but you can't take the Scarborough out of the girl.
Nothing like experiencing "YYZ" at the A.C.C. (Air Canada Centre) in the middle of the week! We did our couple-concert thing last night, catching the Snakes and Arrows, 30th Anniversary Tour, of Rush. After a mad-dash downtown to drop off the kids off with my parents (who did the double-duty babysitting for us last night after a full shift with 7 week old baby J), installing the carseats in Dad's car, parking in a ticket-free zone near my sister's, hopping a cab to avoid the parking madness that would surely ensue, we made it down to the concert at 7:15 PM, let off just in front of a hot dog/sausage stand. So we had a whole 15 minutes to grab a very quick bite, and run inside to order two honking large beers (at a steal for, gulp, $13.50 a piece) and get ourselves seated along with the rest of the mom and dad crowd.
Yeah, it looked like the neighbourhood movie theatre.
People walking around with popcorn in hand, (albeit usually with a beer in the other). Here I was, getting excited about another evening without the kids, heck, I even googled "what to wear to a rock concert". However, as soon as we walked in we saw tons of Dads with their mini-me sons (some as young as Liam or even younger), the odd mother with her teenage son, and even whole families of four or more. And I also noticed the number one fashion faux pas hundreds of times over. Apparently, you're not supposed to wear a T-shirt bearing the band that you're actually there to see. I guess most of the concert-goers didn't check first - RUSH, RUSH clothing EVERYWHERE!
There was so much testosterone there (there were no line-ups for the women's washroom, believe it or not!, but a lot of it was mini-testosterone. Concerts have certainly changed since I was a kid. There was still the distinctive smell of the "doobie" behind us, but the crowd was pretty subdued, everyone sat in their seats at some point in the concert, although we were on our feet for most of it. Ian and I were discussing that we couldn't imagine going to any concert with our parents back in the day. I guess parents are that much cooler nowadays, or so we like to think.
Now I must admit, during their prog/rock years (late 70s early 80s), I wasn't the hugest Rush fan. But their sound was all round, getting a lot of radio play including the massive hits "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight", and (having grown up in Scarborough the song I could totally relate to in the burbs) :"Subdivisions". When they finally started playing these familiar tunes, the crowd went nuts! All these older folks (including yours truly), doing the head-bob, fist-throwing, bowing low with the "I'm not worthy" salute (okay, I drew the line there). Fifty-year-old air guitar enthusiasts contorting in ways their kids probably never thought they would witness. Quite the sight. Singer Geddy Lee even admitted they have a gazillion songs, and at the intermission he said they needed their break for transfusions, after all, they're 100 years old. Thirty years together - incredible, longer than most marriages.
I'm sure it hasn't been without their ups and downs. I'm in total awe of their amazing musicianship. Each performer has been the best in class at one time or another during their career. Alex Lifeson's still got a bit of a boyish bounce while he does his fantabulous riffs; Geddy and his distinctive voice and great work on the bass. And Neil Peart, more on him later. Absolutely incredible that three guys, only three of them, can produce such brilliant sound together. And then such amazing virtuosity when going solo (I'm glad I was able to witness one of Neil Peart's well-deserved famous 7 minute performances on his drum kit(s):
His story alone is one for the books, having been dealt such terrible losses of his daughter and then his wife, in a very short period of time; then overcoming this tremendous tragedy to move on.
I never saw them when I was a teenager; glad I saw them now. The encore performance of YYZ in the big T.O. (they HAD to play it here in their hometown) was itself worth the price of admission. Rush ROCKS!