30 years ago tonight...

Started by Matt2112, April 23, 2018, 13:37:06 pm

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April 23, 2018, 13:37:06 pm Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 13:40:37 pm by Matt2112
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.  :) 
The keys to happiness

The Letter R

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


Also did the NEC, front block Alex's side.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


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!
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


And mine. Ended up standing about 2 people back, almost dead centre

The new songs are an abomination


Wasn't as good as the NEC in '83 :)
Legend in my own Mind


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
I'll try and behave . Promise


Quote from: Pricey on April 25, 2018, 13:34:19 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.  :)
Anger is a gift.


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!
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


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.



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.
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


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.


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
The new songs are an abomination


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