It's been nearly a month since I saw Rush in Houston and Austin on a Saturday and the following Wednesday (Apr 19/23rd). The delay is more work/life related on my part than a lack of desire to post a review. Both shows were great, and I won't post as detailed a review as from last August as the show was mostly the same with the exception of a few set list changes and a new video before the second set. I am probably in the minority of people who aren't as happy with the set list changes because I really was happy to hear Entre Nous and Circumstances as I had never heard them live before (and they are both great tunes). They decided to go back to a few classic staples since this second leg was hitting several cities that hadn't been on the tour itinerary in several years. The other deletions are Secret Touch and Distant Early Warning. I'm a big fan of Vapor Trails (and Snakes & Ladders) so I was also disappointed for them to remove Secret Touch.
I recently read Neil Peart's book "Ghost Rider" which took place in the interval between the death of his daughter & wife (both occurring within a year's span) and details how he rode his motorcycle for thousands of miles over the next few years as part of his recovery process. In the text of the book are many literary references, but the main focus of the book is sort of an autobiographical travelogue with intermittent flashes of his grieving process in the form of narrative as well as reprints of many letters he wrote during that time. Dispersed throughout the tome are several slices of what would eventually turn into the lyrics of the next album (VT). After reading it I gained a new appreciation for many of these songs (as well as his lyrics in general). Gives me a new level of disgust at the blogger who ranked him (Neil) as the second worst Rock lyricist of all time.
Here's the new setlist:
Video Intro (features all 3 band members)
Ghost of a Chance
The Main Monkey Business
The Larger Bowl (with McKenzie Brothers intro)
Between The Wheels
Video Intro (What's That Smell? features all 3 members, Jerry Stiller)
Workin' Them Angels
Armor And Sword
The Way The Wind Blows
The Spirit of Radio
2112: Overture / The Temples of Syrinx
Tom Sawyer (with South Park intro)
One Little Victory
A Passage to Bangkok
Video Outro (Alex, Neil, Jerry Stiller)
It was great to see them, especially in Austin. They played the Frank Erwin Center in the theatre setup which seats about 8000 total. The acoustics and the intimacy of the indoor environment allowed for a perfect live setting. I think it will be better to space the shows apart because the novelty did wear a little bit since it had only been 5 days between shows. I think the perfect schedule would be to see them about three times per tour with at least a month between shows. I would also try and see them in as different an environment as possible. I think for the next tour (I feel like they have at least another album/tour in them) I will try to see them somewhere like Red Rocks or The Gorge in Washington, Vegas, and somewhere in Texas.