Rush Live in Houston, TX - With Photos

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 2:41 PM

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My first recollection of Rush as a child was going to my uncle’s house (he was about 18 at the time) and watching him play his drums. On this particular occasion, he had just bought an album called A Farewell to Kings and was trying desperately to play ‘Closer to the Heart’ on his kit. He would only get about half way through the song each time before he’d lose it, mainly because he didn’t have but one bass drum. A few years later that would be the first Rush album I ever owned and to this day still consider it one of their best. What impressed me the most about Rush was their ability to make such awesome music with just three band members, something I had not experienced in my young life up to that point. The second concert I ever attended (I won’t tell you the first) was Rush in Oklahoma City on their Moving Pictures tour when I was in high school. I also caught the Signals tour the following year and then would not see Rush again after that. That is, until September 25 of this year, a span of roughly 27 years! I’m not real sure why I never went to see them again, but it most probably had to do with my musical tastes at the time. I had migrated into mostly harder rock with the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kiss and others. What prompted me to see this new tour was the pictures my sister-in-law had posted to her Facebook from the Tulsa, OK show which occurred just a few days prior to the Houston gig. I figured it was time, and boy did it make up for all the lost years I had not seen them.

As I’m sure most of you readers are aware, rush does not tour with an opening act these days. They themselves play a nearly 3 hour show, with a short intermission in mid-set, so there really is no time for an opener. And seriously, who are you gonna get to open for them anyway? Who is worthy? Given the 11 o’clock curfew at The Woodlands Pavilion I knew that the show would need to start around 7:30, so I made my way to the venue early, dodging rain in my un-air conditioned car the whole way. Once there and after securing my ticket and photo pass, I made note of the change to the start time: 7:40 now instead of 7:30. After a $7 beer (cheap by Pavilion standards) and the general exchanged pleasantries with my fellow photogs, we were led into the barricade for the start of the show. It turns out that they didn’t actually start until around 7:45 but once they did, we were in for a treat.

The show started with a short movie/story playing on the huge projection screen at the back of the stage. There was really too much going on in this movie for me to accurately describe it all, but suffice it to say that it was somewhat of a tongue in cheek story of the band’s history, with the members themselves playing parts, albeit not as members of the band. Search Youtube for ‘Rush 2010 intro’ and you will see the movie in its entirety. It’s very funny and cool! The end of this short film led right into the set opener ‘Spirit of Radio’. The Pavilion was packed to the gills and there definitely seemed to be an electricity in the air that I have not sensed at a concert in some time. The crowd was loud and vocal the entire night! This was easily the most visually stimulating concert I have ever witnessed! The large screen I spoke of was a central and most vital piece of the evening, with constant animations close ups of the members from front and above being displayed throughout the show, and done so in such a fashion as to give the whole screen a three dimensional effect (See my photos and you will understand). The band played from 7:45 until 9. Notables during the first set were: ‘The Spirit of Radio’, ‘Time Stand Still’, ‘Presto’, ‘Faithless’, ‘Subdivisons’ and ‘Freewill’. Now although the band does not yet have a new album out to tour from, they did record 2 songs from the forthcoming new release prior to the tour start and they did one in each set. In the first set, it was a song called ‘BU2B’. A great new song!

While the band was taking their little ‘intermission’ and this being the ‘Time Machine Tour’ after all, they had up on the video screen during their absence a time dial like you would have seen in the ‘Time Machine’ movie, with the year ever so slowing changing and advancing toward 1980, the year of Moving Pictures. Once that year was reached (a period of about 30 minutes) an alarm went off, the stage lights went down and another short film played, continuing on with the story from the first film, leading right up to the band reappearing to play the entire Moving Pictures album! As previously mentioned, the video screen was used extensively and during this set there was a lot of Monty Python-esque type animations, especially during ‘Red Barchetta’, ‘The Camera Eye’ and ‘Vital Signs’. The lighting rig and accompanying setup was absolutely incredible! The lighting rig resembled a giant spider with all of the ‘arms’ moving independently from each other. Again, check out some videos from the show to see just how awesome it was. After finishing up Moving Pictures the band played the other new song of the night called ‘Caravan’. Again, if these 2 songs is an indication of how the new album is going to sound, it is going to be their best in some time! Of course, a Rush show would not be complete without playing the 2112 Overture and Temples of Syrinx, probably my favorite Rush tune. The band finished up the evening with 2 encores, ‘La Villa Strangiato’ and ‘Working Man’.

What a fantastic show from start to finish and worth every penny of the price of admission! I most certainly will not wait a decade or more to see them again. This show made up for all the lost time and more! Rush has proven once again that they are one of the greatest heavyweights in the history of modern rock music. Not bad for a trio of Canadians, eh?

Set List

  • The Spirit of Radio
  • Time Stand Still
  • Presto
  • Stick It Out
  • Workin’ Them Angels
  • Leave That Thing Alone
  • Faithless
  • BU2B
  • Freewill
  • Marathon
  • Subdivisons
Second Set
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Red Barchetta
  • YYZ
  • Limelight
  • The Camera Eye
  • Witch Hunt
  • Vital Signs
  • Caravan
  • Drum solo
  • Closer To The Heart
  • 2112 Overture
  • Temples of Syrinx
  • Far Cry
  • La Villa Strangiato
  • Working Man
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