Possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated concerts of my life – Rush had been soooo good when I saw them before, and they had bypassed the UK on the last 3 or 4 tours so I would have paid double or triple the face value just to sit in row Z. As it happens, the seats were halfway back on the side, so not bad really.
After a couple of pre-gig pints in the Globe on Baker Street (that’s where you go when you’re off up Wembley way innit) we strode through the turnstiles at about 20 past 8, into the under-stand bar/merchandise area to find it strangely deserted, and some muffled music coming from the arena. I didn’t realise there was a support act? Hang on, either they have invited a Rush tribute act to support, or, or, or, no, fuck, it can’t be, that’s ‘Spirit Of Radio’ – that’s Rush. We’ve missed the fucking start of the fucking gig. They must have started at 8. I’ve waited all these years, and I’ve missed the fucking start of the fucking gig. Fucksticks. So we sprinted round what seemed like the entire arena to find our entrance, and yes, there they were, twenty minutes into their set.
Considering they are renowned for playing 3hr sets, I shouldn’t really have worried too much about missing the first couple, but that’s not the point, is it. The best thing about Rush is that you are guaranteed a decent trawl through the classics, and they constantly pull out little surprises. As well as the usual favourites, I was psyched to hear ‘Between The Wheels’ (contains the best Lifeson solo of all, IMHFO), ‘By-Tor’ and ‘The Trees’. Unfortunately, the sound was well, fucking awful, to be honest. The stage set was pretty minimal, and compared to Madonna’s show a few months prior, pretty amateurish, but it’s ALL about the music with Rush. Really odd crowd too. Almost all male (no surprise there) but no long hair, no black T-Shirts, hardly any rock element at all – they all looked quite blokey and footbally. I don’t know what I was expecting really, but not blokey and footbally.
The atmosphere was fantastic though, and there was lots of air guitar and all in all it was a bloody great show. Not as good as the previous time, purely down to the pants sound. Leads me to wonder how they managed to sound so good in 92.