Rush Newcastle Arena 5th October 2007
27 years since they last graced a Newcastle stage, Rush were back and playing at Newcastle Arena. I went along with Laura and a group of mates. Saw a lot of old familiar faces; everyone had turned out to see this band again. This was a very slick and professional show, as befits a band with such a long and strong pedigree. One thing that I hadn’t bargained for was just how many albums had been released since I last saw Rush in concert. My memories were of those late 70s gigs, and I knew all of the songs from those days, but had heard very little by Rush since then. Hence almost all of their set was completely new to me. I only recognised “Spirit of the Radio” and “Tom Sawyer”. This was a long show, featuring two sets and drew from across their back catalogue (but not enough early songs from me. I didn’t think I’d ever see Rush, and that they wouldn’t play Xanadu; but there you go 🙂 ). A lesson learned. It is worth investing the time to get to know a band’s material before going to see them in concert. None the less I enjoyed the concert. This was the last time that I saw Rush. They have been back to Newcastle since this gig, but it clashed with another concert for me (I think I was in Manchester seeing Rogers Waters perform The Wall). Rush are hinting at a world tour next year. It’s about time I saw them again. And if I do, this time I will listen to their material before I go to the gig.
Setlist: First Set. Limelight; Digital Man; Entre Nous; Mission; Freewill; The Main Monkey Business; The Larger Bowl; Secret Touch; Circumstances; Between the Wheels; Dreamline. Interval. Second Set. Far Cry; Workin’ Them Angels; Armor and Sword; Spindrift; The Way the Wind Blows; Subdivisions; Natural Science; Witch Hunt; Malignant Narcissism; Drum Solo; Hope; Distant Early Warning; The Spirit of Radio; Tom Sawyer. Encore: One Little Victory; A Passage to Bangkok; YYZ
Archive for the ‘Rush’ Category
Rush Newcastle Arena 5th October 2007
Rush Newcastle City Hall June 12th 1980: a dilemma and a culture “clash”
This was one of those nights were I was torn between two gigs. Rush were playing at Newcastle City Hall and The Clash were playing at Newcastle Mayfair on the same night. Now you couldn’t get two more different bands which made my dilemma all the more interesting. I already had a ticket for Rush, I was going with a group of mates, and the gig was sold out (in fact Rush played two sell out shows on this tour, as had become the norm for their visits), when The Clash gig was announced. I hadn’t missed a Newcastle gig by either band; what could I do? I decided to buy a ticket for The Clash and try and times things so I would see both bands. Now on the rare occasions I have tried to do this, it usually hasn’t worked out very well, and I’ve ended up not enjoying either gig that much. So on the night of the gig(s) I went along to the City Hall with my mates to see Rush. This was the Permanent Waves tour, and my mates were massive Rush fans who couldn’t believe that I would leave the gig early to see The Clash. But that is exactly what I did. The norm at The Mayfair was for the band to take the stage around 10pm at that time, so I watched around one hour or so of The Rush gig then quickly drove down the road to the Mayfair to see The Clash. Rush were at the peak of their success of the time, and the City Hall was packed with rock fans who lapped up the complex melodic rock and mystical lyrics that Rush are masters of. Very different to the fast punk energy that I was about to witness down at the Mayfair.
I arrived at the Mayfair ballroom just as The Clash had started the first song of the night. I always find it strange entering a gig late. Its like coming into a party uninvited when everyone is already drunk. Picture this. I enter the packed ballroom, having just left the sold out City Hall where everyone was sitting down listening intently to Rush, and The Clash are playing Safe European Home, and the place is going completely nuts. The atmosphere is electric, the air hot and sweaty. I stand on the balcony and wander around the place, taking it all in. The Clash were fast, loud, energetic and Strummer was amazing.
For once my aim of taking in two (very different) gigs on the same night worked, although I didn’t see that much of Rush, and couldn’t really get into their set as my mind was more focussed on getting my timings right in order to catch The Clash.
This was the last time that Rush played in Newcastle for 27 years, when they played at Newcastle Arena.
Rush Newcastle City Hall 24th April 1979
Newcastle City Hall. 24th April 1979. Mystical rock gods Rush come down from the skies once again to sing and play songs of gods, mythology and joy to the northern rock fans. We were hungry for music of the highest order, and that hunger could only be satisfied by our three superheroes. For nights the City Hall once again became a magical temple for the music of Rush. The god that is Geddy Lee amazed us with his soaring voice and his sweet bass rhythms. Twin guitar axe hero Alex Lifeson left us speechless, stunned by his virtuosity. And drum master Neil Peart, perched behind the biggest kit ever to grace Olympus drove the band and the rock textures forward. We cheered, we shouted, we sat in awe. We listened, we imagined, we dreamed. We talked about the magic of the event for weeks before, and months after. Support came from Max Webster.
Setlist: Anthem; A Passage to Bangkok; By-Tor & The Snow Dog; Xanadu; Something for Nothing; The Trees; Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Parts I to VI; Closer to the Heart; A Farewell to Kings; La Villa Strangiato; 2112 Parts I to VII; Working Man; Bastille Day; In the Mood.
‘To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise…’
I had heard the whispered tales of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost Xanadu
Rush Newcastle City Hall 14th February 1978
By 1978 Rush has become massively popular with rock fans, and played two sold out shows at Newcastle City Hall on 14th and 15th February, 1978 with support from the Tyla Gang, fronted by ex-Ducks Deluxe “Godfather of Boogie” Sean Tyla. I attended the first night’s concert. From the tour programme: “Rush take approximately eight hours to set up their show for public viewing. It takes sixteen people in total to perform the necessary functions to convert an empty stage into a finely produced performance…..”Xanadu”: Any one who saw the band on the last part of our most recent.. British tour, will perhaps remember this one as having been featured in our show during this time, on the album it forms an eleven minute tour-de-force, and is certainly the most complex and multi-textured piece we have ever attempted. It also contains one of Alex’s most emotive and lyrical guitar solo’s, as well as a very dramatic vocal from Geddy….our immediate future is, of course, touring. We will be touring the United States and Canada extensively until February of 1978, when we plan to return to Europe for an extensive six week tour, encompassing all of Great Britain and continental Europe as well. … Our only hope is perhaps to contribute something enjoyable and important to those we meet along the way, and surely there are few things more enjoyable or more important than good music. If that’s all that Rush is, that’s all that we would be.” Rush were, and remain, very different to many other rock bands. They have always succeeded in producing music which is heavy, thoughtful, and musically intricate and perfect, blending elements of classic rock with prog. Their concert in 1978 was astounding, and many of my friends felt it was one of the best things they had ever seen. Setlist: Bastille Day; Lakeside Park; By-Tor & The Snow Dog; Xanadu; A Farewell to Kings; Something for Nothing; Cygnus X-1; Anthem; Closer to the Heart; 2112 Parts I – VII; Working Man; Fly by Night; In the Mood. Encore: Cinderella Man
Rush Newcastle City Hall 11 June 1977
I hadn’t heard of Rush at all when I first went to see them. I remember being surprised that this “new” Canadian rock band was headlining the City Hall. Of course, Rush weren’t new at all, and had already released several albums. Anyway, I went along to see them out of curiosity as much as anything, to find out what they were like. There was actually another reason that I went along to this concert, and that was to see support band Stray. I was a big Stray fan from the early 70s onwards and went to see them every chance I had. By 1977 Stray were coming to the end of the first part of the career, but nonetheless Del and the band played a storming set. Rush were touring to support 2112, and it came as a big surprise to me just how good they were. I was also surprised that a three piece band could be play such intricate musical, and that they could also rock and play so loud. The members were, as they remain today: Alex Lifeson (guitar), Geddy Lee (bass) and Neil Peart (drums). The other surprise was Geddy Lee’s high pitched vocals which took some getting used to. Rush opened with Bastille Day and the set included the epic 2112 suite, the wonderful Xanadu (which became a great favourite of all of us rockers in the late 70s) and the excellent Working Man and Finding My Way. I left the City Hall converted to Rush, and went to see them quite a few times over the next few years.
Setlist: Bastille Day; Anthem; Lakeside Park; 2112 Part I-VII: Overture; The Temples of Syrinx; Discovery; Presentation; Soliloquy; Grand Finale. Xanadu; Something for Nothing; By-Tor & The Snow Dog; The Necromancer; Working Man; Finding My Way; Fly by Night; In the Mood; What You’re Doing.
The Clash Newcastle Mayfair June 12th 1980
Support Joe Ely
(And a trip to the City Hall to see Rush)
This was one of those nights were I was torn between two gigs. Rush were playing at Newcastle City Hall and The Clash were playing at Newcastle Mayfair on the same night. I already had a ticket for Rush, I was going with a group of mates, and the gig was sold out, when The Clash gig was announced. What a dilemma for me! I hadn’t missed a Newcastle gig by either band; what could I do? I decided to buy a ticket for The Clash and try and times things so I would see both bands. Now on the rare occasions I have tried to do this, it usually hasn’t worked out very well, and I’ve ended up not enjoying either gig that much. So on the night of the gig(s) I went along to the City Hall with my mates to see Rush. This was the Permanent Waves tour, and my mates were big Rush fans who couldn’t believe that I would leave the gig early to see The Clash. But thats exactly what I did. The norm at The Mayfair was for the band to take the stage around 10pm at that time, so I watched around one hour of The Rush gig then drove down the road to the Mayfair to see The Clash. By then I had missed support act Joe Ely. In fact I arrived in the venue just as The Clash had started the first song of the night. I always find is strange entering a gig late. Its like coming into a party uninvited when everyone is already drunk. Picture this. I enter a packed ballroom, The Clash are playing Safe European Home, and the place is going nuts. I stood on the balcony and wandered around the place, taking it all in. The Clash played much longer that night than the previous times I’d seen them. Of course by 1980, they had a much larger repertoire of songs to draw from. They were great as usual, but I didn’t see as much passion and energy as at the Newcastle Poly gig a couple of years before. I thought the gig dragged at times, but picked up towards the end, and the place went nuts when they finished with White Riot. So my aim of taking in two gigs on the same night sort of worked, although I didn’t see that much of Rush, and couldn’t really get into their set as my mind was more focussed on getting my timings right in order to catch The Clash. Setlist: Safe European Home; Jimmy Jazz; Revolution Rock; The Guns of Brixton; Train in Vain; London Calling; Spanish Bombs; (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais; Somebody Got Murdered; Koka Kola; I Fought the Law; Jail Guitar Doors; Hit the Road Jack; Police and Thieves; Clampdown; Stay Free; English Civil War; I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.; Complete Control; Armagideon Time; Tommy Gun; London’s Burning; Capital Radio; What’s My Name; Garageland; White Riot.