Stand By Your Band

I have made no secret for my love of the Canadian band Rush. I’ll be the first to admit that they are not everybody’s cup of tea but I grew up listening to them and after putting them off to the side for quite a few years I started to get re-aquainted with them after they released their album Counterparts. I’ve been enjoying them again ever since. The funny thing is I like it when people diss Rush since it always makes me laugh. People are usually so upset when they are trashing the band you’d think they were talking about some anti-establishment punk band, or that guy from American Idol. A perfect example is in the September issue of Mojo (with The Strokes on the cover). Some guy from Cambridge, England was moaning in the letters section about Rush with comments like “…a band so bloated and self-important that they have released four (count ’em!) double (or worse!) live albums- all of which sound exactly the same as their studio counterparts; all of which display no musical improvisation; all of which fail to convey the intimacy and warmth some of us seek from the live experience; all of which are therefore utterly pointless.” Woah. After reading this the first thing that came to my mind was “how did this guy know that they had four live albums and that they sounded like their studio albums?” I mean, I’m not debating the issue. Quite frankly a Rush concert has been allways more of an audio-visual sense-surround kind of experience and not a show designed for complete re-workings of songs that you liked the way they were recorded the first time (although they did do more improvisational stuff like an acoustic version of Resist the last tour that was great). An arena rock show does not allways breed much of a sense of intimacy but I can tell you one thing, every single person leaving a Rush show has one hell of a smile on their face as they chatter away at what an amazing experience it was. And God love ’em they are at it again. They have released an amazing double DVD called Rush in Rio as well as a, get this TRIPLE LIVE CD! What the hell were they thinking? Do they think this is 1976 or what? After reading this review you’ll be happy to know that it is great. I’m not asking you to love Rush. I’m not begging you to buy their latest live opus. I’m just asking for a bit of understanding. You don’t know what you’re missing. But that’s allright ’cause rock and roll is bigger than Rush, bigger than The Strokes and bigger than U2. Just when I’m getting garage rocked out, along comes a complete left turn to rejuvenate me. Thank you Rush. Thank you rock and roll. Now where’s my copy of Test for Echo?