Lordy what a wonderful Friday I had! First, it started with getting off work early. I didn’t have the day off, but one of the best ways to start a weekend is to be able to leave work an hour early to get on with your plans! First thing was to go pick up Don and get us over to Kelly’s mom’s place where we were meeting Kelly and Gord. We agreed to meet there by 4:30 and while we were about ten minutes late, Kelly had just pulled up as well so I wasn’t all that worried.

We piled into their Oldsmobile and were on our way to Montréal. It was fun catching up with all of them in one place. It was even more fun sharing the anticipation of the evening we were about to enjoy. You see, we were on our way to the Bell Centre to enjoy an evening of Rush in concert, supporting their Vapour Trails album. It’s been six years since their last album so this was definitely an occasion! The last time we saw them live was July 4, 1997 at the Corel Centre on the Test for Echo tour. This tour they didn’t come to town, but you know what they say about Mohammad and the mountain, right?

With the ticket staring you in the face on the right I feel I have to bring up the issue of the price. I talked to Don about this because I called for the tickets and was surprised at how high the price was. We both agreed though … it simply didn’t matter. When it comes to Rush, if we can in any way afford the ticket, we’re going.

I looked through my collection of ticket stubs and found the very first Rush concert I went to was at the now defunct Maple Leaf Gardens on November 15, 1982. Just a little less than a month short of two decades ago. Wow, that’s something. More than half my life. Back then $12.50 was the price of admission. I saw them later on the same tour, this time on April 5, 1983 at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and paid only $12.00 for my ticket.

We were sitting and passing time chatting when the house lights went down and the familiar strains of the Three Stooges theme song came over the PA system. It was like the darkness took me back to all the other shows … back to my younger years, to all the people I’ve gone to concerts with and all the good times. I don’t think I stopped grinning like a damn fool until three or four songs had passed.

They played a very wide selection of their songs, and every studio album was represented except Caress of Steel and Hold Your Fire. I was a bit surprised they only played four songs from Vapour Trails, but I have to admit to not being as familiar with that release as I should be anyway. After a five year break, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the guys in concert as for as how they would relate to us, the audience. Happily little had changed in that department and the band was just as goofy and fun as they always have been. If anything, I’d say they were having a great time putting on the show and that always makes for a better performance. Seeing them crack each other up and hamming it up to the crowd makes it about more than just playing the songs.

The ticket was expensive but I have no complaints about what I received for it. The show started at eight and ended at a few minutes to eleven with a ten minute break somewhere in the middle. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a three hour concert before!

I think Don said it best right after the show when he said, like a kid who just got off a carnival ride, “That was great! Can we do it again?!”