Leaving our offspring in the care of our trusted friends Gail and Gregg (or, as the kids call them, “Aunt Gail and Uncle Gregg”), Michi and I made our way with great enthusiasm to the Starlight Theater in Kansas City for Rush’s second stop on their just-gettin’-started “Time Machine Tour.”
The weather was perfect for taking in a concert at an outdoor amphitheater, and the crowd was lively and full of energy. The show began with an intro video that offered a humorous look at the band’s history before the trio took the stage and opened with “The Spirit of Radio.” The “Time Machine” theme was prevalent throughout the evening, even down to the amps and other equipment on stage as well as the base for Neil Peart’s drum kit – all of which had been outfitted with a complete “steampunk” look. As was pointed out to me via Twitter by Kevin J. Anderson, the base of Neil’s drum kit has portholes all around it, which resemble those on the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
As for the music, it ran the gamut, with choice selections from the band’s back catalog ranging from their first album all the way up to and past their most recent release, Snakes and Arrows, including coming out of their halftime break and performing their Moving Pictures album in its entirety. They even introduced two brand new songs from their forthcoming album (due out next year….likely with a concert tour to accompany that. Sweet.). So far as I know, this was the first time they’ve ever “unveiled” new material at a concert, ahead of an album’s actual release. At least, it’s never happened before at any show I’ve attended, and I go back to the Presto tour in 1990 so far as seeing Rush concerts goes. So far as the new songs go, I think “Caravan” plays much better than “Brought Up to Believe,” both live and just listening to it on my MP3 player.
Something else that was new for this show was a short film after the concert was over and the band left the stage after their encore: Jason Segel and Paul Rudd reprise their Rush-nerd roles from I Love You, Man (one of oh so few films to feature Rush music), sneaking backstage to the green room to await the band after the concert’s over, where hijinks ensue. “Slappin’ that bass, man!” I’ve never actually seen the movie, but this was enough for me to consider hunting it down, as I’m a fan of both actors, anyway.
Okay, enough rambling on that….
It was yet another fun show offered up by the priests from the Temples of Syrinx, and we eagerly await their return to Kansas City in what I hope is the not-so distant future. Addy and Erin are budding fans, themselves, and Addy (at least) should be old enough to go to the next concert. Awwwwwww, yeah.