Thursday, April 8, 2010

1981 Makes A Comeback

I just learned that the greatest (Canadian) rock group ever, Rush, is going to tour the states this summer.  You know what that means - time to grow our mullets out.

The band is set to kick off their Time Machine Tour on June 29 in Albuquerque.  The AT&T Center in San Antonio will host the band September 23.  Some new music may make its way into the playlist, but the big draw of the night will be the band playing "Moving Pictures" in its entirety.  Nice. 

The last time I saw them live was during their last outing in Selma, TX.  That was actually my wife's idea; I never even planned on going.  She was the one that ordered the tickets, all unbeknownst to me.  Imagine my surprise when we were situated about five rows from the stage.  We were in deep with a different class of Rush dorks - those that were longer in the tooth and had more money at their disposal.  I don't know how my beautiful, intelligent, charming, caring wife paid for the tickets, but she swore that she'd never spend that much on passes again.  And far be it from me to try to persuade her to chip in for this year's show.  I'm actually excited about going this time, and she's given more than enough, so I would be remiss if I took another penny from her.
But quite frankly, I don't know why I'm eager to go see them.  I've seen them several times and I know the songs back and forth.  Tom Sawyer is so engrained in me that I'll probably utter the words, "but change is," on my death bed ala Charles Foster Kane.  Seriously, I've been listening to that song since I've been 11 1981, when we used to cruise around the lake rocking out with our tape deck and our glorious 30-watt speakers.  And MTV didn't help either.  It played the video a million times, it seemed, that year.  And nowadays, rock stations give the song about that much airplay on any given year.

What helps, I guess, is that they've released new material over the years.  Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it just stale.  Point is:  we'll have something else to hear besides their drawn-out epics.   And one point of interest is that they'll be playing the AT&T Center this time 'round.  It'll be a new venue for them as well as for us.  And that's a good thing.  For some reason I just loathed the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.  I never felt satisfied about seeing any group there apart from the bodacious seats we had last time.  The place just doesn't lend itself to being cozy.  (I know we're talking about arena rock, but bear with me)  The farther you were away, the smaller the band looked, and the giant t.v. screens didn't help.  I think it's that theater that made me promise not to go to another concert where it wouldn't be general admission. 

I did see Tool (AT&T) and Staind (LEC) after that but they had a much different vibe.  I felt good about actually shelling out money for those shows.  And I honestly think that it has a lot to do with the setup they offered.

I'll go see Rush and forget that traffic is going to be awful after the show.  I'll show up knowing that I'm probably not going to get through the crowds at the merchandise counter.  I mostly window shop these days since a t-shirt runs in the neighborhood of $40.  ('stan locos, $40!!!)  Nevertheless I turn into the proverbial 'kid in a candy store' at the sight of a Rush bazaar.  Alas my thrifty ways will have me leaving with only the commemorative Spurs Coyote cup that held my ten-dollar soda.  And at that point we'll have to make the trip back home, with new memories, and a new admiration for a band in which its members are fastly approaching sixty.  

I probably won't brush up on old material until September.  What I'll do is focus on the stuff that's been released within the last fifteen years.  I'll have to give my son a crash course in rush concert etiquette.  This will be his second major show.  Hopefully his stamina will be in top form and not the way it was during the U2 encore last year. 

The band, my wife and I will simply be going through the paces; for my son I hope it's a rewarding experience.  What am I saying?  We're going to have a blast.
And here I thought that 2010 was going to be filled with nothing but listless political debates.


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