Rush: Classic or Dud?

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This guitars vs synths polarity is weird. After borrowing a copy of Power Windows last month from a friend, I heard just as much RAWK moments on stuff like "Emotion Detector" and "Manhattan Project" as I would have pre-Moving Pictures. The songs are shorter, though, but denser, more muscular; lots of stuff going on in them.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 June 2010 17:00 (nine years ago) link

listening to "Distant Early Warning" right now! this song rules...

it's detlef season, you schremps (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 28 June 2010 17:05 (nine years ago) link

Definitely Power Windows has lots of amazing high energy moments form all three of them, including some of Alex's greatest guitar work. I do think though that the synths on that record get a bit too busy and gitzy sounding at times to the point where they draw attention away from the guitar parts, so I can see why it would be a point of contention.

Moodles, Monday, 28 June 2010 17:21 (nine years ago) link

yeah "mystic rhythms" is a little overboard on the 80s production

it's detlef season, you schremps (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 28 June 2010 17:30 (nine years ago) link

I've seen this film 3 times now since I had a screener copy for reviews, and finally saw it in a theater last night and I have to sincerely agree with Moodles' take on this Bill.

Alex does make it clear that he was unhappy with the synths backing the guitars into the corner throughout the 80s. And he does imply that Hold Your Fire was the straw the broke the camel's back. Otherwise, I wouldn't say he really disowned anything and the do represent all of their albums live.

Nate Carson, Monday, 28 June 2010 19:02 (nine years ago) link

they not the.

Nate Carson, Monday, 28 June 2010 19:03 (nine years ago) link

then you learn the weapons and the ways of hard knock school
put on your kid gloves put on your kid gloves
then you learn the lesson that it's tough to be so cool

it's detlef season, you schremps (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 28 June 2010 20:12 (nine years ago) link


i swear to god that was like a christopher guest thing

it's detlef season, you schremps (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 29 June 2010 14:09 (nine years ago) link

OK, I managed to solve the mystery of Why Was Alex Lifeson's Argument With His Parents Filmed?:

Come On Children was a documentary about Canadian youth directed by Allan King. And here I thought some of Lifeson's pals just wandered into his house with a Super-8.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 21:27 (nine years ago) link

The original reality tv!

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 21:44 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, what a bizarre and useful bit of archival footage to have. Only in Canada!

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:47 (nine years ago) link

i'm starting a religion based on the teachings of freddy "the yoda of drums" gruber and you are all invited:

it's detlef season, you schrempfs (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:52 (nine years ago) link

Freddy obviously likes to hear himself talk, but as a drummer, I can absolutely see what he's getting at.

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 09:44 (nine years ago) link

i'm sure that he's great, and yeah it makes sense it's just his delivery is soooooooo much like a christopher guest movie

hey does anyone know anything about max webster?

Q and Not Gucci (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 1 July 2010 15:21 (nine years ago) link

There's a gigantic Canada Day Rush celebration over at today:

It turned out really well. Thanks to Nate for chipping in!

A. Begrand, Thursday, 1 July 2010 18:13 (nine years ago) link

Great feature! Thanks for including me.

On another note, there's a Mini-RUSHCON in Las Vegas this August. Aaaaaaaaand, it's at Hooters :(

Nate Carson, Thursday, 1 July 2010 19:07 (nine years ago) link

can you imagine the patience it would take to sit thru a lesson w/freddy gruber? I think I like neil peart more now after that

Dominique, Thursday, 1 July 2010 22:42 (nine years ago) link

"Grace," "Power" and "Fire" ironically feature some of Lifeson's best guitar playing, IMO, a nice showcase for his lead rhythm player duties with some awesome solos tossed in. But yeah, when you combine synth washes with guitar designed to sound like synth washes, you're bound to get lost in the mix a little.

Saw this interview online:

In recent years, your albums have gotten a lot more guitar-oriented. The ’80s got a little synthy.


The transition, if you want to call it that, to more guitar-oriented albums — where does that come from?

It’s probably a reaction to what we were doing in the ’80s, when we started incorporating keyboards into our sound. It was still a very new thing, and that’s what really connected to us. But I think, once we got though the ’80s, we realized we went as far as we could with that. The real core part of the band is really in the three pieces — and really in the guitar. And in looking back, strictly for scheduling purposes, we put the keyboard down before we put the guitar down. So that made things a lot more restrictive for me and I had to work around a sound spectrum that was already occupied by keyboards. And I think, as a reaction to that, in the ’80s I went for a much wirier, thinner, clear trebly active pickup sound. In that period, I think that was just a response to the density of what the keyboard was doing.

Around the early ’90s, though, we all made this conscious effort to step away from keyboards, especially Geddy, which you would think would be unusual. But I think he’d had it and felt very confined in his area of the stage with keys and stuff. I mean, even with stuff we’re writing now, I have been the one kind of introducing some keyboard lines. Part of that reaction was replacing keyboard stuff with guitar parts — Vapor Trails, for example, has so much layered guitar stuff and it’s fun to do. And even Snakes and Arrows has a lot of layering and it’s great fun to do, and I love listening to it and I love doing it. But it makes it harder to really not depend on a lot of triggers and samples and stuff like that playing it live. But as I was saying, even now, where I want to bring some more keyboard back in, I am getting a lot of resistance from Geddy.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 2 July 2010 02:38 (nine years ago) link

hey does anyone know anything about max webster?

― Q and Not Gucci (upper mississippi sh@kedown)

I saw Max Webster open for Rush in '79, but sadly I can't remember a single thing about them.

Lostandfound, Friday, 2 July 2010 05:02 (nine years ago) link

"The real core part of the band is really in the three pieces — and really in the guitar."

Thank you.

Chicago to Philadelphia: "Suck It" (Bill Magill), Friday, 2 July 2010 14:03 (nine years ago) link

Total agreement. I wasn't a big fan until I saw them live and realized that Alex Lifeson is the secret weapon.

Nate Carson, Friday, 2 July 2010 19:12 (nine years ago) link


the reverend dr. william wiggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 July 2010 19:15 (nine years ago) link

I'm kind of surprised that Alex wanted to bring the synths back and Geddy shut him down.

Moodles, Friday, 2 July 2010 19:42 (nine years ago) link

Well there's plenty of synth on the new singles. So obviously this has worked itself out.

Nate Carson, Friday, 2 July 2010 20:30 (nine years ago) link

Finally got round to seeing this, glad I was watching it at home on my own so I could air-drum to my heart's content. Dunno why people on this thread are saying they come across as weirdos, a bit standoff-ish maybe but watching the RushCon footage who can blame them? Anyway, what a great film, I really can't think of another megaband where none of the members have drug issues / mental health issues / hate each other, it's nice to see a rock band doc that isn't essentially a Behind The Music horror show. Shame they didn't mention the Alex Lifeson new years eve arrest from a couple of years ago though.

A prog venn diagram for you to think about (Matt #2), Sunday, 4 July 2010 16:46 (nine years ago) link

For a band currently touring for no good reason, I really wish they weren't playing "Moving Pictures" in its entirety and instead dusted off even more stuff they've rarely if ever played before. But nice to see "Marathon" back in rotation, even if I was hoping for a deep '80s cut like "The Enemy Within."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 July 2010 20:00 (nine years ago) link

I've never seen them live, but this looks like a fabulous sample of many of my favorites. Set List from June 29 show in Albuqurque:

Set One
The Spirit Of Radio
Time Stand Still
Stick It Out
Workin' Them Angels
Leave That Thing Alone

Set Two
Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs
Drum Solo
Closer To The Heart
2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples Of Syrinx
Far Cry

La Villa Strangiato
Working Man

Fastnbulbous, Sunday, 4 July 2010 20:08 (nine years ago) link

Oh, it's a great setlist, a mix of old and new. I guess I'll see how it plays tomorrow night.

BTW, the shift in guitar sound through the '80s no doubt had a lot to do with Alex's switch to Strat (like every other effects monster in the '80s). These days he's back to Gibsons and a thicker sound. Same with Geddy, for that matter, who is using good ol' Fenders rather than those sci-fi basses he favored in that decade.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 July 2010 20:45 (nine years ago) link

Not to be gear dude, but "those sci-fi basses" were Wals, which were fantastic-sounding (in a Fenderish vein) instruments and not fusion toys, and Geddy only switched 'cause Mr. Wallace died.

Three Word Username, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 12:23 (nine years ago) link

I liked the Wals at the time, but I far prefer the rich, growly tones he gets from his Fender basses, and I love his classic Rickenbacker as well. The Wals and Steinbergers, in retrospect, were a bit too punchy and thin for my taste.

Moodles, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 12:40 (nine years ago) link

The show last night was incredible. I think I need to find a way to go back on Wednesday

Stormy Davis, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 18:10 (nine years ago) link

Finally bought the movie this weekend, will be digging in on my day off tomorrow.

Certainly have to offer a big "fuck off" to B3st Buy over this, btw. That was the only local place that had it (other than B@rnes & Nobl3 where it was thirty bucks!) and it was to be on sale for like 15 bucks first week of release. Stopped by on the day of release, said they'd only got one copy in and it sold right away. Since it was right next door to where I was working, I stopped by several times to see if it was in yet. Never showed up, until the day AFTER the sale price ended and suddenly they had 30+ copies. I hate when places pull stuff like that.

[end rant, back to Rush talk]

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 6 July 2010 18:35 (nine years ago) link

Plus those superstores buy product at a discount so the filmmakers get an even smaller cut when you buy that way. Amazon is the same deal. Buy direct whenever you can.

Anyway, yes I studied the set list from opening night and have to say I could not be much more excited. I don't care about seeing Moving Pictures particularly but the rest of the set is an outstanding selection.

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 20:09 (nine years ago) link

Alex Lifeson talks about his new amp and the "steampunk" look of the Time Machine stage show.

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 20:12 (nine years ago) link

I'm loving the Steampunk look. I can't believe I have to wait until September to see this show! Too long!!!

Moodles, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 21:58 (nine years ago) link

Show last night was pretty good! Alex was a tad sloppy, but I was shocked by how many more fills and licks Neil and Geddy were fitting into the arrangements. Geddy in particular has gotten better than ever. Neil is so rudiment oriented now that he's super-efficient around the kit, which in turn makes all his extra kit seem that much sillier. Only time he used the electric half was for the solo, and my attitude is: if you have pieces that you just need for the solo, then you don't need it.

End of the show "I Love You, Man" sequel short is really funny, too.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 22:15 (nine years ago) link

I wish they'd come to the Canadian prairies, but they rarely if ever do. Maybe it's because we don't have sheds.

And wow, are those amps ever cool.

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 22:38 (nine years ago) link

Seems like they slavishly tour the US and hit a few Canadian mega-markets and that's about it. Like, UK every 8 years, Brazil once ever. Japan once, ever. How weird.

Lucky for me anyway! :)

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 23:36 (nine years ago) link

Well, they play Chicago TWICE ... lucky me indeed :)

I am definitely going back tomorrow, by hook or by crook, I'll eat ramen for a month i don't care...

shocked by how many more fills and licks Neil and Geddy were fitting into the arrangements. Geddy in particular has gotten better than ever.

^^ this. of course I've always considered Rush a "musicians" band -- and last night was the third time I've seen them live -- but there was something about last night's show that was particularly, I dunno, "musicianly". Geddy in particular, not so much Neil. But yeah, Geddy was all over that bass in a way I don't really recall him being live. But it wasn't just flash for the sake of flash, it just was super neat playing. At times I thought I was at a Weather Report concert with Jaco or something, not a Rush show .. but all in a good way

Stormy Davis, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 00:12 (nine years ago) link

"Marathon" was totally the highlight for me. pure bliss

(btw, I didn't even look at that setlist that Fastnbulbous posted ... No spoilers!!)

Stormy Davis, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 00:23 (nine years ago) link

also, I was sitting directly behind the most awesome family, they'd driven up from mid-Indiana for the show. A couple and their 8 year old daughter. The girl was totally into the show and dancing and singing the whole time.. And she knew most of the words!! it was awesome...

Stormy Davis, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 00:42 (nine years ago) link

the dad is in the white shirt top-right, looks like I missed him in my pic, oh well ... swell dude, he knew all of the lyrics too. the whole fam had pasted-on smiled for the whole three hours, as did I. good times

Stormy Davis, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 00:43 (nine years ago) link

I can't believe I get to see Weird Al, Air Supply, and Rush all in the course of 5 days. I am blessed.

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 02:02 (nine years ago) link

Sorry, didn't mean to spoil. Here's setlist from 7/3 in Milwaukee, slightly different. I think of it more like having the program to a classical concert that rocks! I also downloaded the songs from the 90s on the setlist that I didn't know. Hard to get into them, but maybe I'll appreciate them more live.

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 12:33 (nine years ago) link

Plus those superstores buy product at a discount so the filmmakers get an even smaller cut when you buy that way. Amazon is the same deal. Buy direct whenever you can.

Yeah, I know I should have done this, but I was way too impatient for mail order on this one.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 7 July 2010 13:40 (nine years ago) link

I can't believe I get to see Weird Al, Air Supply, and Rush all in the course of 5 days. I am blessed.

― Nate Carson, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 9:02 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

How are you wrangling such a monumental feat? I had a fleeting thought of Weird Al and Air Supply collaborating on "All Out of Gloves"

an outlet to express the dark invocations of (La Lechera), Wednesday, 7 July 2010 13:44 (nine years ago) link

Air Supply is at Spirit Mountain Casino. I'm taking my Mom for her birthday, but also the guitar player of Witch Mountain is equally excited and going with me.

Weird Al is a the Roseland.

Rush is up in the greater Seattle area.

So there's some driving to be done on my part (and I do have to spring for the Air Supply tix). Otherwise, it's just good timing!

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 19:19 (nine years ago) link

So it rained really hard from 6:45 to 7:30, then it stopped or sprinkled. Bought an $11 can of beer, got our seat, and at 8:00 they canceled the show, saying the forecast saw thunderstorms in another half hour. That's not what we saw on the weather radar. Sure enough, it's after 10 and still no storms. I thought that venue's policy was rain or shine. They said they would reschedule, but I don't know when they can. What a let down.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 8 July 2010 03:15 (nine years ago) link

That's a real shame...I'd be devastated.

A. Begrand, Thursday, 8 July 2010 03:26 (nine years ago) link

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