Rush kicked off the European leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour a couple of days ago in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the next week they'll play six dates in the UK starting with Newcastle tonight and ending in Manchester. Then it's on to mainland Europe for another 8 dates, finishing off in Helsinki, Finland. But is that the end?? No! We now know that they'll be back in 2008! Big Al himself confirmed that Rush would be continuing the Snakes & Arrows tour through the summer of next year, bringing the total number of dates up to 110; that's potentially 46 more shows next year.
Regarding tonight's gig, it will be the first time in 27 years that Rush has played Newcastle; the last time was on the Permanent Waves tour. Alex Lifeson recently spoke about this with David Whetstone of Newcastle's The Journal:
...We’ve felt a great deal of guilt over the years for not coming over to the UK sooner and more often,” confessed Lifeson. “But we used to do these long tours of North America and we’d be exhausted and in no shape to do the same show anywhere else.
“We didn’t want to come over here for the sake of it and then put ourselves in a position where we couldn’t perform at the highest level. In addition, it’s only in the last decade that the UK has boasted the kind of arenas we need to put on a proper Rush show. The big venues are our bread and butter and that’s where we’re at home. These days we can do our full three-hour show with the best possible production at home and abroad.”...
Alex also remarks on the Led Zeppelin reunion and seeing Zeppelin back in 1969. You can read the entire article at this link. Thanks to AVitalSign for the heads up.
If you're attending one of the European shows, don't forget to enter the contest to win front row tickets or a meet and greet. Details here.
There's a new contest up at the Rush Backstage Club too. You can win an autographed Snakes & Arrows tour poster. The poster is 24" X 36" and is signed by all three guys. This contest closes on October 15th. To enter go to this link. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.
Also, The Canadian Music Scene is now taking questions for Terry Brown that he'll be answering at Rush EuCon. Their Q&A with Howard Ungerleider was a great success; they submitted the questions to Howard after the Toronto show and they'll be posting his answers over the upcoming weekend.
No new poll this week - I think I'll just keep the current one going a bit longer. If you haven't taken the poll yet, let us know which of these 6 September-released Rush albums is your favorite; Caress of Steel (1975), A Farewell to Kings (1977), Signals (1982), Hold Your Fire (1987), Roll the Bones (1991) and Test For Echo (1996). So far Signals and A Farewell to Kings are fighting for first.
Thanks to everybody who voted for Rush.com (and Rushisaband.com) in the 2007 BT Digital Music Awards, but - I'm disappointed to say - neither site won. Here are the winners. Speaking of Rush.com, I forgot to point out that the background music on the site has been switched over from Far Cry to Workin' Them Angels. No doubt this is to gear up for the upcoming release of the single. Thanks to dinoman for reminding me of this.
Andy O has added a couple more postcards to his Postcards from Neil page at his Neil Peart fan site. These are very cool - definitely check them out if you get a chance.
As we learned last week, Rush unsurprisingly was not on the list of 2007 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Bromstein notes in this article at Sympatico/MSN (thanks Habs2112) how she's not exactly sure what Chic is doing on the list when bands like Rush, Metallica, KISS and Stevie Ray Vaughn have still not been inducted. I heartily agree. Now that's the last I'll say on this subject ... until next year's snubbing of course. :)
I have a couple of television Rush references to share. The first one comes from the BBC comedy series Saxondale. In Episode 13 which first aired on September 28, 2007 there are several references to Rush's Caress of Steel album. The opening of The Necromancer, Part III, Return of the Prince was played a few times. Towards the end of the show Mags wants to make out with Saxondale and says to him, Bugger this, I want to listen to a bit of Rush, so put on Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince. Saxondale replies, SHHHH, you had me at Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince. :) Thanks to reader Merv W for the heads up and Power Windows for the details.
The second reference comes from The Sarah Silverman Program, a comedy series on Comedy Central starring comedian Sarah Silverman. In the season 2 premier episode Bored of the Rings which first aired on October 3rd, 2007 - the gay couple on the show (Steve and Brian) have a fight because the one was upset that the other forgot it was date night and they were supposed to go see Rush. Thanks to jln3170 for the info.
Reader Jon told me of a brief mention of Rush in this article about the late British composer Ronnie Hazlehurst who died this week. He was the composer for the classic BBC comedy Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and was known for putting Morse code into his compositions. Rush is mentioned as another composer that does this; I'm assuming they're referencing the opening of YYZ.
The creator of this Apple Widget that works with iTunes is apparently a fan of Geddy Lee's My Favorite Headache judging by the screenshot he used. :) Thanks to Lamb Saag for the tip.
Reader canuckster alerted me to this impressive gallery of pro-shot pics from the 2nd Toronto show. The gallery includes several pre-show shots from the sound booth - including a nice one of Howard Ungerleider. You can check out the gallery at this link.
And I had to point out this guy's gallery of the Ottawa show just because it contains nearly 1000 pics! Thanks to tst4eko for the heads up.
Have a great weekend everybody!