In what may have been my last opportunity to see the band live (their words, not mine), I had the honor of witnessing Rush at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. As with previous Rush concerts, I was completely mesmerized and left in awe of their ability, showmanship, and complete dominance on a stage.
Once again I saw Rush with the same two people that I have seen them with every time---my Uncle Steve and my cousin Mike. And once again I was looking forward to an amazing evening of exceptional rock music. Having seen them in the past, I knew that this band could, and would, deliver.
Prior to the show, we stopped off for some great pizza and beer at Mercato Tomato Pie, an exceptional brick oven pizza/restaurant. The food is fantastic and the pizzas are exceptional. There was an option to build your own pie, so I made a nice gorgonzola cheese and fresh garlic pizza that was out of this world. I am sure that my breath was out of this world as well after I finished consuming the pie.
As we entered the arena, I took in the fact that it would be my first time ever seeing a concert at the Prudential Center. I had seen hockey games there, but never a concert. I also took in the sea of people and chuckled inside as I noticed once again how the male fans dominated the arena. If I was pressed to give a number, I would have to say that it was easily a 7 to 1 ratio in favor of the males. Women are hard to find at a Rush concert.
For this tour, Rush was performing the songs in reverse chronological order. It was an interesting take on the concert to say the least. That meant the first songs out of the gate would be from the band’s latest record, Clockwork Angels. That was just fine with me, as I thoroughly enjoyed the record, and if it is the last studio album the band ever releases, they definitely went out on a high note. “The Anarchist” opened the night followed by “Headlong Flight.” The latter is one of my favorite songs from the record, so I was extremely pleased to see them perform it live.
Disappointments were few and far between, but they did exist. My biggest disappointment came in the form of a mess up to begin “Closer To The Heart.” This is an impeccable song that has a sensational acoustic riff to open, and the sound guys completely flubbed it. As Lifeson picked up the acoustic guitar and started plucking the opening notes, a crackle and buzz was all the audience heard. There was a technical issue with the connection and it ruined the intro. Fortunately it was fixed rather quickly and all was back on track before the vocals kicked in. I still would have rather the song been played mistake (or glitch) free.
My other disappointment was the fact that no songs from Presto were performed. It is my all time favorite Rush album and not one snippet of a song was produced. I know it’s hard to please everyone when you have a catalog as vast as Rush’s, but I was disappointed nonetheless. I’ve always felt that Presto is the band’s most underrated album, and although I may be biased as it is my favorite Rush album, I still feel that the band needs to show those songs more love.
Highlights of the evening included “2112” in its entirety, “The Spirit Of The Radio,” and the encore to end the night. A four song encore of classic Rush songs to end my evening! How divine is that? In typical Rush fashion, the concert ended way too quickly, even though they performed for nearly three hours. Rush is an insanely amazing live act and every time I see them I am amazed. Once again the band did not disappoint and left me wanting more. The question that remains is will they be back for more? According to them, that just may not happen.
The Main Monkey Business
How It Is
Roll The Bones
Between The Wheels
The Camera Eye
The Spirit Of The Radio
Cygnus X-1 – Book Two
Closer To The Heart
2112 – Overture
2112 – The Temples Of Syrinx
2112 – Presentation
2112- The Grand Finale
What You’re Doing