Friday, October 19, 2007

Rush Live at Wembley - October 10th 2007

I went to see Rush at Wembley Arena last week on the 10th of October.

The fans are looking older and less and less Rock as the years go on. I am sure they are garnering new fans around the world but the UK fans don't seem to be any younger. Having not been to Wembley for a few years I hadn't seen the refurbishments before. The new atrium on what was the back of the arena and the stage now at the opposite end. I have to say it made a difference and makes the arena reasonably pleasant to go to.

Sadly the sound hasn't been improved and the acoustics inside were as bad as ever. Having last seen them 3 years ago for the 30th Anniversary Tour and suffering Tinnitus ever since I was prepared with my ear plugs this time around! Now they weren't nearly as loud as that last show but after 3 songs I decided I had to use the plugs. It actually made an improvement to the sound. Ok, so I lost the top end frequencies but I could hear the bass and drums better.

They started around 7:45 and played for around an hour and ten before having a 25 minute break on the grounds that they are getting old! The second set was much longer and all the way through until nearly 11:00pm. I was a little disappointed with some of the song choices. They played about 5 new songs in a row at one point which I felt should have been spread around a bit more. Yes they played some great classics but the trouble with having 30+ years of history is what to play live. I know you will never please everyone and that is fine. I did feel there were too many of the new instrumentals which aren't a patch on the old ones. They did finish with YYZ which is always great to hear live. No La Villa sadly which surely is the greatest instrumental they have.

Obviously being a drummer, I was anticipating Neil Peart's drum solo. Every tour he changes what he plays without losing some fundamental patterns that are always there. This one I thought was a little, how can I say it...... dull! It just didn't do it for me sadly. Technically brilliant and all that but it just didn't seem to flow well and seemed bitty. Whilst on the subject of Neil Peart's drumming I was a little sad that the only time he used the rear V-Drum kit was during the solo. Being a V-Drum player myself I missed seeing him use them during some of the songs. I think there are v-drum triggers more integrated around the main kit so as to remove the necessity to rotate the kit.

Other highlights were the South Park intro to Tom Sawyer. I am not sure if this was from an actual show or made especially for them but it was very funny. Instead of tumble dryers this time around behind Geddy Lee was a rack of Roast Chicken machines. Weird huh, they even had a chef come on a couple of times and check them!

Overall though it was enjoyable and is always a treat to see the 3 of them play. Geddy and Alex always seem to be having fun on stage and enjoy being there, unlike Mr Peart, but that is another story. I first saw them in 1988 for the 'Hold Your Fire' tour. This was my 4th time seeing them at Wembley. Who knows one day I may see them at a venue that has decent sound.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Andrew, what a downer! I saw Rush in the U.S. in June and left completely satisfied. Of course, I am a much bigger fan of their recent music than you.

But what you implied about Neil not enjoying himself was spot on. As I watched him huffing and puffing on the big monitors I thought he looked very old and very tired. Maybe that's just due to the amount of concentration and energy required for his complex style, but there was not even a hint of joy in him.

I imagine that might be the last time you get to see them live in the U.K. But who knows?