The National Midday Sun

Vapour Trails => Rush News & Chat => Topic started by: Matt2112 on April 23, 2018, 12:37:06 pm

Title: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Matt2112 on April 23, 2018, 12:37:06 pm
Saturday 23rd April 1988 - Birmingham NEC


My first Rush gig and I'll never forget it.  The whole day was as close to perfection as a day in a life can get.


I was 15, and went with my high school sweetheart girlfriend who I'd been going out with for two years (everyone including us thought we'd get married, or at least be together for life - of course, neither of those things happened).


I'd booked the gig tickets as part of a coach package; we set off from Halifax Bus Station at about 4pm on a glorious day, Sony Walkmans clipped to our jeans, mine with headphones with garish and hopelessly noise-bleeding bright orange foam ear-muffs.


I had my favourite C90 mix tape pretty much on a loop for most of the day, though the only track I remember being on it was the 12" version of Pour Some Sugar On Me.


I remember, wide-eyed and bursting with excitement, walking into the arena and buying our t-shirts with the red balls on the front; mine was the black one, hers was the red one.  She disappeared to the toilet to try it on, and when she re-emerged I remember my adolescent delight at seeing her t-shirt was a size too small...however, that was short-lived, as she didn't share my effusiveness and went away to change back again.


Our seats were the first two of a block about three-quarters of the way back on Geddy's side - unthinkably remote nowadays, but I was about to be in the same room as Rush, and that was all that mattered.  When the lights went down and the Three Blind Mice intro music played, it seemed everyone leapt to their feet - except me.  I was so overcome with awe and emotion and anticipation and excitement that I just froze in my seat, until I was lifted up by my young lady behind me; "Come on, stand up", I remember her saying in my ear above the euphoric roar of the crowd, "they're about to come on".


When that first, big, beautiful B chord kicked in, I threw my arms in the air, and yelled as if celebrating a cup final winner.  And what followed was two of the most magical hours of my life.  :) 
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: The Letter R on April 23, 2018, 12:52:55 pm
Not sure which night I did but NEC on this tour was my first Rush show too, I saw them at Wembley a few days later as well.
My first recollection was walking into the NEC and wondering who all these other people were that had come to see "my band" ;D
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Nick on April 23, 2018, 13:36:14 pm
Also did the NEC, front block Alex's side.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: döm on April 23, 2018, 14:15:31 pm
My first Rush gig too.  I'd been a fan since '84 so it had been a fair old wait.

I went with a couple of friends who weren't really into Rush but enjoyed the gig nonetheless.  It was a glorious day as I remember and I'd spent it in Kidderminster as Barnet were attempting to finish first in the conference and reach the league in the first season of automatic promotion.  The 1 - 1 draw didn't help in the ultimately failed attempt.


I was half way back in the stalls on Alex's side.  It was amazing to finally see the guys in the flesh.  I had no idea that it would be another 16 years before  I would see them again!
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Jonners on April 23, 2018, 17:11:19 pm
And mine. Ended up standing about 2 people back, almost dead centre

Marvellous.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Nïckslïkk2112 on April 23, 2018, 20:34:47 pm
Wasn't as good as the NEC in '83 :)
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Pricey on April 25, 2018, 12:34:19 pm
I remember this gig , I have a feeling we were front row on lifeson`s side , did Primus support ?

or was that Sheffield front row ... ah whatever
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: captainkurtz on April 25, 2018, 13:54:16 pm
Quote from: Pricey on April 25, 2018, 12:34:19 pm
I remember this gig , I have a feeling we were front row on lifeson`s side , did Primus support ?

or was that Sheffield front row ... ah whatever

That was 1992 and 2011, lad.  :)
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: döm on April 25, 2018, 14:02:29 pm
If someone had told me back then that 30 years hence I would be communicating to people in attendance at that gig via a mobile device, I would have thought they were completely mad!
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Slim on April 25, 2018, 21:17:18 pm
I was at this one as well, I remember that I was doing overtime at ICI on the morning. I can't really remember how I got there but I went with my girlfriend Sara. I probably drove there. Did it rain that night? I vaguely remember driving late one night after a Rush gig with rain splashing off the windscreen.

I quite enjoyed it despite being up in the balcony and the HYF tunes came alive for me that night. I'm sure I was at another gig on the HYF tour in the stalls, but not this one. Lock and Key and Mission were particularly powerful.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: zoony on April 25, 2018, 21:36:09 pm
Quote from: Nïckslïkk2112 on April 23, 2018, 20:34:47 pm
Wasn't as good as the NEC in '83 :)



Agreed Simmers.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: döm on April 25, 2018, 21:37:50 pm
Yes HYF has never been a favourite of mine and I would have been even happier if they'd come over after releasing Power Windows or GUP. Still Mission was a highlight that night, I remember being absolutely stunned with Neil's drumming during that number.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: zoony on April 25, 2018, 21:38:07 pm
I saw them the next day on Sunday, which was the second time I'd seen them. It had been a long wait since the first, which was just under 5 years before.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Jonners on April 26, 2018, 16:13:44 pm
I remember being blown away by how technical everything seemed to be, the previous few gigs I had been to weere all tiny gigs in Brum with thrash/metal bands like Napalm Deth/Carcass etc
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: DavidL on April 26, 2018, 19:38:21 pm
I saw them at Wembley and the NEC but can't remember which nights. Wembley was marred by my foolish decision to take a girlfriend....not impressed. I remember Alex was rockin' the slightly tubby bank manager look and of course Geddy was sporting the legendary Davy Crockett hat.
I thought the HYF stuff came over well and standout was Lock and Key (nice lighting to resemble prison bars front of stage). Shame that In The Mood was the set closer but overall a pretty good setlist.
Had the red 'balls' t-shirt for ages and my lovely wife replaced it with a new one years later - one of the classier garments. Btw she's just renamed this site TNBS .....Talk Nothing But S**t! How disrespectful  ;D
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Thailand Express on April 27, 2018, 02:00:30 am
Well my own R30 was tonight and I have spent an enjoyable evening on a WhatsApp sync with a few mates who were also at the SECC that night.

"Rush-lite" the period may have been but listening back to the live show from that tour they were blazing.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Ricky4001 on April 30, 2018, 17:39:10 pm
My personal R30 - 30 April.

My first time seeing Rush was at Wembley Arena in 1988.  It was my first time travelling outside Northern Ireland for a concert - I had only attended 9 gigs before and all were in Belfast.  The experience began mid-afternoon on 29th April when I started the train - ferry - train journey from Belfast via Larne / Stranraer and the overnight train to London Euston.  The Rugby League Challenge Cup final was on the same day at Wembley Stadium so the train filled up with Wigan fans travelling south.
On arrival in London, I headed for South Kensington to meet up with a former school friend who was studying at Imperial College.  We spent the afternoon at the college spring fair, which, in addition to the usual stalls, had a bit of major drama in the shape of the theft of a famous painting from the college, which was held for ransom during the event.  Plus, there was mud-wrestling.
Soon it was time to get the tube to Wembley.  This was by far the largest concert I had attended.  First stop was the merchandise stall to get tour programme and t-shirts - I bought the red album sleeve shirt and the fireball juggling man shirt (which has since gone missing).  Then up into the arena just in time for the intro music.  This was my first seated concert, so it was very different to the previous 9, where every ticket is a potential front row view.  My seat was the back-right corner, so the view was OK but distant.  I enjoyed the overall visual perspective of the show, lights, screens and being able to see all three musicians.  One particular memory, is the height Neil threw his sticks into the air - I'd never seen a band where there was enough headroom to rival these throws.  Overall, I loved every minute of the show and returned to central London a very happy fan.
To round the trip off, I awoke on Sunday to hear that there was a strike by the ferry workers and there would be no crossings to Ireland (North or South) for the foreseeable future.  This meant the only option was to get a standby ticket on the BA shuttle flight to Belfast and hope for a empty seat sometime on Sunday.  Eventually, I got on board through the infamous Gate 49 at Heathrow and made it back to Northern Ireland.  1988 ended up being the year I travelled most for music.  I followed up with 2 gigs at Newcastle City Hall in June (Stevie Ray Vaughn's last UK tour and Judas Priest on the Ram It Down tour) and the Monsters Of Rock at Donington in August.  Putting things in perspective, the ticket cost £10 and (even with pre-budget airline flight cost) the travel was about 10 times the cost of the ticket.  The last time I travelled to England for a gig, the ticket was just more expensive than the travel to get to the venue.
The red t-shirt still fits and has been worn to gigs on all subsequent Rush UK / Ireland tours since.  It is now obviously retired too.
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Matt2112 on May 01, 2018, 08:55:56 am
Marvellous stories, guys - thank you. :)
Title: Re: 30 years ago tonight...
Post by: Pricey on May 01, 2018, 12:28:36 pm

Quote from: captainkurtz on April 25, 2018, 13:54:16 pm
That was 1992 and 2011, lad.  :)



hmmm no I was front row a previous time - prob roll the bones ? extreme left side .


was it even rush I wonder .