I wanted to take a moment away from the norm to do a bit of a review of a concert my wife and I attended last night at the Yum! Center here in Louisville, Kentucky. The concert was Rush’s Time Machine Tour.
Wow. That’s the first word that pops out of my mouth, when I think of last night’s experience. I will preface all of this by saying this was the eighth time I have seen this band. So, I have a bit of experience when dealing with that cult-like band Rush. Yes, I am a “Rush fan” in many ways — and am proud of it! Yeah, I played D&D for years and I can quote songs from every Rush album dating back to their 1974 self-titled debut recording. And after seeing them live as many times as I have, and listening to their recordings countless times over the years, I have to say that last night was something very special.
I don’t want to drone on and on about how perfect their music is and how they are the best musicians in the history of the world, ever! I don’t want to say how incredible Alex’s back phrasing was on the La Villa Strangiato number. Instead I want to go this route — so that more of you can relate.
When I was a young boy, back in 1981, I had one of the original Sony Walkmans that only played cassettes. I remember well the first cassette I bought was Rush’s Exit Stage Left. Why I bought it? I have no idea. Maybe it was the cover, or maybe it was that I had never heard a band live before and there was my chance.
For some reason, one particular song title excited me – Red Barchetta. So I wanted that song to be the first song I heard. And when I did hear it, something magical happened. I was transported somewhere else, to some magical place that I had never before visited. I spent the rest of the day wearing out the batteries in that Walkman, listening to Rush’s Exit Stage Left.
Throughout the years, from that point on, I could point out moments just like that, with each Rush release — moments that I left the world only to find myself in that strange, magical place that only music like Hope, Mission, Subdivisions, Stick it Out, Between the Wheels, and of course Tom Sawyer can take you. When that happens, you forget every trouble plaguing your existence at the moment.
Last night’s show did that to me for three hours. That’s right, for three solid hours I was not of this planet. I was lost in the midst of perfect melodies, rhythms, and life. And when Alex brought to life his solo from La Villa Strangiato, I wanted to weep just like I did the first time I heard that song live.
You may think me crazy — but for me, there are few things that can transport me like the music of the one true power trio from Canada. Watching Geddy “slappin’ da bass” really brought me back to a truth that I had lost. That truth can be found within the lyrics of their song Mission:
Hold your fire. Keep it burning bright. Hold the flame ’till the dream ignites. A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission.