This Wednesday I caught Rush at Red Rocks, in my experience the absolute best place to see any band perform. It was as good of a performance as I’ve ever seen the band offer (and Rush is the best live band I’ve seen).
The northern lightning storm beyond Denver provided the perfect backdrop for the evening. Dark clouds sprinkled lightly till around 9:30, then the stars poked through. The breeze was noticeable but not annoying. Rush’s web page even offers photos of the event.
As I’ve noted, I count the new Snakes and Arrows album as among the band’s best work. My appreciation for it continues to grow. Peart’s famous drum solo was particularly breathtaking on Wednesday. In general, the band was in top form. I didn’t love the new short films for this leg of the tour, but I understand the need to break thinks up a bit for a 3.5 hour performance.
As I was driving down the road from the theater, I happened across a couple of hitch hikers looking for a ride to their hotel. It turned out that the guy was from LA, his girlfriend from Austin. They’ve met in different cities to see Rush several times. They even came to Denver earlier in the month, when Rush’s earlier date was cancelled due to weather. (I’m not sure they loved my ancient, rattling vehicle, but it got them to where they were going.)
Before I knew what he was doing, the guy handed me a $20 bill, and then he obstinately refused to take it back. I was strapped into my vehicle, so I said weakly, “If you leave that in here, I’ll have to give it to charity.”
After thinking about it for a while, I decided that (given the band’s history) donating it to cancer research was the way to go. After poking around a little on the advice of a friend, I ran across the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, which gets a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. That’s where I’ll send the check.
According to the band’s web page, the tour will continue as follows:
28th-St Louis, MO
4th-Atlantic City, NJ
The fact is that Rush isn’t going to tour forever. Now’s an excellent time to catch them at the height of their powers.