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Rush Absolutely STUNS in "Throwback" 70's Set...Rick Doubleneck and Double Bass Return!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ggoat!!!, May 9, 2015.

  1. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    This was the old-school Rush fan's DREAM. The show started with nearly all eras of the band represented from newest to oldest. The stage set changed between nearly every song with the backline changing accordingly. The first set wasn't so eventful, but after intermission...pure Rush PERFECTION. The entire stage was nothing but amps...behind Alex was 5 full Marshall stacks, and behind Geddy was a literal WALL of Ampegs; it is doubtful any of those amps were used, but they looked great. Slowly, after every song, some amps were removed gradually until at the end of the set the entire stage was bare (as a recreation of their first high school gig) except for Geddy's original Traynor amp (talk about attention to detail), 1 amp for Alex, and Neil's drum kit...which is a replica of the REAL Neil Peart's original 70's chrome Slingerland kit, double bass (!) with a full 4 piece array of open bottom concert toms! Neil Peart HATES nostalgia, so it was a HUGE surprise that he agreed to play his "old" setup that he discarded YEARS ago. Just seeing that drum kit brought tears to my eyes. The band's first set had Neil using his modern jazz based kit...but the REAL Peart (and most would say the REAL Rush) returned for the 2nd set, which represented Moving Pictures to the first album. Geddy used about a zillion basses, a bunch of Gibsons of all things, and broke out the old black 4003 for only "Red Barchetta" and it actually sounded a bit plunky and "hard to play;" it's doubtful that it was run in stereo as he hardly touched any of his Ricks and running a separate stereo setup would be too much of a hassle when he's already switching 20 basses in the set. When Geddy doesn't run his Rick stereo he uses them with both pickups full on without the cap which takes out most of that Rickenbacker midrange aggressiveness...and that's what it sounded like. It wasn't the Geddy Rick tone of old. Surprisingly, about the best SOUNDING bass through his modern setup that sounded the most like his OLD Rick sound was what looked like a late 50's Precision that he played on the horrid song "Roll the Bones." That Precision was a great growly midrangy honky bass that provided the most old-school Geddy tone, strangely enough. The band played a jawdropping set including the long-awaited "Jacob's Ladder," "Hemispheres/Prelude," "Cygnus X-1," "2112" including "Presentation" and "Grand Finale," and the ENTIRE "Xanadu" with full intro, real Moog, real percussion, and the return of both Alex's Gibson doubleneck AND Geddy's Rickenbacker doubleneck! Whodathunk that would EVER return!??!!!?!! Truly amazing! As if that wasn't enough, they even played "Lakeside Park," a song that Geddy has stated for ages that he HATES. I NEVER thought I would hear Rush play this song again, one of my absolute favorites! Then, they played "Anthem" too!!! Just mindblowing. Geddy's voice was in GREAT form, and he NAILED "Hemispheres" (tuned down of course, but WAY better than in 1994). They even played "What You're Doing" and part of "Garden Road" once it was all over...truly one of the BEST Rush shows I've EVER seen. Neil has lost some of his finesse and technicality a bit (he takes it a bit easy on the hard fills of old), and it might be difficult for Geddy to keep up throughout this tour hitting all those high notes in the second set. But, overall, it was WAAAAY better than I anticipated, with a PERFECT setlist for the 2nd half. Rush fans are in disbelief. If this IS the last tour, they FINALLY gave us old-school Rush fans EXACTLY what we've ALWAYS wanted. Absolutely unreal!





  2. Tom F

    Tom F

    Apr 23, 2003
    Union County, NJ
    Awesome review. I've got my tickets for the NJ stop at the end of June - can't wait!

    I think it's cool to see Geddy going bass crazy and pulling out all those different instruments. Especially for a player that has gravitated towards one bass for long periods of time (whether the Rick, the Wal, or the Jazz), it's inspiring that he can stretch out and still do the unexpected.
  3. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    I reject your notion that anything after Moving Pictures isn't "real" Rush.

    Nonetheless, it sounds like a sweet show. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they hit Auburn Hills.
  4. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    First off, many thanks for the heads-up and accompanying pics. I appreciate the work and thought you put into this. :thumbsup:

    That being said, I think a lot of us can do without the sneering at this-and-that era of RUSH's evolution (because that's what musically-adventurous bands do…they evolve!). We like what we like, a lot of which is probably informed by when we discovered the band, as opposed to having an inferior sense of musical taste. Commentary is fine, but please, spare us the generational-hate. :rollno:
  5. Geddy playing Gibsons? I might need to get tix. What's the red bass in the last pic, Fano?
  6. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    That's what I was wondering, headstock and body shape look like eko to me

    Edit: I think it's an Eko Elite body and Eko 1100 neck with several parts from this solid body Hofner
    original. 4078193_1427324204.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  7. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    I mean no disrespect to fans of Rush's post 1980 output. I love EVERYTHING up until Power Windows, and about half of Hold Your Fire (I preferred the live versions of HYF songs on A Show of Hands to the more demo-sounding studio versions). I REALLY wanted to like Presto when it came out...a few good songs, then with crap like "Hand Over Fist" they started to lose me. Then the rap in RTB...a few OK songs on that album, a couple on Counterparts, almost none on Test For Echo. The problem was that the horrible songs COMPLETELY outweighed the OK ones, and the ones that sucked soooooo bad had either no melody, staccato "talking" monotone lyrics, massive empty-sounding reverb mixes, absolutely no balls, just no ANYTHING! I guess overall it was the lack of melody and the fact that most of their new songs were totally and unequivocally uncatchy in any way, shape, or form; that turned me completely off...their material just wasn't gelling together, it sounded forced, like they were trying to be something they either weren't or just weren't good at (such as trying to be euro-pop band). I refused to force myself to listen to something like "The Big Wheel" over and over just to TRY to find SOMETHING good about it. I HATE approaching music like that. As Rush progressed throughout Test For Echo, it just kept getting worse...and by that time I had TOTALLY given up hope that Rush would record something that was simply catchy and flowing, nevermind instrumental virtuosity or ANYTHING like "old" Rush...ultimately, I JUST WANTED TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO NEW RUSH MUSIC WITHOUT BEING BORED OUT OF MY MIND. And, with Vapor Trails, they delivered.

    Big time.

    Vapor Trails has some issues...it's long, and it's a bit monotonous. The production is powerful, but cluttered and buzzy (its biggest compaint). It's difficult to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, and there's no virtuosity about it. BUT...Geddy's singing high again, and he sounds good doing it...and the lyrics actually fit the music! There's hardly a shoehorned lyric in the bunch. And, while the production sucks, it actually has balls! I don't care for the remix, as it's TOO far the other way...it's too empty, too much reverb has been added to the too-loud vocals, and all the power has been stripped from the heavier songs. The original Vapor Trails is not a perfect record, but compared to the 4 poopercorn fests before it, it was such a HUGE return to form that it amazes me the hatred for it that I come across all the time. "Ghost Rider" is probably one of the best emotional songs they've ever written, and the subtle time changes ALL OVER the album are mindblowing! Even in a song like "Earthshine" it's nearly impossible to follow every time a beat is inserted or dropped. "Ceiling Unlimited," "Peaceable Kingdom," and "Secret Touch" are great songs that I'm amazed don't get the appreciation they deserve.

    I found Snakes and Arrows to be a step backward from Vapor Trails, but still not nearly bad overall; nothing like most of their 90's stuff listed above. There are a couple really good songs, but most of the album trogs along at the same pace, with the same sounds, the same tones, just the same everything. The shoehorned lyrics ruin most of it. And, I'm not religious by any means, but the non-stop religion bashing gets old REAL quick. "The Main Monkey Business" is a great moody instrumental however.

    "Clockwork Angels" is a great album; not quite as amazing as the praise heaped upon it, but it is a great return to some of those ideals, again, of the "REAL" Rush...some instrumental virtuosity, longer songs, and its actually a concept album! Rush came full circle...just like in the R40 show. Again, a return of the REAL Rush.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    maxschrek likes this.
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Y'see…there you go again with what's "REAL" and what's not. It's like trying to extoll the virtues of RUSH to someone who just doesn't care for them in the first place…sometimes it's just not for everybody. Does it make it any better or worse? I say, "No", it's just not what they're used to or something they just can't wrap their head around.

    This is just my humble opinion, but I really, REALLY dig a lot of their '90s stuff. "Leave That Thing Alone" and "Where's My Thing" (to me, pure musicality and virtuosity at it's best), "Dreamline" (energetic as it is dreamy and hopeful, love them timeless mini-stories!) "Animate" (Damn, how I love that opening six beats after the quite timing-cue…what a way to kick off an album! It's like being with them in the studio for a brief moment.) are personal favs of mine. Maybe not everything from their particular albums, but it's hard to love everything from such a huge body of work.

    Mind you, I'm coming from the perspective of a former drummer who's recently approached learning bass after years of admiring it from afar. This certainly informs, and yes…colors, my opinions, but that just what they are…opinions. Not fact. And I, for one, reject "opinion" stated as "fact", especially when the implication is "Only what I like is the REAL RUSH. Anything else, other than what I like and approve of, is NOT REAL", because I think of THREE PARTICULAR INDIVIDUALS who might feel a bit differently and, on this particular topic, whose opinions just might trump yours.

    I love that you're working hard to inform those of us who are holding (re: death-gripping with pitched anticipation) onto tickets already, but you don't have to pooh-pooh the experience in the same breath. Straight reporting is great, but lets leave the Op-Ed for another thread or topic. Peace? ;)
  9. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    I absolutely agree with you that all those songs are very good...at least you didn't list "The Color of Right." :)

    I never stated that my opinion was fact...but the "fact" that Rush for the last several years have avoided playing almost EVERYTHING from the 90's (besides the odd song here or there) seems to infer that the guys in the band feel the same way about those 90's albums. I don't think we'll ever hear "Face Up" anytime soon. And, that's a good thing. Wait...that's a GREAT thing. ;)

    I didn't pooh-pooh the experience in any way...and a forum is a place for discussion and opinion. If your favorite is 90's era Rush, that is GREAT. But the rest of us went through so much hell for soooo many years when Rush acted like the 70's never existed with tours in the 90's filled to the hilt with songs such as "Half the World" and "Virtuality" that we paid good money to sit through, absolutely LONGING for the day when Rush would even acknowledge that Caress of Steel even existed. And now, that day has FINALLY come.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    maxschrek likes this.
  10. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Can't wait! Wish he was playing the 4001 Ric more but whatevs. Very intriguing setlist where they are going from new to old chronologically through the whole concert.
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    <sigh> Y'know what, it's your thread. If you want to use it as a soap-box to tell everyone how much '90s RUSH sucks, and then claim that you're not stating it with enough certitude to pass it off as fact, that's your prerogative. I, for one, am more interested in what they do on-stage and what they use to do it with. Songs, instruments and set-design…that's it.

    And for the record, coming from the other side of the rhythm section, it is my personal opinion that "Face Up" kicks it something fierce! I could not even begin to count the number of drum sets, stationary objects and steering wheels I've tapped out those first bars, let alone the entire song. :thumbsup:

    Later, y'all! I'm off to find some "straight reporting", instead of "op-ed" that keeps denigrating things I hold "closer to my heart".
    Thisguy likes this.
  12. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    Hey, I'm sure "Face Up" has some amazing drum parts that are hard to play. But the song as a whole...prooo nella!!!!
  13. maxschrek

    maxschrek Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Chattanooga, TN.
    OP is only stating HIS opinion. No need for anyone to get butthurt over that. Some people get needlessly shaken up if someone doesn't like everything they like, I don't get it. The purpose of a public forum is to discuss and compare opinions, not to fight and complain over it. We all know this, chill out.
    I don't think Rush has put out anything worth a piss since Signals. So what, who cares what I think? Why would ANYONE waste their time being upset over this or anything like it? It's just a rock group.
    Qlanq and gfaulkner like this.
  14. maxschrek

    maxschrek Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Chattanooga, TN.
    Cool to see Geddy using Rics again:)
    John Swartz, Kitsapbass and Spectrum like this.
  15. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Thanks for the gig report ggoat!
    I can't wait to July 27, I'll see them in Phoenix!!!!!
  16. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph !! Supporting Member


    Watta thread. Pure pleasure !! Won't pretend to be a die hard Rush fan, but the Closer to the heart bassline is THE reason I am playing bass today.

    Legends. All 6 of them. Oh wait, they're only 3...
  17. Great review, ggoat.
  18. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    Yeah, no one cares how butthurt you are about when Rush plays songs from which era. Rush has been around a long time. You're going to like some things and not others. Stop whining about it.
  19. Ratbut


    Mar 26, 2009
    Clarksville, TN
    So much for the "Once again, Rush disappoints" thread. The whole thing looks, and I'll bet, sounded awesome. CURSE YOU for skipping Nashville.
  20. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Am I the only one who thinks Geddy is too old for that haircut?

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