Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rush R40 Tour stops in Portland, OR

About 30 minutes before curtain. Yes, seats filled up. Show was sold out I believe. 

Lessons learned earlier this week when Rush rocked Portland, Oregon:

1. Going to a concert stag is awesome. While some worried, I assured them that with ~18,000 other people there, surely someone would talk to me! The situation kind of comes primed with, oh, AT LEAST ONE THING IN COMMON. As suspected, I had no lack of conversation when it was desired.

And sometimes when it wasn't.

But also, your attention is completely free to focus on people watching. The air was filled with stories of how life long best friends met in college because they heard the other person listening to their favorite band, along with men of all ages trying to explain their deep love and devotion to the Holy Trinity to their wife/girlfriend.
My view from Floor Row 27 Seat 3 @ Moda Center

2. Floor tickets are not bad, but better if you are 6 ft plus. If I ever see a rock show in Moda Center again, I'll perform geometry to determine if the rise and run of a lower section seat would provide better viewing than the run on the flat from the stage to my prospective seat. I saw plenty, mostly thanks to their use of massive screens, but I know many around me -- shorter than I -- saw nothing but the back of someone's head.

Word is the sound mix was AWFUL elsewhere. Sounded good from the floor, but apparently not elsewhere.

3. Oregon is awesome. As the crowd filed out, the men behind me said, "Look at this! Everyone is so calm, friendly and orderly. What the hell, are we in Canada?" "We're close," said another. "It must trickle all the way down here!" I chatted with them a bit. They were Not From Around Here.

4. In this crowd, I'm nowhere near the oldest. (Yea!) And the draw is for my preferred demographic for window shopping: 45-55 nerdy guys. Niiiiiice.

5. This was my third Rush show, having seen the two previous (Clockwork Angels and Time Machine). It's a damn good show. Many people say, "Oh, I hate Rush," but all they have to go on are memories of early work -- and, yeah, if you didn't like Geddy's high vocals back in the day, I get it, neither did I.

For goodness sake, they got together as a band when I was 3. My first Rush album was Presto, in 1989 as a junior in high school, after getting turned into them by some friends at Rose Hulman (geeks I met through dial-up BBS). Rush's work through the naughtie's to present is filled with really rich wall-of-sound productions, silky, deeper vocals, and some awesome lyrics. This ain't your Daddy's Rush, you could say. But, there's still maniacal drums and more sound than you'd expect from one guitarist and one bassist.

Really -- their catalog has a little something for everyone, really.

6. I picked up the bass for a few semesters in college. It's the second instrument I wish were still here beside me today. Damn me and my short attention span.

7. Never stop doing what you love. These guys are 60-62, and they put on a three hour show and made it look effortless.

Pics from OregonLive:
Live review: Rush blasts through 40 glorious years in epic Portland show

Pics from other shows and a cute, but true, list of Rushisms:
21 ways to keep out on what may be the band's last tour

The night wasn't cheap. Floor seats, after "convenience fees," were $148. Parking $20. Bottle of water $4.50. The thinnest known-to-man but well printed concert t: $45.00.

And I'm happy to say that I got up and through the next day without issue. I'd call it all good. My boss did notice a pile of coffee and soda cups at my desk later in the day, however. But if a little rock and roll and caffeine are my biggest vices, I'm not doing too badly.

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