Rush has been one of my favorite bands for many years. I have seen them in concert several times. I saw them in Boise back in 1983 (the Signals tour) at the BSU Pavilion. I went with my friend Brian. Then I saw them again in 1996 in Boise at the Pavilion (the Test For Echo tour). For that concert Tim and Mickey came along. Mickey was only six years old, so he got tired after a while and fell asleep. It is tough to sleep at a rock concert but he managed it. Then again in 2008, Mickey and I went to see Rush at Summerfest in Milwaukee (Snakes and Ladders tour). That time he was a little older and managed to stay awake through the whole concert. So this was my fourth time to see them live. I had tried to get someone to go last year while they were touring but didn't have any luck. Tim was on deployment in Afghanistan. Mickey couldn't get away when they were in Austin. They played in Salt Lake and Portland and Seattle but I couldn't get Sandy or any of my friends like Dave Thiel to go. But this year Sandy was gracious enough to agree. We planned our trip around the concert date at The Gorge in Washington. And as you can see from the previous posts, we had a good trip up to this point.
It was easy to find the ampitheatre. We knew the exit from the interstate. We just got off and followed the continuous line of cars to the parking lot. The place really was in the middle of nowhere. It was miles and miles from any town. There was a winery right next to it however. And it had a B&B on the grounds. Might be a consideration for the future. Stay at the winery and walk over to the concert.
It was pretty easy to get in. They had huge fields for parking and they were pretty well organized. There was an army of people directing you where to go to park. The gates hadn't opened yet so we got in a long line waiting to get in. It was only about fifteen minutes till the line started to move and we got to the front quickly. We had to go through a bag search. I had my backpack along with my camera and a light jacket for each of us. I didn't want to be uncomfortable if it got cool after the sun went down. But they didn't like my camera. Since it was a Digital SLR, the guy claimed that it was a "professional" camera. Hardly. But I had to walk back to the car, drop off the camera, and walk back. Sandy was waiting for me and we went through quickly. That ticked me off though. I was really hoping to get some good photos. The ones we have on this post (except for the first one outside the gates) were taken either by Sandy or I with our iPhones. And the iPhone really has a crummy camera built in.
As we walked in we passed a tent where they were selling concert tshirts. It was mobbed. There were people lined up ten or fifteen deep all along the front of it. Of course I had to get a Rush tshirt but I decided to get to our seats first. They were excellent. We had a great view of the stage. Since there was an hour till the concert was scheduled to start, I decided to do my time in line and go get my tshirt. I left Sandy in our seats to hold down the fort. Since it was hot and in the bright sun I gave her my cap. Useful things, baseball caps. They shade you from the sun, keep rain off your glasses, and keep the hair out of your eyes. Well, not in my case, but if I had hair it would keep it out of my eyes. Sandy was definitely grateful to borrow my cap while she was sitting in the sun. I headed back to the tshirt tent.
If anything the line was worse. But I was determined. After about forty minutes I had pushed and shoved and knocked down enought little old ladies that I finally got to the front and got my tshirt. I grabbed it and headed back to see if Sandy was still there or if she had given up and gone home. Or melted.
The concert started finally started about 7:40. It was still hot until the sun went down about 8:30. Then the rest of the evening the temperature was perfect. And the show was awesome. Rush played two sets with a break in between. Total they played about two and a half hours. For them this was the last show of a six month tour. The crowd was very active too. It was quite a diverse group. There were a lot of older folks. But there were a lot of young people as well. Everyone had some kind of Rush garb on. Rush is kind of a cult band. The people there don't just say "Oh yeah, I remember Rush. Let's go see them." Most have been fans for years or more likely decades. So everyone wears tshirts from previous concert tours. One of the main activities at a Rush concert is talking to the other fans about previous concerts you have seen. "So you saw them in 96 on the Test for Echo Tour? Well I saw them in 83 on the Signals tour." Serious oneupsmanship.
After the show we actually got out pretty fast. Seemed like most people were partying pretty good and weren't in a hurry to leave. It was about forty five minutes back to the hotel. Sandy crashed right away but I was psyched and was up for a long time.
Next day was our drive back to Boise. The weather was still good and we could have stayed longer but it was time to go back. Sandy needed to get back for some medical stuff and Shannon was coming in to Boise this week. We had an uneventful drive back. We stopped at the fruit stand in Yakima and topped off the car with another case of wine and two boxes of fruit. That was about all the room we had. Until we got to Prosser and stopped at a nursery. Then Sandy found a huge flower arrangement that she had to have. Somehow we crammed it in. Good thing I was driving or I might have been left behind to make room for even more flowers. We got home early evening and I made a quick trip to Emmett to the dogsitter to pick up Laney. She was glad to see us. The next day we were back in the routine. But it had been a great trip.
I have included links to some video that Sandy and I took at the concert. Plays with Quicktime. NOTE: It may not play when you click on the link if you do not have the Quicktime plug in installed in your browser. Just right-click on the link and save the file and then open it with Quicktime.