohegan Sun
Place: Uncasville, CT

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

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The Trees rumored for Rock Band 2
8:18AM EST | link | comments (27) |

This coming September Harmonix Music Systems will be releasing the successor to its highly successful video game Rock Band. Rock Band 2 will essentially work like its predecessor but with many enhancements and improved functionality. According to a post at Kotaku.com, 2 rumored tracklists for the game have just came to light and both include Rush's The Trees. More as I learn it. We also just recently learned that Moving Pictures will be the next album available for download for Rock Band and that master track versions of Working Man and Closer to the Heart will soon be released for the game. Thanks to the kid electric for the heads up.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Neil Peart's bike and kit at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame
9:03PM EST | link | comments (24) |

UPDATE - 7/11@10:40AM: Reader Gabe sent me a link to this Flickr photo gallery which contains a bunch of motorcycle pics including a few of Neil Peart, Dave the bus driver and Michael Mosbach visiting the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Just check out the last couple rows of pics on the first page and the first row on the second page. I included thumbnails of some of the more notable ones. The photos were taken on July 1st so they must have stopped there on their way to the Pittsburgh show.

Last weekend there was a VIP gala and dedication ceremony to celebrate the opening of the MotoStars: Celebrities and Motorcycles exhibit at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. Neil Peart donated his 94 BMW R1100GS motorcycle, his R30 drum kit and other memorabilia to the Museum. The memorabilia was recently put up for auction to raise money for the Museum while the bike and kit are on display in the exhibit. Readers Genaro and Chris paid a visit to the museum and took some great pics to share with us all. Click on the thumbnails above to see the full pictures. Also thanks to Michael from NeilPeartDrumsticks.com for letting me know that the bike Neil donated was his 94 BMW R1100GS.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saratoga Springs open thread
12:13PM EST | link | comments (41) |

UPDATE - 7/16@1:18PM: Attendance / Capacity: 9202 / 13633
Gross Ticket Sales: 490540

UPDATE - 7/8@10:39AM: Here's a review from the Post-Star. Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 7/6@9:18AM: Here's a review from the Times Union (thanks Snoscootr).

Date/Time: Saturday, July 5th @ 8:00PM
Show Number: 39
Venue: Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Place: Saratoga Springs, NY

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

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Atlantic City open thread
12:55PM EST | link | comments (32) |

UPDATE - 7/16@1:17PM: Attendance / Capacity: 4327 / 5256
Gross Ticket Sales: 365252

UPDATE - 7/8@10:39AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

Happy 4th of July to everyone in the States. Reader Kalman (drummerdad2112) wanted me to let everyone who's going to the show tonight that there will be a pre-show gathering at the Trump Plaza Beach Bar. Have fun everybody!

Date/Time: Friday, July 4th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 38
Venue: Marc Etess Arena
Place: Atlantic City, NJ

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

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Working Man, Closer to the Heart master tracks for Rock Band
11:33PM EST | link | comments (17) |

Harmonix developer hmxsean announced earlier today on the Rock Band forums that next week would see the release of 2 master tracks from Rush for their popular Rock Band video game; Closer to the Heart and Working Man. A cover version of Working Man had already been released for the game early this year. But this version is a master track and - even better - it's an alternate-take master from the same session where they recorded the original but with an alternate solo! The tracks will be released Tuesday, July 8th for the XBox and on Thursday, July 10th for Playstation. Just a couple of weeks ago I let you know that Rush's Moving Pictures would be the next full album to be made available for download for Rock Band. So I would think that this makes it more likely that the album release will be master tracks as well. Thanks to Byrddogg for the heads up.

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New Rush.com videos: Howard Ungerleider's Mint Julep
11:18PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Howard Ungerleider and his Mint JulepBack in late May Rush.com released a video in their Multimedia: Rush Video section of Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider in Oklahoma City. In the video Howard promises some more drink-mixing tips in a future video - along the lines of his Mai Tai video from last September. True to his word, Rush.com just posted two videos of Howard discussing his famous Mint Julep. Be sure to check them out when you get a chance; they are not to be missed. Thanks to Tim for the heads up.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:57AM EST | link | comments (31) |

Since there's no show today and tomorrow is a holiday here in the US of A, I thought I'd bring you the weekly updates and random Rush stuff a day early. Rush is down to their last dozen shows of the Snakes & Arrows tour, beginning with tomorrow's 4th of July show at the Marc Etess Arena in Atlantic City. They'll then play a series of dates in the Northeast, a couple of dates down south and then close out the tour with the rescheduled Indianapolis show on July 24th. On one tour-related note, if you haven't read Dave's (Neil Peart's bus driver) tale of Neil and the Nantucket cookies yet, be sure to check it out.

Tuesday through Thursday of next week Rushcon 8 will be held in Toronto at the Days Inn Downtown. In addition to the Rush show at the Molson Amphitheatre Wednesday night, the RushCon crew has a slew of festivities planned. For all the details and to register visit the website at RushCon.org.

Earlier this week reader RedSectoA provided us with scans of the recent Rolling Stone feature article on Rush. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has also transcribed the article which you can check out at this link. The article is surprisingly good (especially considering the source) and has garnered mostly positive feedback from fans. It was written by former Spin staff writer Chris Norris and was his first piece for Rolling Stone. In their Rock-critically Correct section yesterday the Idolator.com heaps praise on the article and the author, and gives their take on it:

... he's [Chris Norris] on pretty firm footing when he suggests that Rolling Stone's past and present staffers regard the band the same way as every American woman and non-nerd male: as an abomination. Writer Chris Norris enumerates the qualities that damned Rush in RS' purview, although he describes them as commonplace complaints: ... His conceit is that the band has created a world with as much immersive detail as the Grand Theft Auto diaspora, the Marvel Comics universe, or J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. Which is to say that a certain kind of nerd digs the fuck out of the band. So, between the MSM's recent interest in geek culture and Rolling Stone's agenda to laud any band that has stood the test of time, Rush can now receive the mag's imprimatur. ... Norris particularly excels at describing common knowledge in engaging language and thus avoiding cliche. ... Norris has done a superb job ... his take on what makes the band unique seems genuine and admiring. Let's have some more like this, RS! And to you what don't like Rush: reading Norris' article will begin the process by which you will acknowledge how very very wrong you are.

The entire review of the article is very good; a good review of a good article. Read the whole thing if you get a chance. So, what's your opinion of the article? Take the poll and let us know if you haven't already.

Earlier this week I let you know that Neil Peart has won Drummer of the Year in DRUM! Magazine's 2008 Reader's Poll for the second year in a row. He also won the Best Live Drummer award, the Best Mainstream Pop Drummer award, and was runner-up to Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) for Best Progressive Rock Drummer. The complete results are published in the August 2008 issue of the magazine.

Time Life Music is releasing a new 9-CD hard rock and heavy metal compilation titled Hard & Heavy next week. The compilation comes in a metal box and will contain 2 Rush songs; New World Man and Fly By Night. For details check out this link. Thanks to Blabbermouth.net for the heads up.

Reader and professional photographer sdfotodude shared with me a great story regarding the rescheduled Red Rocks gig. The short of it is that he was able to get Live Nation to grant him photo credentials at the Red Rocks show because of the rescheduling (he had traveled into town just for the show). Lucky Guy. Here are the photos. Very nice.

Rush is in the running once again at the Greatest of All Time blog. This time the tournament is focusing on best live acts. Rush is currently up against Pink Floyd. So go vote for Rush if you get the chance. Also - go vote for Rush's Limelight in this poll at K-Rock for the greatest guitar songs (thanks jprager87).

The Counterparts messageboard's Name that Rush Tune charity contest is over and the winner was RIAB reader OntariOFace. Congratulations! $1000 will be donated to The Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation on his behalf.

Tuesday was Canada Day and Rush got a mention in this Wired article discussing the holiday (thanks Hans). And there's a Neil Peart sighting in this online comic strip (thanks Gangster_of_Boats).

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

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Dave the bus driver: Neil Peart's Nantucket cookies
9:57AM EST | link | comments (17) |

If you've read Neil Peart's book Roadshow then you are probably familiar with his tour bus driver Dave. Dave has a MySpace page and recently posted a humorous tale involving Neil Peart and cookies to his MySpace blog. Here it is:

From time to time there are tour road stories that are so funny they beg to be told. The following is not only funny, but true.

Neil has his favorite cookie, made by Pepperidge Farms called Nantucket. It is a chocolate chip crispy cookie so good that you can not each just one. I have had a problem leaving them alone while on my diet. For some reason as good as these are, they have become very hard to find. No one seems to stock these morsels anywhere. Every day I write the grocery list for the bus and include in my request for as many that can be found. Each day the runner comes back empty handed after allegedly looking several places.

While we where in Philadelphia, the runner of the day knew of a Pepperidge Farm store. I had him to check to see if we could purchase a case. This would solve our problem for the rest of the tour. It took him over an hour to return with a full case of fresh chocolate chip Nantucket's. Getting these cookies have caused several problems for two tours now and having them would help solve the tensions.

We finished the second leg of the tour two days later in Mansfield Mass. I decided because of the bus being shut down at the Nashville shop and the summer heat it would be best to take them home. Arriving in Nashville at 1 AM Tuesday morning I went home and to bed. At 8 AM, I awoke, dressed and went back to the bus shop with my truck and trailer to haul Neil and Michael's bikes to Bloodworth Motorsports. Both bikes needed to be serviced and repair work done. While at the bus I placed the case of cookies in the cab of my pickup. From there I proceeded to the bike shop, dropped the bikes and then off to lunch at my favorite hangout in Nashville. It is a great little restaurant and bar called South Street. Donovan, the band's assistant just happened to miss me by fifteen minutes that day.

Now for the fun part!

While on my way home I caught the smell of something burning. I assumed (and we all know the definition of assume) someone was burning trash. Several minutes later the same smell became more prevalent and I soon discovered that my box of most precious cargo was burning! I pulled my truck over to a quick stop, cars going in every direction, and with trailer bouncing in tow to the side of the road. Quickly I jumped out and to the other side to pull the burning packs of cookies out, throwing them to the ground. The cardboard box was also burning. Normally, I would have a water bottle or a cup of coffee in the console, but as fate would have it there was nothing. I was spitting on the burning box, considering another source of moisture and using my hands to extinguish the box fire. As I turned around the three burning packs where now fully involved. Picture me on the side of the road stomping on three packs of burning cookies. I was mad at myself and laughing at the same time, for throwing a cigarette out the window and starting the fire inside of my truck. It had came back in the window and into the box of the now famous Nantucket cookies!

Upon telling Neil the story he laughed and said "It is a shame you didn't have a movie camera. That should be on Youtube!" Needless to say, the whole tour got a laugh.

Hilarious. :) Thanks to Asif for the heads up.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pittsburgh open thread
11:49AM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 7/16@1:17PM: Attendance / Capacity: 8190 / 12500
Gross Ticket Sales: 329076

UPDATE - 7/8@10:39AM: Pics from the show are now up on Rush.com in the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section.

UPDATE - 7/3@8:34AM: Here's a review from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 2nd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 37
Venue: Post Gazette Pavilion
Place: Pittsburgh, PA

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

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Neil Peart wins DRUM! Magazine's Drummer of the Year award
9:49AM EST | link | comments (49) |

For the second year in a row Neil Peart has won Drummer of the Year in
DRUM! Magazine's 2008 Reader's Poll. He also won the Best Live Drummer award, the Best Mainstream Pop Drummer award, and was runner-up to Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) for Best Progressive Rock Drummer. The complete results are published in the August 2008 issue of the magazine. Thanks to Sean and Ian M from Baltimore (tomsawyer912) for the heads up.

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